A key premise behind new solutions is the opening of the Earth observation market to more end users across further sectors; the idea of more customers paying for lower-cost solutions that are increasingly responsive to their needs targets an opening up of the business-to-business market.
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National defense is widely recognized as the primary market for the commercial Earth observation data (EO) sector of the satellite industry. While leading government programs have a clear mandate for environment monitoring missions, defense and military agencies are by far the first customers for commercial EO data. However, for the collection and distribution of commercial EO data to truly emerge as a commercial enterprise, the push will need to come from the private sector and foreign governments. A “killer application” that causes a sudden surge in demand may never emerge. But a steadily increasing uptake of both EO data and services usage across a range of commercial sectors and regions will allow the market to develop.