Climate change, resource management, international security, and the other great challenges of our era call for global thinking and action. Space applications like Earth observation, satellite communication, and satellite navigation play a crucial part in addressing these tasks of the future:
To improve our ability to predict global developments, we need more and better information about certain processes on Earth. Earth observation satellites provide a technology that can be employed with precision on an ongoing basis and generally works without disruption.
Modern information and communication technologies have brought on change not only economically but also in a technical dimension, in that they have facilitated the acquisition and distribution of information. Operating independently of terrestrial networks, satellite communication is capable of delivering information to the remotest locations. Its advantage lies in its ability to provide nearly complete global coverage by geostationary satellites.
Navigation and positioning applications in the areas of transport, logistics, and leisure provide numerous sectors of the economy with precise positioning data. For the future, civil aviation and notably the European air traffic control authorities are pinning their hopes on satellite navigation in general and on Galileo, the European satellite navigation system, in particular. Intermodal road and rail traffic management systems based on Galileo have entered their planning phase.
The use of Earth observation as well as satellite communication and navigation services has come to be taken for granted. They have turned out to be a source for economic prosperity and national security as well as providing everyday convenience for citizens. Integrating space applications into entirely novel services constitutes an attractive field of business for the private sector and particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The OECD report entitled 'The Space Economy at a Glance 2011' highlights the role of space applications as a prime mover for further economic development. The Space Administration supports the expansion of existing capabilities in Germany and aims to create added value by advancing the integrated application of these technologies.