Along with the 20th century, the 21st century continues to be a century of incredible discoveries and significant technological innovations. These are not just technologies that are developing somewhere in laboratories, far from the eyes of ordinary people. We use them every day, for example, artificial intelligence in our smart speakers or the iPhone, which can almost completely replace a computer for us while fitting in our pocket.
Of course, we cannot say that the same thing happened with satellites because we cannot say that every second or third person on Earth has his satellite, which helps them work and carry out daily activities. However, satellite data is significant in various areas of human activity, including those who use satellite in farming and those who are engaged in forestry or environmental protection.
While machine learning and artificial intelligence are attracting the attention of scientists and engineers, and common people, a revolution has occurred in the production and use of satellites that few people have talked about or thought about. However, we have a result that everyone is using, namely a massive amount of data and satellite images. Computers that used to be the size of a wardrobe are now transformed into smartphones, but what about satellites? Their cost was measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. One satellite was the size of a garbage truck. Now the price of a satellite rarely exceeds 1 million and is often closer to a bedside table or even a shoebox.
The number of satellites has increased significantly as their cost and size have decreased. The number of satellites in operation has grown by almost one and a half thousand since 2015. In addition, last year, SpaceX began deploying Starlink satellites, which are used to transmit the Internet to rural areas.
Satellites in Farming
Satellite data gives farmers the ability to quickly and deeply assess the health of their plants and develop an effective management strategy. In addition, satellites in farming makes it much easier to document agricultural procedures and record events due to monitoring. Thirty years ago, it took about three months to preprocess a satellite image. This procedure now takes 24 hours.
How satellites can help farmers? Satellite technologies can help identify imbalances in growing conditions within a specific area. The bird’s eye view gives you the ability to identify the stress zones of the yield and then convert that data into an app map. Today, we can get fresh satellite imagery for free or at an affordable price.
As for the ways to work with satellite data, there are only three of them. Mapping involves searching for patterns, as well as identifying and classifying objects. Classification of the cultures has long been the main application of mapping. Scientists and governmental organizations have used this, since growers already know what they have in their fields.
The second way is measurement. Scientists created complex models that are used to determine surface properties. This way of using satellite data is known to us as the NDVI index, due to which, we see how plants reflect and absorb light waves of different lengths. That is, we can see variations in field conditions that are likely related to environmental conditions.
Monitoring is one more way to use satellite data for agriculture. Using the data, we observe various activities in the fields and the changes associated with them. These activities include irrigation, planting, and harvesting. In the long term, monitoring over time provides an opportunity to assess the impact of land use on the environment and climate change.
Satellite broadband makes it possible to connect to the network using LEO or geostationary satellites that transmit data at very high speeds. Satellite communication offers a wide range of functions, but it also has technical limitations. They can provide an Internet speed of about 0.5 Mbps, and for the user, the rate is limited to 80 Kbps. Commercial, public, non-profit organizations offer broadband satellite communication services. They also provide advanced networking and communications solutions for customers in various industries, including government and corporate, as well as aviation.
The demand for corporate networks and consumer broadband will drive the satellite broadband market. Also, this development will be carried out in connection with the need for high-performance communications in such industries as aviation and shipping. According to experts, the widespread use of high-bandwidth satellites for broadband communications and doubling the bandwidth will be the driving force behind the growth of this market.
Benefits of the Satellite Communications
Satellite communication has many advantages and their potential will continue to unfold in the coming years. For example, satellite transmission provides a wider geographical area, especially for sparsely populated areas. In addition, it has a high throughput. This type of communication can also be used in a wide range of applications: from private business networks to navigation and TV broadcasts. Moreover, these functions are carried out regardless of the location. Encoding and decoding are responsible for the security of satellite transmission. Satellite communications are easy to install and cheap to maintain.
In addition, satellite communications are an essential aspect of the development of the Internet of Things. In many large cities around the world, administrations are taking advantage of IoT capabilities. Intelligent systems in cities help to allocate better and use resources and improve energy efficiency. Thus, cities become not only more comfortable to live in, but also more resilient. However, terrestrial networks do not work everywhere, and it is precisely due to satellite communications that smart networks can be expanded. Furthermore, terrestrial networks can be costly to deploy to ubiquitous installations, while satellite communications are a more affordable alternative.
In the future, IoT assumes that interconnected entities will exchange data to improve efficiency and speed up decision-making. So with the advent of the Internet of Things, the demand for high-speed broadband is growing as it is necessary to support bandwidth-intensive applications in real-time. At the same time, IoT is expected to stimulate the integration of satellites into the communications system and develop the market.