Why DigitalGlobe Wants Approval for Higher Resolution Imagery; Pressure Mounts Internationally

apb.directionsmag.com  May 24, 2014

According to a report by Reuters, DigitalGlobe finance chief Yancey Spruill sees a large untapped market for higher spatial resolution imagery. Nearly a year ago, DigitalGlobe appealed to NOAA to lift the 50cm spatial resolution restriction on its imagery so that it can produce images with a 25cm resolution. Currently, DigitalGlobe collects imagery with greater spatial resolution than 50cm but must resample the raw pixels to the allowable limit.

“There is a market opportunity with a roughly $400 million addressable market that we cannot participate in today because of the regulatory regime of our government,” Spruill said.

The pressure is on government regulators to let DigitalGlobe compete in a growing market of satellite imagery from both domestic startups to international providers, some supported with heavy government funding. Yesterday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-2A series earth observation system. According to The Asahi Shibum:

Using advanced radar technology, the Daichi-2 is expected to contribute significantly to Earth observation sciences, monitor disasters and explore for natural resources.

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