This imagery is from the world’s first commercially available, real-time HD video satellite system. Watch it.
The footage, from Skybox Imaging‘s SkySat-1 micro-satellite, is as mesmerising as the implications are powerful.
In a blog post this week, John Clark of SkyBox wrote:
Businesses can, for the first time, monitor a network of globally distributed assets with full-motion snapshots without needing to deploy an aircraft or field team. The movement captured in these short video windows, up to 90 seconds in length, yields unique insights that improve operational decisions.
Skybox’s vision is to “leverage timely satellite data to provide insight into daily global activity.”
Digital cartographers are figuring out ways to use the new source of geospatial data, but simply being able to watch the world in real-time is profound.
What the insights are, and who benefits from it, has not been seen yet. No one outside the military has ever been able to access data like this. Theoretically, one could follow individual people from space.
Nevertheless, the potential in industries like agriculture, airports, asset monitoring, security, supply chain management, nuclear plants is vast.
The technology is cutting edge. The company asked: “What’s the smallest box I can fit something of real commercial value into?”
The challenge is that space assets are traditionally extremely valuable, extremely expensive, and extremely risky.
So the next technological frontier for quality imaging from space involves systems that can both capture data of high enough quality (resolution) to show economic activity and be cost-effective enough to deploy in large numbers (timeliness).
And Skybox thinks they have nailed it:
On November 21, Skybox launched SkySat-1 into orbit:
Here’s another video of the real-time HD imagery: