Satellite technology has long become an essential part of our daily routines, with the cost of satellite imagery and satellite launches steadily decreasing. This, in turn, means that ever more businesses and organizations can access satellite data and imagery. Mostly thanks to CubeSat camera technology, it remains one of the most functional and cost-efficient solutions when analysing space data and providing a whole range of business insights. And even though finance has traditionally been a relatively conservative niche, today’s financial industry does not lag behind when it comes to space tech and innovation. But how do businesses use satellite imagery, exactly? Check out some of the most relevant applications of satellites in finance below.
CubeSat Cameras for Monitoring Changes in Economic Landscapes
Even though CubeSat cameras have made their debut in environmental monitoring, satellite imagery available today eventually made its way into finance. With the help of CubeSat camera images, companies can access relevant data on current economic growth in a given region. A simple analysis of lighted areas at night can provide valuable insights into how fast a specific region is developing. CubeSat cameras collect information on business-populated sites, their concentration, and, of course, regional development timelines.
Of course, this correlation between night lights and economic growth is not always that straightforward, but it does give finance institutions a better insight into the economic prospects of a specific region. Besides, CubeSat camera imagery analysis helps evaluate any consequential damage due to natural disasters, military conflicts, or pandemics. With all of this information combined, financiers can have an actionable plan, with careful estimates of potential gains and losses, for developing given regions.
Observation and Analysis of Retail Chain Performance
CubeSat cameras can ensure next to real-time observation of retail chains’ performance by collecting and analysing imagery from parking lots. Walmart was one of the first major retail chains to grasp this CubeSat cameras opportunity, which provided the company with the most relevant information about its prospective sales — simply by analysing the number of parked cars across different venues. But even before the major retailer started using CubeSat cameras for observing its top visiting hours and predicting sales, Walmart was one of the first chains to use its own satellite network for communications with the head office back in the 1980s. Certainly, today, satellite communication is not a new idea, but even now, not every retail chain analyses CubeSat camera images for sales forecasting. Still, it certainly looks like more businesses will pick up this trend — traditionally, following in the pioneers’ footsteps.
Enhanced CubeSat Camera Possibilities for Commercial Agriculture
Another relatively new application of satellite data for finance is yield forecast in commercial agriculture. Until the spread of CubeSat camera imagery, small and large farmers had to rely on data provided by large, government-owned satellites like Sentinel. Those, however, could not fully accommodate the relevant agricultural needs; neither could they provide custom analytics on yield, soil conditions, and the necessity for an on-site inspection. Today, CubeSat cameras make it possible — with another important ‘side-effect’ for the finance industry. Data on soil conditions and yield forecasts can be valid proof for loan applications. This, in turn, gives farmers a chance not only to predict their own profits but also to qualify for more considerable loans. At the same time, banks and investors get all the relevant information about applicants’ credibility, which also minimizes their risks.
Real-Time Supply Chain Tracking with CubeSat Cameras
Analyzing global supply chain performance is one of the most important insights finance institutions can benefit from. With CubeSat cameras and imagery, businesses can observe and track the location of their shipping containers at sea or on land. Besides, a more global analysis of existing shipping routes can help optimize shipping costs and timelines. But do CubeSat have cameras that truly guarantee real-time tracking? The short answer is yes, even though a minor degree of delay is still inevitable with CubeSat camera technology. The degree of this delay will largely depend on what camera is used in the CubeSat, but most returned results still can be considered close to real-time. So, CubeSat camera technology offers a way quicker insight into all relevant information about cargo location than any other tracking method used before.
Complete Intelligence on the Energy Industry
The energy industry, particularly oil and mining, remains one of the highest-revenue financial niches. However, due to increased environmental initiatives, oil companies tend to disclose as little information about their environmental impact as is legally possible. So, using third-party CubeSat cameras can potentially kill two birds with one stone — get relevant information about any enterprise’s environmental footprint and provide the most accurate insights about a business’s trading potential.
Of course, such use of CubeSat cameras remains in a morally and legally ‘grey’ zone, so it is no wonder that such satellite applications have their opponents. However, one should not forget that modern technology, CubeSat cameras, in particular, keep blurring the lines between public and private information. So, whether oil businesses like it or, they will have to get used to the fact that Big Brother is watching — over CubeSat cameras. Investors and Wall Street representatives, however, will gradually enjoy more and more access to information that would have been considered private a decade ago — via the same CubeSat cameras.
Takeaway: CubeSat Cameras Offer Enhanced Visibility of Investment Opportunities
With all of the above CubeSat camera uses in mind, one cannot but come to the conclusion that the investment, banking, and finance sector already has more opportunities to access relevant data on actual industry and retail trends. For better or worse, the change is already there, and it gives both business owners and investors a chance to accurately analyze potential profits, losses, and investment opportunities.
Of course, the uses of satellite imagery in finance do not stop here because they keep evolving every day. The above examples list already proven approaches to using CubeSat cameras in the finance industry, but more innovative ideas will surely follow. What do you think the next CubeSat camera application will be?