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Combining Platforms for Battlefield Awareness and Monitoring

Defense and intelligence agencies also rely on remote sensing satellites to provide images to increase awareness of a battlefield, target, or national border. The military uses both UAVs and satellites as platforms for these sensors, and these systems may include aerial cameras, Earth-orbiting multi-spectral sensors, and imaging radar systems.

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Drone Control and Battlefield Communications

Greater biotechnology research and manufacturing is among the far-term prospects (20-30 years) for space enterprise, given more affordable access and orbital platforms. However, there are several current applications of biotechnology to space science and exploration, including research efforts in food production, microbial ecology in closed space habitats, and sensors for monitoring astronauts’ health.

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Medical Research in a Microgravity Environment

Greater biotechnology research and manufacturing is among the far-term prospects (20-30 years) for space enterprise, given more affordable access and orbital platforms. However, there are several current applications of biotechnology to space science and exploration, including research efforts in food production, microbial ecology in closed space habitats, and sensors for monitoring astronauts’ health.

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Closely Monitoring Diseases from Far Away

The use of satellite monitoring for infectious diseases supports the recent increase in funding and support for environmental diseases by organizations such as the UN Global Fund, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Satellite Communication Backup for Emergency Care

Many hospitals use satellite communication networks as back-up in case terrestrial line service is interrupted or in case of problems with the power grid. For instance, ## acute care hospitals in Connecticut use a system dubbed MedSat for such cases.

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The Promise of Space-enabled Telemedicine

Space enables a variety of health and biotechnology applications including telemedicine, tracking of disease and allergy vectors, and biotechnology research. The OECD notes that telemedicine is one of the most promising applications of space telecommunication services. Trends of increased mobility and transport costs, along with military interest, are cited as demand drivers for space-enabled telemedicine.

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Toll Booths Getting the Boot?

Europe is considering satellite navigation to enable an elimination of toll booths and increase road safety. The EU Commission envisions a toll system based on satellite navigation and mobile telecommunications systems. Galileo is intended to be the backbone of this “pay-as-you- drive” system.

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Growth in Earth Observation

Monitoring and managing land use via remote sensing satellites is likely to be increasingly important for local governments. Remote sensing data has been used for population estimation since 1960, but the methodology of modeling population and population density accurately is still the subject of academic discussion. Since restrictions in the United States were lifted in the mid-90s, the potential for further development exists for the commercial remote sensing industry.

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Learning Lessons From Disasters for Space Applications

As expressed by the OECD, space can make a valuable contribution to the challenges that may face our societies and governments in the future. Space platforms can monitor air pollution and greenhouse gases for assessment and management, as well as natural disasters, enabling effective responses. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showcased the use of satellite capabilities for disaster management, communications, monitoring, and search and rescue.

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Law Enforcement Increases Use of GPS Products

In addition to fleet management, police officers regularly use GPS systems. Florida, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma recently passed laws requiring lifetime electronic monitoring for individuals who have committed certain crimes. A combination of an electronic anklet and a GPS transmitter allows officers to respond immediately if a convict enters an area which is off limits.

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