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As a committed member of the EO Community, at EARSC we are convinced that the inherent value in satellite data is very high. Indeed, the European policy makers would not have invested €7b in Copernicus if they did not think so also! But is this really true?

Readers may be familiar with the 3 cases which we studied and published last year which showed that this conviction is true! We took a new approach to analysing the question and came up with some interesting answers as well as defining a new methodology. Now I am happy to say we are starting a second round of cases; if you have any suggestions we would be pleased to hear from you.

The first case studied the value of SAR imagery as an aid to “Winter Navigation in the Baltic”. The icebreakers use Sentinel 1 imagery directly to help plan their course as they lead ships through the ice to their destination port. The time saved, the greater certainty of goods arriving or leaving factories and shops all help the local community. By our calculations, the benefit to Finland and Sweden is between €24m and €116m each year!

The second case studied the value for “Forestry in Sweden”. This found that maps produced using Sentinel 2 imagery help the local owners of parcels of forest land, improve the cultivation of timber. Better quality and quantity of timber is increasing the value to the Swedish economy and the Sentinel data is contributing between €16m and €21m each year.

Finally, the third case looked at the use of ground deformation mapping as an aid to improved “Infrastructure Monitoring in the Netherlands”. Knowing where the ground has moved helps the local pipeline companies distributing gas and water to act before critical damage occurs. This helps the companies develop value of between €15m and €18m per annum.

We are pleased that EARSC has now been awarded a further contract by ESA to analyse more cases. We already have a good list of potential ones but we should love to have more! Each case must make some use of Sentinel data and be operational so that there is a regular use of the products and services.

If you can propose cases that are selected for analysis then a prize awaits!

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