THE GROWING ROLE OF SPACE IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND NAVIGATION

The Growing Role of Space in Earth Observation and Navigation

The Growing Role of Space in Earth Observation and Navigation

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The European space industry features a highly successful reputation building and operating satellites, spanning nearly Fifty years. In recent years, the tactic has evolved to produce larger programmes with greater ambitions than was possible before. This trend has suffered some difficulties, so why are collaborations like Galileo and GMES proving difficult?

Looking beneath the covers of both programmes reveals that similar challenges have arisen mainly from complexity, interest in products and funding with the development programme, as well as the first time, both ESA and the EC have setup satellite programmes built to compete on the Russian Launch and have been looking to the private sector to co-fund them.



GMES and Galileo are the first two European space programmes where commercial considerations have been taken into account from the outset. Both may very well be systems of systems which need the development of a small business case, a feasible implementation plan with different thorough comprehension of the underlying complexity plus an optimisation of the investment - finally translating technical excellence into real-world benefits to serve an increasing market.

Both focus on providing Europe with independent access to information, and so are important assets for global co-operation and partnership - either included in a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) or inside the frame of your Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Are both engines for European innovation and economic growth and need to be successful in order to guarantee the long-term success in European industrial, economic and social endeavour.

So, how could these programmes be approached so that you can maximise their effectiveness? The Galileo and GMES programmes both produce “interim products”, made to be given to specialist companies who increase the value of them to derive operational services for end-users. It is these end-users - the actual customers - that drive the whole supply chain. Without them, there is no part of launching the satellites to start with.

These specialist companies typically have their own product strategy and good knowledge of the commercial and competitive landscape around them. They should establish the need for being involved with such a programme and should be confident with the technical and commercial path in front of them. To get this done they have generally planned their developments through road maps, which show how the proposed new services and services squeeze into their own corporate plans and to meet the evolving demands of the wider market.

For typically small , specialised companies, to construct an investment case requires a good look at the market, confidence in sustainable demand and where time-to-market is relatively long, an origin of interim funding to aid their activity. Having enjoyed a 30-year heritage within the design and operation of space programmes, VEGA is really a company who has been closely a part of the specification and receiving the interim products, and focus on Galileo and GMES has led to an ever-closer involvement using the end-user suppliers - the so-called “downstream” market. Due to their involvement, the organization believes there are three important steps that the institutional bodies should think about in order to make Galileo and GMES successful.

Firstly, there must be a sustainable demand pattern. The EC and national governments are essential users of end-products for your implementation of these policies. They can help to develop a framework where a sustainable market can emerge by federating their particular demand. If they'd like to consolidate their requirements, make them clear to industry, and give a clear indication of the volumes required and also the amount they are prepared to pay, it'll be much easier for industry to plan investment and capacity building.

Secondly, cash-flow noisy . stages of the programme is important to long-term success. The institutions can offer interim funding by means of R&D programmes, or even more directly by means of contracts for services as early as possible. This could follow the example of the US who's placing a number of contracts for earth observation data.

Finally, since a space-based reply to the end-users’ requirements may not be the only approach, a professional communication and marketing strategy should be applied in order to build awareness and acceptance through managed brand identities for Europe’s space programmes. This campaign would target both application developers and end-users.

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