Executives from various companies in the Earth observation industry have expressed that the need to address climate change presents significant growth potential for their sector. Mo Lin, the Vice President of DFH Satellite, a Chinese spacecraft manufacturer, stated that his company has deployed hundreds of Earth observation satellites primarily focused on optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. However, Lin emphasized that future Earth observation satellites from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) will prioritize climate change, calling for instruments that can detect and monitor greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
Philippe Pham, Senior Vice President at Airbus, echoed this sentiment, stating that climate action is the next frontier for Earth observation. Other companies, including GHGSat from Canada, Absolut Group from France, and Satlantis from Spain, are also actively pursuing the climate change market with dedicated constellations. Pham highlighted the importance of data diversity, cost reduction, faster production schedules, and institutional and commercial momentum to address climate change effectively.
Massimo Comparini from Thales Alenia Space emphasized that partnerships across the space industry would be necessary to miniaturize sensors and unlock their potential for climate monitoring. By injecting innovation, the industry could experience exponential growth over the next five to seven years.
Žilvinas Kvedaravičius, Chief Sales Officer at NanoAvionics, believes that the next few years will bring breakthroughs in Earth observation technology, particularly in the development of new sensors like infrared and thermal imaging. NanoAvionics is already collaborating with younger companies, such as Absolut Group, to advance this field.
Additionally, SpaceX’s plans to develop the colossal Starship rocket and increase launch frequency could result in reduced cost constraints for building larger satellites. Bryan Dean, CEO of Dragonfly Aerospace, highlighted that satellite makers previously matched satellite sizes to launch prices, but with declining launch costs, manufacturers can explore larger satellites with higher resolutions.
While Dragonfly Aerospace remains committed to maximizing performance in smaller packages, the trend in the industry is moving towards larger satellites as launch accessibility improves. Overall, the Earth observation industry sees significant growth potential by addressing climate change and embracing technological advancements.