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Qualitative, timely data key to commercialisation of space: Leaders

Leaders gather at 'World Space-Biz conference during BSX 2010.

BANGALORE (BNS): With an increasing shift of space technology applications in larger social interests, commercialisation of space has become a demanding aspect.

Space-based satellites and related-applications are being used to provide data and images on innumerable areas including infrastructure, meteorology, climate, oceanography, land resources and bio-diversity resources of a country.

As the demand for such services are growing, providing the customers with qualitative, accurate and timely data has become the demand of the day, according to scientists and market leaders gathered at BSX-2010 here.

The participants were deliberating on the ’Commercialisation of Space – Remote Sensing Applications and Value Addition’ during the World Space-Biz conference on Thursday.

“As improved space technology has shifted focus to a number of value-based applications, data to the customers should be available at nominal cost,” said R R Navalgund, Director, Space Application Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Such data, according to him, should be qualitative, timey and easily accessible and have inter-operability (shared with other interested countries).

About the cost of satellite imagery, Tom Smitch, an official of Geoeye, a US-based company that provides such imagery to a number of customers, said that his company sells them at $500 million or more.

The cost, according to him, depends on who is paying for the satellite and orbiting it in outer space. “The demand is more for archived images,” Smitch said, adding that Geoeye sells its satellite images to oil and gas, agriculture, real estate and other government organizations among others.
As high-resolution images are breaking new grounds, the international space industry should join together to cater to the larger public demands, Brett Davis of Digital Globe said.


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