Commercial observation satellites promise to broaden substantially the sources of imagery data available to potential users of geospatial data and related information products. We examine the new trend toward private firms acquiring and operating high-resolution imagery satellites. These commercial observation satellites build on the substantial experience in Earth observation operations provided by government-owned imaging satellites for civilian and military purposes. However, commercial satellites will require governments and companies to reconcile public and private interests in allowing broad public access to high-resolution satellite imagery data without creating national security risks or placing the private firms at a disadvantage compared with other providers of geospatial data.
John C. Baker,
Kevin M. O'Connell,
Jose A. Venzor,
"Commercial observation satellites: broadening the sources of geospatial data," Optical Engineering 41(9), (1 September 2002). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.1495855