From cell phones and digital cameras to velcro fasteners, from clear dental braces to shatterproof plastic lenses, from smoke detectors to smart mattress fillers – all of those wouldn’t be here without space and aviation technologies. Current development of space tech innovations still impacts almost all industries and businesses, offering new opportunities and solutions for advanced processes optimization. Such innovations encompass big data analytics, robotics, GPS, ground-based Earth observation, and of course remote sensing that holds huge value thanks to modern satellite constellations circling the Earth to detect any important changes.
The use of these technologies transforms and improves the ways we interact with space data. Leveraging the power of space tech, different industries receive invaluable insights on the past and current state of things, which significantly improves decision-making hence improving the overall successful development of these industries.
This article will guide you through the most innovative space technologies that are catering to the future of modern industries.
Space data usually implies satellite imagery that can be analyzed with various advanced algorithms with the goal of pulling out the necessary information depending on the industry’s needs. Space images and space monitoring are increasingly used in various sectors of the economy, in state, regional and municipal planning and management. No one doubts the need to use remote sensing data to improve the quality of control. Space monitoring makes it possible to obtain uniform and objective information simultaneously for vast territories, which is practically unattainable with any ground surveys.
In addition to the military and intelligence spheres, space monitoring is used today in almost all spheres, with GIS in agriculture and emergency response remaining priority areas. Remote sensing data is actively used in forestry, environmental protection, oil and gas sector, water management, transport, communications and telecommunications, municipal services, etc. An example of a company that offers satellite data-powered digital solutions for all of the mentioned industries is EOS Data Analytics. Among the offered tools are the farm management platform Crop Monitoring, forestry management platform Forest Monitoring, and a satellite observation imagery tool Land Viewer. The company also plans on launching its own agriculture-focused satellite constellation to take remote farm monitoring to the next level.
For the purposes of military spying, communications, Earth monitoring, and imaging applications, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and multi-satellite constellations are used. The large data volumes these satellites provide are automatically processed with AI, big data, or blockchain to offer valuable solutions for different industries. Ultimately, satellite data allows for tracking and analyzing any change in the many phenomena or situations that occur on the Earth surface, in the world ocean, and the atmosphere.
Space Activity Management
First, let’s define what exactly falls under the definition of a space activity. It’s space tourism, any space mission, satellite servicing, space debris disposal, and space station improvement. Management of all these activities allows for studying and enhancing ways these activities are performed.
For instance, the Orion Span startup is currently working on creating a next-generation space station platform that will be called Aurora Station. The goal of this space station will be to support space tourism by offering large observation windows, personal sleeping rooms, a spacious interior overall, and sufficient food supply.
Another example of space activity management implementation is a Canadian startup Obruta Space Solutions. The company works on a device that will enable servicing new satellites in-orbit with the goal to extend their lifespans.
Remember when computers used to take up an entire room? But now they fit in your jacket’s pocket. The same thing happens with space technologies and devices – they are getting smaller while the set of their capabilities is growing. And if the multi-ton Hubble was the size of a bus, modern satellites can be held in the palm of your hand. Such small devices can be built even in your garage, and the components for it can be bought in an online store.
Although you can put a modern satellite in your pocket, it will be able to solve the same issues as its much larger version. Small spacecraft can be useful by farmers, ecologists, biologists and even insurance companies. Besides, with the help of small satellites, the whole world can be equipped with cheap Internet.
Conventionally, all small spacecraft are divided by mass. They can weigh from 0.001kg and be the size of a SIM card to 180kg and be the size of a large washing machine. The advantages of such small satellites are their low cost, ease of assembly, and the ability to launch numerous satellites to perform the same task. It means that if one fails, the mission will not stop, which will increase the chances of its positive outcome.
Space mining is in fact asteroids mining. Why asteroids? Asteroids are the initial material left over after the formation of the Solar System. They are common everywhere: some fly very close to the Sun, others are found near the orbit of Neptune. A huge number of asteroids are located between Mars and Jupiter in the famous Asteroid Belt. To date, thousands of asteroids have been detected passing close to the Earth’s orbit.
Many of these asteroids are in the access zone, and many contain huge reserves of resources: from water to platinum. Their use could provide an almost endless supply of resources that will establish stability on Earth, increase the well-being of humanity, and create more opportunities for space exploration.
The key resource in space is water on asteroids. It can be turned into rocket fuel or supplied to human needs. In addition, it could radically change the way we explore space. And once having gained access and learned how to mine, extract, and use the water resources of asteroids, the extraction of metals on them will become much more real. Some near-Earth objects contain platinum-group metals in such high concentrations that only the richest mines on Earth could compete. Asteroids also contain more common metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt. Sometimes in incredible quantities. They also contain volatile substances such as nitrogen, CO, CO2, and methane.