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June 17th, 2010
Satellite-Based Earth Observation Market Continues to Grow

“Defense budgets are under pressure and developing autonomous satellite capacities remains costly, just as commercial Earth observation data is becoming a viable solution for defense and security applications,” said Adam Keith, the Montreal-based Director of Earth Observation for Euroconsult. “This combination of factors will encourage governments to look towards the most cost-effective combination of solutions to meet their image intelligence (IMINT) requirements, including development of dual-use systems, increasing government cooperation to access third-party systems, and purchasing commercial data.”

The U.S. market has led the way in this trend, with revenues from U.S. defense agencies reaching $430 million in 2009. The wealth of high-resolution imagery from providers, along with increased speed of delivery, have largely spurred this growth.

Despite the improvements in the commercial sector, there is still a significant investment being made in the development of government owned satellites. From 2000-2009, governments in nine nations launched 57 satellites specifically developed for defense applications, representing overall revenues of $12.5 billion for the satellite manufacturing industry worldwide. Over the coming decade, Euroconsult expects manufacturing revenues to grow to $18.3 billion.

The full report on the satellite-based earth observation market is available from purchase from Euroconsult. The report includes an analysis of the different commercial data providers, satellite manufacturing trends and costs, satellite capacity, financing, and provides profiles of a number of different government customers from around the world.