Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the lives of Europeans. We benefit directly from them throughout our daily lives whenever we use our mobile phones, car navigation systems and TVs. However, space technology can also support many different economic sectors in the form of space-based applications:
- Increase efficiency in agriculture and fisheries: satellite-enabled applications improve the mapping of cropland in need of irrigation, harvest forecasts, and fisheries control. This guarantees better food quality and security while safeguarding the environment;
- Help regions access knowledge and information: satellites support communication when Earth-based solutions are limited. This reduces regional imbalances by serving communities in remote areas with no Internet access;
- Improve crisis response: satellite services help shorten response times in emergencies. Swift damage images and assessment maps contribute to more efficient planning and relief efforts, and help guide rescue services;
- Protect the environment and help tackle climate change: environment monitoring provides crucial information on vegetation, ocean currents, water quality, natural resources, atmospheric pollutants, greenhouse gases and the ozone layer;
- Increase security: satellite positioning, satellite communications and Earth observation contribute to detecting illegal immigration, preventing cross-border organised crime, and combating piracy at sea;
- Improve citizens’ health: space-based applications can significantly improve patients‘ healthcare and health education through remote medical support. They also help in preventing or mitigating the outbreak of a disease;
- Optimise transport: when combined with enhanced communication capabilities, highly accurate satellite positioning contributes to a modern and reliable transport sector for cars, planes, and ships. It optimises fleet management, vessel traceability, collision prevention, speed control, assistance for ship manoeuvres, etc.
With these services, the EU Programme contributes to four of the EU's main ambitons that the Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen prioritised: “A European Green Deal” “A Europe fit for the digital age.”Supporting our European way of life" and A "Stronger Europe in the World".
The flagship space components Galileo/EGNOS and Copernicus are fully operational as they deliver free and open data and services to the benefit of EU citizens, but they also deliver concrete products to public authorities and citizens (e.g. search and rescue, air quality monitoring, climate change mitigation measures, support to urban planning, geolocation, etc.).