Drop the word “drone” into a conversation, and you’re sure to get some sort of response. The topic is incredibly relevant and has permeated the public discourse in recent years. Drop the word “satellite,” and you may hear crickets.
Satellites have been around a long time, but the two technologies can work surprisingly in tandem as part of a complete aerial data solution. Look no farther than our recent acquisition of TerraServer.
On April 17, 2000, TerraServer became the first company to publicly release satellite imagery online. The result? A major Internet provider crashed for over 12 hours.
Fast-forward 15 years, and the public is still hungry for aerial imagery. However, this time, drones are the hot topic. Will this introduction of new technology indicate a lesser need for satellite imagery?
In the same way that you may need both a fixed-wing and quadcopter UAV based on the required application, we believe that drone and satellite technologies have the potential to team up to immediately identify environmental and structural changes over time. This opens up a data fusion of previously unavailable and unexpected products, including new methods of analyzing land and water at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
TerraServer’s satellite imagery across multiple sensor classes combined with PrecisionHawk’s range of UAV sensors will provide users with something truly unique.
How can this help solve real-world problems?
As with any disaster, immediate surveys are needed to evaluate damage. The faster this happens, the more time, money and even lives can be saved. Here at our headquarters in Raleigh, NC, we are unfortunately familiar with the wrath of a powerful hurricane and see the huge upside potential for this type of data analysis.
A drone can capture aerial data in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Then, using TerraServer satellite imagery for comparison, companies could detect changes and develop response strategies quicker than ever before. But, this is just one example. We believe this will be a major step forward in quantifying change detection across applications.
Satellite imagery is not a forgotten fad. Its applications are still incredibly valuable, even as we embrace new aerial imaging technologies. Follow Terraserver on social media channels to learn more about its offerings and capabilities!