Topic 8

Satellites you use them every day 

 14 October 2020 16:30 - 19:00 CET

Satellites you use them every day 

Information coming from satellites touches each of our lives in many different ways. Whether as a farmer managing their crops or reducing their use of pesticides, as a driver finding your way to an unknown destination and driving along improved and safer roads, or simply as a householder benefiting from a more secure gas connection, everybody is benefiting in sometimes unexpected ways. These are just a few examples; there are many more.

In this topic we shall discuss how observing satellites are transforming the way we live in ways which are largely unknown. We’ll show how they are benefiting all of us from decision makers in government and industry, to engineers and farmers working with the land, to ship’s captains’ navigating through ice and storms, to you and me and the safety of our families. We shall discuss the multiple ways in which we are benefiting, and we shall look at ways to quantify this.

The wide range of applications of satellite data and hence the markets which are addressed brings exciting opportunities for businesses. There are over 650 companies in Europe offering to meet the needs of the market and the number is growing steadily. Overall, the sector is growing at a rate of 10% each year both in revenues and employment. Many new companies are being formed each year right across Europe. Finding employees with the right skills is becoming an issue and potentially a brake on the sector development. We shall discuss what particular skills are needed by the key players in the sector.


Geoff Sawyer

Strategic advisor to the board of EARSC

Geoff is a strategic advisor to the board of EARSC having been, until recently the Secretary General of EARSC since 2011. Geoff has driven the development of the Association into the widely-known and well-regarded organisation it is today. During his long and varied career, Geoff has held senior management positions in the space industry with Astrium / EADS / Airbus as well as numerous representative positions in the UK and Europe. In his early career, Geoff was the radar systems designer for ERS-1 and Envisat and later became vice-president for the space strategy for EADS (now Airbus). He was previously a director of EARSC for 12 years during which he was chairman for 6 years from 1991 to 1997.  He spent 3 years working for the European Commission where he was responsible for supporting space policy and, in particular, the creation of the GMES (now Copernicus) initiative. Geoff is very well known to many in the space and earth observation sectors and brings this deep wealth of experience and knowledge to support the ambitions of the geo-information industry that EARSC represents.


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