Grich's World of GIS

Comments on ArcGIS and the industry

Location: Portland, Oregon

I have been in the Geographic Information Systems industry since graduating with a BS in Geography from Portland State Univ in 1994. Geography is COOL!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Micro Satellites

Micro Satellites are small commercial satellites, made for smaller, third world countries that can't afford their own satellite program or one of those big mambo satellites that takes detailed, multi spectral images of the world every 12 hours.
There was an article Imaging Notes, but they don't have this month's articles up yet. I don't know when they do; probably when the next issue comes out, right?
From the beginning, Surrey Space Technologies, Limited (SSTL) has struck out on a very different course from those (larger satellite) companies, successfully marketing its concept of an inexpensive Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) to Algeria, Nigeria, and Turkey. Together with the U.K. owned Topsat smallsat, these four satellites can image the entire world every day in three spectral bands at 32 meter resolution.
But that's not all.
Part of SSTL's success is its provision of considerable technological know-how to these countries. Technicians from the customer countries work alongside SSTL engineers, learning how to build and operate smallsats, to operate the control software and systems and to use the data for applications in their counties.
Very interesting. SSTL, as well as the other company currently competing with them, SunSpace in South Africa.
SunSpace is an interesting story, as the satellite and space profession and academic world was doing well before apartheid ended. The connections to the old government have, politically, made continuing efforts difficult.