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The Space Economy at a Glance 2014

image of The Space Economy at a Glance 2014

The space sector plays an increasingly pivotal role in the functioning of modern societies and their economic development as the use of satellite technology gives rise to new applications, uses and markets. Space Economy at a Glance offers a statistical overview of the global space sector and its contributions to economic activity using data from over 40 countries with space programmes, and identifies new dynamics in the space sector.

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Improved land and sea monitoring

The ubiquitous surveillance capability of satellites is currently applied to monitor food production, international borders and transportation hubs by many countries. These monitoring systems, based on imagery and real-time tracking, combined with other surveillance mechanisms, contribute to detecting and tracking the cascading effects of illegal practices or accidents (e.g. tracking illegal fishing operations; spread of piracy; sea pollution and accidents impacting populated coastal areas (fisheries, tourism and ecosystems). In terms of cost efficiencies, the value of monitoring sea routes has been studied over the years and the benefits from satellite observations and navigation are deemed important. They include improved ship detection over large geographic zones, allowed by the integration of satellite imagery with other tools (e.g., aerial patrols) has brought out efficiencies in commercial shipping thanks to faster transit times (Canada, Norway), as well as a useful deterrent factor for illegal fishing (France) (Table 22.1).

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