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Earth Observation in a Cost-Benefit Analysis Perspective: Cosmo SkyMed Satellites of the Italian Space Agency


  • Stefano CLÒ


  • Massimo FLORIO


  • Valentina MORRETTA


  • Davide VURCHIO



Over the past decade, an increasing number of high-resolution satellite images have become available to public administration, policymakers and scientists, boosting the amount of information they can obtain to manage and analyse different issues. Satellites allow observing different natural and socio-economic phenomena that would be very hard and costly to monitor from the ground with the same optimal coverage, accuracy and consistency, providing valuable information both to the private and public sector. These phenomena include global societal challenges, such as climate change and air pollution, as well as local ones such as precision farming, urbanisation and transport infrastructures monitoring. This working paper aims at paving the way to a comprehensive assessment of the socio-economic impact of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) concerning the creation of innovative products and services generated by the Earth Observation (EO). Although the wide range of potential applications of EO satellite data, little is known about the effective use of Cosmo SkyMed (CSK) data so far. Most of the benefits related to their availability remain potential, unexpressed and undervalued. The analysis also intends to identify the institutional and organisational barriers that limit their full exploitation and formulate sounds policy recommendations to release the untapped potential of the Italian space downstream sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano CLÒ & Massimo FLORIO & Valentina MORRETTA & Davide VURCHIO, 2019. "Earth Observation in a Cost-Benefit Analysis Perspective: Cosmo SkyMed Satellites of the Italian Space Agency," Departmental Working Papers 2019-06, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2019-06

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    More about this item


    Earth Observation; Space Economy; Cosmo SkyMed; Italian Space Agency;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts


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