Space Agency unveils earth observation roadmap


Laurence Kelson
Contributor

The Australian Space Agency has released its Earth Observation (EO) from Space roadmap, as part of its broader Advancing Space program of activities.

Earth Observation is used to measure and map our environment, providing data on earth’s features, as well as biological and physical properties, measuring changes over time.

The EO roadmap is the second in a series of roadmaps designed around the seven priority areas that the Australian Space Agency has identified as the most important for the Australian space sector.

EO from space is used in agriculture, resource management and natural disaster mitigation. EO also has the potential to be used in a variety of other industries as the technology continues to improve.

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Earth Observation roadmap unveiled

EO data delivers critical information quickly to government, industry and other relevant institutions and individuals. It is an essential tool for Australia, with its 10.2 million square kilometres of ocean and 7.7 million square kilometres of land in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

While Australia is already a sophisticated user of EO from space, it is almost entirely reliant on data provided by international partners.

The head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo says the release of the EO roadmap provided a start to building sovereign capability in the sector.

“Australia is heavily reliant on EO data from the international community. As such, there exists an urgent, growing need for the Australian EO sector to be better positioned to build sovereign capability, particularly for assured access to EO data for Australia’s national needs,” Mr Palermo said.

“These include measuring and mitigating climate change, providing better insights to growing the economy, and meeting particular sovereign capability requirements for defence and meteorology,” he said.

“This roadmap identifies broad pathways to achieve these goals, while its implementation will ultimately strengthen our international relationships, build Australian space manufacturing capability, help meet Australia’s sovereign needs, and create skilled jobs.”

Mr Palermo also outlined the ways in which the ways the EO roadmap falls into the broader Australian Civil Space Strategy.

“In essence, the roadmap provides the vision, ambition and aspirational capability targets to support the growth of a globally respected and thriving industry in Australia consistent with the Australian Space Agency’s mission to triple the size of the national civil space sector to $12 billion and create an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030,” Palermo said.

The global EO market is estimated to be worth US $2.7 trillion and will continue to grow.

The EO roadmap has identified five areas that offer potential opportunities to deliver capabilities and services to the civil EO market.

These areas are Australian EO missions and payloads, data quality assurance and integrity monitoring, enhanced data management, international EO partnership and leadership and access to international data and mission.

The government aims to support growth in the EO sector through investment and coordination. The planned investment includes $6.6 billion from Defence to improve sovereign satellite imagery capabilities, as well as a commitment of more than $800 million to grow the civil space sector.

The EO roadmap is a broader part of the Government’s goal of having a space sector that supports 30,000 jobs and will be worth $12 billion by 2030.

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