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TitleRemote Sensing in Canada: A Sound Investment for Canadian Society (extended abstract)
AuthorRyerson, R A; Thompson, M D; Arsenault, L; Lowings, M G; Silverthorn, S; Moore, H; Aldred, A
Source17th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Proceedings, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, June 13-15; 1995 p. 274
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20042599
AbstractCanada has had great success in the field of remote sensing. It is an area in which Canada has been a recognized leader in research, technology, and its application. The Canadian remote sensing program is one of the most studied in the world and is held up as an example of successful partnering between government and industry. The industry has successfully developed in difficult times and has become efficient and export oriented.

This paper describes that industry and the economic activity and social benefits which it has brought to Canada. The paper is largely drawn from a series of special unpublished studies done in mid to late 1993 which depicted the current downstream values and benefits in ice and oceans, forestry, agriculture and land use, topographic mapping and hydrology, geology (mineral and oil and gas exploration and related engineering studies), and environmental monitoring. The studies include an assessment of applications of the technology. In addition, information is drawn together to characterize the benefits and income related to the sale of products and technology. The methodology is presented in detail.

The key part of the paper is a summary of the actual sales for 1993 as well as the projected markets for 1998, excluding Radarsat (which has been considered elsewhere). In addition, estimates of the economic value of remote sensing are provided in terms of spin-offs from remote sensing and value associated with better decision making through the intelligent application or remote sensing.

1993 sales of remote sensing and spin-off technology were estimated to be in excess of $245 million (exclusive of Radarsat build), with over 2/3 export. Projections for 1998 see sales in excess of $610 million. The value associated with cost savings and risk avoidance in 1993 was $350 million, with this figure growing to $580 million in 1998. Additional narrative describes the benefits of a more general nature which the remote sensing program contributes to Canadian society. The future looks bright in traditional areas in which Canada has worked, with potential for tremendous growth in new areas. While there will be heightened competition, Canada should be in a position to meet that challenge to the benefit of its industry, its people, and the world at large.


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