Small satellites have the potential to rapidly provide a variety of data types over an area of interest. Multiple proliferated small satellite constellations offer data which is accessible to anyone with internet and a credit card. The US government is seeking technologies to analyze data from various space-based sensors (including but not limited to Visual, Hyperspectral, RF, and large-scale media). This data can be provided nearly persistently over a large portion of the Earth enabling access to data that can be distilled into pattern of life information. Solutions should be capable of processing and analyzing data from two or more aforementioned sensor types and generate solutions that identify changes in behaviors over the area of interest.
The CubeSat standard has enabled a whole new opportunity to space access and subsequently new business ventures. Many companies are utilizing small satellites to provide data from space as a service or incorporating this capability directly into their business model. Access to the data from these space-based platform is relatively easy; requiring nothing more than internet and a credit card. This data has the potential for us to determine pattern of life and behavioral modifications of these patterns which enable us to understand impact of economy and environment.
Human Aid & Disaster Relief (HADR) response activities are generally vastly under-resourced because information is lacking or unavailable to appropriately estimate the impact. Space-based sensors could support in preparing for disaster relief situation by providing critical information such as number of people affected, where they are coming from, and type of aid that may be required. Data aggregation could aid in preparation by adjudicating types and amount of logistical support that may be required such as medical, food, and shelter preparations. Furthermore, respective countries may prepare long term planning based on these estimations, including housing, education, or career projects.
Charlene Jacka, AFRL