The U.S. Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 is badly in need of updating, as the world has changed dramatically in the last 25 years, and so has the commercial remote sensing industry.
The Pentagon has finalized a list of exclusion zones for two types of advanced remote sensing technologies that could help end a long-running logjam for licensing of commercial systems using those techniques.
Facing increasing pressure from both industry and Congress, the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency said the federal government is taking steps to streamline the licensing process for commercial remote sensing satellites.
Earth-i’s new constellation will allow customers to task the onboard imager to gather still or video imagery of targets of interest, capturing videos of 25 to 30 frames per second.
OmniEarth, a company that once planned to launch a constellation of Earth imaging satellites and later shifted into analysis of satellite imagery, has been acquired by another data analytics company, EagleView.
A regulatory system crafted a quarter-century ago is failing to keep up with an evolving commercial remote sensing industry, which companies say is slowing down their efforts to develop new satellite systems and capabilities.
Planet, the San Francisco startup that began building a constellation five years ago to offer frequently updated Earth imagery, took a major step towards achieving that goal March 10 when it unveiled Planet Explorer Beta, an online geospatial data tool.
Astro Digital, a remote sensing company developing both its own satellite constellation and an analytics platform for that imagery, said March 2 it has raised $16.65 million to accelerate the company’s plans.
Rumors began circulating in December that two leaders in the small satellite Earth imaging field were on the brink of deal, when employees of Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Terra Bella began visiting the offices of San Francisco-based Planet. Although the two companies have not confirmed an agreement, Bloomberg reported Jan. 9 that Planet was in talks to acquire Terra Bella, the Mountain View, California company formerly known as Skybox Imaging.
Members of a House committee and a group of industry witnesses used a Sept. 7 hearing to criticize delays and uncertainty in commercial remote sensing licensing as well as “slow-rolling” of a report on the issue required by law.
Investor enthusiasm remains strong for companies that provide information drawn from Earth observation satellites, judging by $20 million in new investments for geospatial data company Orbital Insight.
As the commercial satellite imaging industry grows, it is worth revisiting what principles should guide the approach that government takes to regulate it.
There is a renaissance occurring in the aerospace community, and the way governments respond in the next couple of years may set the stage for what could be the next new industry.