Written by Rolando Grande, Chartered Financial Analyst, Thematic International Equity Manager
People have always been fascinated by seeing Earth from the air. Since the first efforts of the Montgolfier brothers in 1783, there has been a revolution in Earth observation, thanks to the launch of hundreds of satellite constellations. The space industry is booming and offers unprecedented opportunities to improve life on Earth from space.
The Earth observation industry is beneficial to all sectors from telecommunications to healthcare and from agriculture to insurance, and it is estimated to grow +8.5% annually between now and 2025. This industry can help in facing the enormous challenges facing our planet. What is in the foreground? Monitoring climate change and protecting biodiversity.
earth revolving industry
Earth observation is changing rapidly as satellites are getting smaller and closer to Earth (500 km compared to 35,000 km for conventional satellites). This reduces the cost of launching satellites into space. The use of artificial intelligence, which can analyze all the observed changes in depth, also plays an important role. Reliable and accurate room data is transmitted in real time and has become key information with high added value. According to Euroconsult, the market for Earth observation satellites could grow 16% between now and 2030.
Planet, a leading American company, is working on one of the largest constellations in low Earth orbit, consisting of more than 200 nanosatellites. Founded in 2010 by three former NASA employees, Pelican recently unveiled a new constellation of high-resolution satellites. These satellites can orbit the Earth up to thirty times a day; This is called ‘revisit time’. These 32 satellites, which are expected to launch in 2023, are intended to monitor natural disasters and climate change and could be returned to Earth at the end of their lifespan. Maxar, which primarily supplies NASA, we believe has unique knowledge in high-resolution images. The company announced that it will launch its WorldView Legion satellites from the summer of 2022, 2,500 kg of satellites that can orbit the Earth 15 times a day. Thanks to the continuous improvement of their optical and temporal resolution, these satellites can monitor the Earth in real time and, above all, monitor climate change.
At the service of the climate
Space data can certainly be a very powerful tool in serving the climate. Today, 26 of the 50 UN climate change indicators are based on satellite imagery. The constellation, made up of 110 satellites from US Spire, can create a 3D profile of atmospheric temperature, pressure, and humidity more than 10,000 times a day. This makes it possible to predict certain weather conditions, which is useful information for farmers, for example. The nearly three million photographs Planet takes of the Earth each day provide valuable information for this company’s clients, from the European Commission for the Protection of Biodiversity, the Amazon Conservation Association for mapping damage to forests in the Amazon, and German aquatic environmental protection firm EOMAP. We also believe that this thriving industry is an important ally in protecting marine biodiversity, an important issue related to climate change.
Observing the Earth to better protect it bodes well, and evaluating satellite data has become a major economic and scientific challenge. The impact of this vibrant new industry, whose potential we believe remains untapped, will undoubtedly have implications for our future.
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