A British company is taking earth observation imagery to a new level, offering colour video from space to any commercial customers. Satellite constellation offers video of anywhere on earth. Stuart McDill reports.
A British company is taking earth observation imagery to a new level, offering colour video from space to any commercial customers, as Stuart McDill reports. STORY: The EiX2 satellite is due for launch later this year. It'll be the first of a 5 satellite constellation - offering anyone who wants to pay high definition colour video of anywhere on earth. SOUNDBITE (English) EARTH-i CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RICHARD BLAIN "At the forefront of the use of this sort of data are commodity traders and businesses who wish to understand the eco-system of their own business and their own supply chain and on a global scale how that might be affected. So for instance we have the ability to monitor iron ore ports and shipping lanes around the world to start to understand and draw insights around the level of consumption and production of iron ore and how that may in turn drive price movements in the market as well." Surrey Satellite Technology, part of Airbus, have designed and built the EiX2 - a new kind of earth observation satellite - scaled down in both size and price. SOUNDBITE (English) DIRECTOR OF EARTH OBSERVATION, SSTL, ANDREW CAWTHORNE "What we are seeing in this new space bubble is that a lot of people are realising that they could do something like that and as a satellite manufacturer that's creating some good opportunities for us but it's also good for the space industry as a whole because the more people out there that are doing these kind of things and using satellite data, the more the space industry grows." Earth-i plan to increase the constellation in batches of 5 as demand for data increases... ...and admit it will be gathering so much data - they can't begin to think of all applications. SOUNDBITE (English) EARTH-i CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RICHARD BLAIN "We call it planetary big data and with the big data analytics through the computing power that has become available recently and is growing and the AI, artificial intelligence and machine learning processes, that apply to such huge volumes of data, new insights that we can derive around our planet and our interaction with the planet are what this particular industry is moving towards." Earth-i say the data gathered will be so vast they want third party partners to work out all the potential applications for it.