JUN 12, 2017 6:53 AM PDT

Earth-i Plans to Launch Waves of HD Earth Surveillance Satellites

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

At time progresses, the technology packed into our satellites is doing nothing but getting better, among the things getting better is photo and video surveillance technology.

A firm dubbed Earth-i intends to launch a constellation of satellites into space in coming years that will enable live space-based recording and surveillance of things happening on Earth’s surface. It will reportedly be capable of identifying objects as small as one meter in length and in full color as they move in real-time.

A sample image of what kind of high-resoltuion we might be able to expect from the Earth-i satellite constellation.

Image Credit: 21AT / Earth-i Ltd via BBC

At this level of clarity, perhaps the term "high definition" is an understatement.

While Google Maps can give you similar image resolutions, the images are certainly not live shots of the world, and there’s no live video feed as Earth-i intends to achieve. This is what Earth-i wants to pioneer, and hopes that firms might be willing to pay for such high-quality live information about what’s going on around the world.

Related: Check out these awesome Earth images taken by the GOES-16 satellite

Such technology might be useful for law enforcement, military, or government use. On the other hand, it also has the potential to fall into the wrong hands and become a problematic stalker’s dream tool; imagine just driving down the road and minding your own business while some creep on their computer watches your car move down the highway in real time.

"There is an almost insatiable demand for data from space as people are realising its true value to both their planning and daily operations," Josef Aschbacher, director of Earth observation at the European Space Agency explains.

"Higher resolution image data from commercial organisations is likely to be very valuable either in its own right or when used in conjunction with other data sources including medium-resolution image data such as that provided under the European Copernicus Programme."

A first-generation satellite already exists in space today, as it launched in 2015. Nevertheless, as a first in a series, it wasn't without its quirks. The company took what it learned from the first-generation satellite to greatly improve its second-generation lineup.

The first second-generation Earth-i satellite prototype is expected to launch later in 2017, while bursts of five satellites at a time will continue to launch into space in coming years to support the constellation. The firm plans to launch them in waves so they have surveillance of various parts of the world at all times of the day.

Without a shadow of a doubt, space imaging is getting far more advanced and it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be able to improve our space optics well enough to see even smaller objects from an orbital altitude.

Related: NASA to decommission the legendary Earth-Observing 1 satellite

On the other hand, when do we say ‘enough is enough’ and begin to respect the privacy of those around us? That’s a question we must ask ourselves as we continue to develop these new advanced surveillance technologies.

Source: Daily Mail via BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 06, 2020
Physics in Peril? (Part III) - A Problem at A Cosmic Scale
It is safe to say that astrophysicist Edwin Hubble redefined the universe as we knew back in the early 20th century.&nbs ...
JAN 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 07, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Exoplanets
While most people are familiar with the planets residing in our solar system from lessons taught back in grade school, i ...
JAN 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 21, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX Blew Up a Falcon 9 Rocket in Mid-Air
SpaceX completed a substantial milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program this week, an undertaking that involve ...
MAR 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 09, 2020
What Dragonfly Will Do Upon Arriving At Titan
There’s so much happening by way of Martian exploration that it can be easy to forget all the other missions that ...
APR 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 28, 2020
NASA's Swift Telescope Measured the Water Loss of This Interstellar Comet
When the interstellar comet 2l/Borisov made its first appearance in our solar system, astronomers were quick to turn the ...
MAY 11, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 11, 2020
Hear What Astronauts Think About SpaceX's Upcoming Crewed Launch
On Wednesday, May 27th, NASA will entrust commercial space company SpaceX with the coveted task of flying astronauts to ...
Loading Comments...