03New eyes in the skies
Computer vision, data analytics, tracking, data monetisation
From digital inventories to user behaviour, data is a core strategic asset for firms that is still under-utilised in terms of monetisation. And a new, truly global data frontier is about to open. Computer vision and data analysis technologies, coupled with cheaper access to drones and satellites, will give businesses the chance to create value by harnessing new insights from drones and satellite imagery.
What will change
Data collection will move to the skies as drones and cheap satellites begin gathering increasing amounts of new kinds of data. Both autonomous and manual drone passes will enable businesses of all kinds to collect data from previously inaccessible areas at scale, while satellites can provide valuable insights to everyone from mining and agriculture to construction and city planning teams.
Emerging technologies to watch
As new commercial actors continue to make drone and satellite technology cheaper and more capable, increasingly sophisticated computer vision and data analysis technologies can be harnessed throughout UAV fleets and satellite constellations.
Opportunities worth taking
Multiple commercial companies are already selling satellite launches as a service, and the cost is decreasing. Satellite data (coupled with location-based data sources) will enable many new approaches to physical asset management, including the planning of predictive maintenance for critical infrastructure. Insurance companies will use location intelligence to map risk and reward when creating flood damage policies, while construction businesses will be able to find and assess land, track construction processes and monitor their portfolios.
Insurance companies can use drones to evaluate property conditions and perform defective property inspections. Satellite data can also supply historical data while investigating damages or natural catastrophes.
The banking industry can deploy dedicated satellites as primary or backup connectivity for ATMs and POS systems. Satellite imagery can be used to assess financial risks and possibilities.
Both drones and satellite data can be used to monitor critical infrastructure for keeping it secure and predict the future maintenance needs. This is becoming more common also for private companies in addition to government facilities.
The measurement and assessment of physical material is more effective when performed from the air than from the ground. Drones can also be used to improve mine security.
Endangered species can be protected by autonomous poacher detection drones and animal tracking. Climate change impact can be assessed from satellite or drone imagery.
Farmers can use drones to gather crop data and automate repetitive tasks.
Autonomous shipping navigation systems will use drone and satellite data to manage traffic and shipping routes. Drones can also inspect ships and monitor emissions at ports.
Footfall metrics can help anticipate demand. Orbital Insight successfully identified a quarterly traffic decrease at Walmart.
Deep-dive into this bet
Total market 2024
Satellite data market value forecasted to increase up to 23.4 billion USD by 2025 (Bloomberg)
Look at these 2024
Methodology: A high-level view gathered from various openly available data sources on market size & compound annual growth rates. To simplify comparison between analysts sources, we’ve removed differences in market details by calculating an estimated average for total market size 2024 and average CAGR for selected time period. This allows us to gain “correct enough estimates”. Unless linked directly to one source, each of our market estimate has included 2-8 sources e.g. WEF, CB Insights, Mordor Intelligence, Markets & Markets, Research & Markets, Grand View Research, PWC, Allied Market Research, McKinsey, Market Watch
Satellite data market value forecasted to increase up to 23.4 billion USD by 2025 (Bloomberg), Data monetisation CAGR 25% to $ 3,8 bn, data protection $ 155 bn, unmanned drones & services $ 43 bn with 24% CAGR.
Top 18 unicorn sniffing smart money VCs, 1376 investments 2018-2020
Source: Crunchbase Pro, accessed: 03/20, research of company description terms between 01/2018-02/2020, investment types: early stage investments by top 18 unicorn sniffing smart money VCs, n=1376 investments
Drones 2%, satellite 1%, security 8%, privacy 4%.
Companies operating in this domain are industry generalists, so there will be a need to tailor data collection and analysis depending on use cases.
The race for ownership and security of space can lead to more surveillance and accessing the objective truth.
There is an ongoing discussion about the proliferation of low earth orbit satellites, with light waste creation a particular point of concern.
There are quite obvious implications for privacy when satellite frequency and sophistication increases.
Autonomous drones are more commonplace, and companies should ensure collisions with humans, animals and critical infrastructure do not happen.
Finnish company offering SAR-data from their own constellation.
Autonomous inspections for utility infrastructure.
Enabling IOT on a global scale.
Integrate earth observation data into your application in minutes.
GeoSpatial analysis: satellite-derived landscape intelligence.
Transforming data from space into actionable intelligence.
Turning geospatial data into insight.
New aerospace actors are offering satellite launches as a service at ever lower price points.
Breakthroughs in autonomous operations - from vertical take-off and landing to flying beyond visual line of sight - continue to be critical for feasibility. At the same time, policy, regulation and ecosystem partnerships will be crucial as the arena continues to expand.
Using video image as a source for identifying, analysing and acting (objects & faces to provide access, personalise, charge, recommend, etc.)
AI/ML Artificial intelligence (AI)
Computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence by using a combination of Machine Learning (ML) toolbox of algorithms and learning rules from data.
A microcontroller unit (a small chip) is embedded with the ability to perform AI/ML computing offline based on sensor inputs without needing a cloud connection.
The 5th generation of wireless technology that operates on a broader set of frequencies than 4G. This enables faster speed and latency in data transfer, as well as uninterrupted connectivity
Indicators of change
Whereas satellite data provides new opportunities for businesses, it also exposes a threat for the society with loose regulations for whom and for which purposes data can be shared & sold for
Societal debate on security risks for digital solutions can turn good intensions into bad outcomes, e.g. The Finance Frontier discussion on Digital Finance and data security Fintech report
As the commercial satellite data is available and affordable for all, the concerns on privacy matters increase
Satellite data provides positive and negative insights on environmental situation, like reducing of pollution in US cities during COVID19
As tens of thousands of satellites sent to orbit, the amount of satellite trash in the orbit is at risk to increase
Space technologies are explored to help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals
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