Report: Countries conceal surveillance programs through Earth Observation

Report: Countries conceal surveillance programs through Earth Observation


France: According to a report by Euroconsult, countries with huge defence and surveillance needs are creating new opportunities from space technologies alongside Earth Observation. The news, however, is not very surprising considering the growing tensions in the world.

“Only six countries launched dedicated EO defence capacity over 2006-2015; this number is not expected to differ greatly moving into the next decade,” said Adam Keith, Managing Director of Euroconsult Canada and editor of the report. “Only a few new entrants (such as the UAE) are expected, as the high costs and technical know-how to develop and maintain capacity capable of submetric/high geolocation accuracy imaging is an inhibiting factor.”

The report further suggests, a sum of four countries launched dual-use Satellites (implying mixed defence & civil: financing & usage), spreading the costs across multiple government departments. Not just that, several other dual-use systems are expected to be launched over the next decade.

Countries like Peru, Morocco and Spain; in total, 80 defence/dual-use satellites (discounting U.S. classified programs) are expected to be launched over 2016-2025, a marginal increase over that of the previous decade.

Although market for defence satellites is historically closed, several countries are exploring dual-use/defence options with a limited national satellite manufacturing capability, which is causing emergence to the export market.

As with the civil domain, technology transfer remains a component, however the focus is on obtaining an autonomous IMINT capability rather than first developing a national manufacturing industry. National pride and the “neighborhood effect” are further factors when taking the decision to invest in a defence EO system.

Source: Military Tech