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Earth Observation Commercial Data Market Remains Strong Despite Slowdown in 2011
by Staff Writers
Montreal, Canada (SPX) Oct 17, 2012

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According to Euroconsult's latest research report Satellite-Based Earth Observation: Market Prospects to 2021,the market for commercial Earth observation (EO) data slowed significantly in 2011 with growth of 6% to $1.4 billion following five years of strong growth of over 20% from 2006 to 2010. The primary factor for this decrease in percentage was the stabilization in U.S. defense data procurement following the awards of the Enhanced View contracts by the NGA to DigitalGlobe and GeoEye.

This, however, disguises significant growth in further applications and regions. In particular, data sales to international defense continue to grow strongly, reaching a value of $400 million in 2011. Sectors such as engineering, infrastructure and location-based services also continue to develop. The commercial data markets in South-East Asia, Latin America, Russia and CIS are all experiencing high growth rates. With these drivers supporting the industry, commercial data sales are forecasted to reach $3.9 billion by 2021."

EO industry advances in a challenging economic environment
Over the next 10 years, 288 satellites are expected to be launched for EO and meteorology purposes, compared to 149 satellites launched over the previous decade. This escalation will increase data supply and provide opportunities for satellite manufacturers.

Government investment to support the majority of these satellites is greater than ever (despite a challenging economic environment) in order to support global objectives, such as climate change and environmental monitoring, or as in the case of emerging EO programs to support local industry development and meet local demand for data.

"Even though governments are facing tightening budgets, progress is still seen at each level of the value chain, incorporating manufacturing, launch, data and services," said Adam Keith, Director of Earth Observation at Euroconsult. "Government investment in 2011 reached a record high of $6.7 billion, with mounting investment from emerging programs."

Significant potential manufacturing revenues from emerging programs
Revenues generated through manufacturing EO (non-meteorology) satellites will total $24.3 billion from 2012-2021, representing a 34% increase over the previous decade. Although the majority of these revenues are associated with leading government EO programs with an established industry, an increasing number of units from emerging and commercial programs will provide export opportunities.

This is salient with delays and budget concerns in key programs in Europe and the U.S., potentially impacting the industrial base. American industry in particular could see a decline in EO manufacturing revenues over the next decade, with pressure rising to modify export control regulations.

In total, 30% of EO satellites are scheduled to be launched from emerging and developing programs in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East over 2012 to 2021. A key to program development in emerging regions is technology transfer or localization with existing manufacturers as countries seek to establish and develop a space industry.

Satellite-Based Earth Observation: Market Prospects to 2021 is the only report providing industry forecasts, assessment of business opportunities and analysis of the entire value chain for this growing segment of the satellite industry. Now in its 5th edition, it is required reading for stakeholders currently involved in Earth observation or those looking to the segment for growth opportunities.


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Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 16, 2012
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