I'm doing research for an article and I'm looking for info about usage of satellites by commercial companies. For instance, usage of small satellites by insurance companies (imaging and etc.) or something similar. Sure, I'm using also google but I didn't find anything specific. I'll be glad for any info with examples which company from which industry is using satellites and for what. Thanks for any pieces of information.


closed as too broad by Organic Marble, peterh, Fred, Nathan Tuggy, Hohmannfan Aug 12 '18 at 14:08

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    $\begingroup$ I don't have an answer for you, but I have interviewed a few New Space satellite operators recently who talked about the commercial opportunities for space data. York Space Systems builds and operates satellite constellations for start-ups looking to validate their business models. ICEYE is an example of that. They're producing radar imaging products for companies like walmart to track parking lot utilization for example. $\endgroup$ – T.J. Tarazevits Aug 11 '18 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Check out this video, it has lots of commercial space applications: youtu.be/hiRBQxHrxNw $\endgroup$ – Dragongeek Aug 11 '18 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ Obvious ones are - Radio and TV broadcast, radio/TV point-to-point links (used by every TV organization on the planet) - Mapping data from photos (satnav companies, governments from nation to local level) - weather data from photos and other measurements (government and commercial weather companies) Did you want anything specific? As it is, the question is really broad, which is why it's attracting close votes. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Aug 12 '18 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Aug 12 '18 at 10:45

One example of a modern commercial satellite system is Planet Labs with their swarm of "Dove" satellites. Each Dove is a 3U cubesat with solar panels and a telescope. These doves image the entire planet every day and they advertise many different markets for their data such as:

  • Crop Monitoring: Infrared and visible light images can be combined to estimate the health of crops over large fields to identify spots where the plants arene't being watered, are suffering from an infection, or are affected by some other localized disturbance
  • Civil/Government: Satellite pictures can be used to manage land, forests, and other natural resources. Can also be used to monitor urban development and even track traffic problems or congestion (could count every car in a city).

  • Disaster response: Satellite imagery can identify flooded or damaged zones and locate areas where people need help. Can also identify and track forest fires.

  • Environmental science and policing: Imagery can identify illegal lumber or farming operations. Can also track icebergs, glaciers, and other areas affected by climate change

  • Logistical tracking: Track boats, shipping yards, and other areas where lots of raw goods are transported. For example, estimate cubic volume of cargo in port or amount of containers.

  • Defense: Satellite imagery is at the core of modern military intelligence.

  • And many more

These are just a couple of industries which could use or are using satellites and there are countless more. However, this is an emerging industry so it may be hard to find specific information. I recommend checking out https://www.planet.com/ as their website has lots of information about them and their customers.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! That was the answer that I was looking for. I'm looking especially for specific examples as that one about crop monitoring, or from YT video above about how satellite imagery is helping Gates Foundation with their philanthropic activities. $\endgroup$ – Ondrej Sarnecký Aug 12 '18 at 12:43

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