In recent years, a big increase in private investments and robust government support in space are fueling rapid innovations and expansion of the ecosystem. Looking ahead, we believe the convergence of AI (AI) and machine learning (ML) with other innovations is one of the foremost disruptive technology trends. AI is transforming the whole space ecosystem, from manufacturing to in-orbit operations like collision avoidance and optimization of spectral efficiency. AI on-board converting would allow more timely delivery of insights from space. This is often transforming not just the space industry but is additionally revolutionizing global enterprises and government operations. Even the Pentagon has announced AI national importance and is seeking partnerships with tech giants and startups to accelerate AI adoption across all operations.
Drowning in Data, But this is often Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Until recently, space was controlled by governments using large and expensive charming satellites. But now the satellite industry has significantly lower barriers to entry with the onset of the smallsat revolution which is driving an explosion of latest data with higher resolution and revisit. Additionally, growing drone fleets, Internet of Things (IoT) and new sensors are collecting ever more data of the world that it's become humanly impossible to manage, including analysis. With on the brink of 1,500 new earth observation (EO) small satellites expected to be launched within the coming years, the explosion of knowledge we are currently experiencing is simply the start. This is often added to the 400 plus small sats already launched by startups like Planet and Spire over the last five years.
New Sensors are forcing Even More Data and New Applications
New sensors like Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Hyperspectral, Infrared, Automated Identification System and frequency (RF) Sensing are delivering new data sets to enrich traditional optical imagery, enabling new commercial applications through advanced analytics. SAR, unlike optical, can capture imagery altogether weather, in the dark and thru clouds. SAR startups include ICEYE, Capella, and Umbra Lab, etc. Hyperspectral imaging is often wont to find objects and identify materials with applications in oil and gas, mining, and agriculture. Startups building appearance constellations are Satellogic, NorthStar Earth & Space and HyperSat. Infrared or thermal imaging is complementary to other sensors; SatelliteVU, ConstelIR, and Koolock are building IR constellations for meteorology, environmental monitoring, and defense applications.