The GeoEye-1 spacecraft (formerly known as Orbview-5) was designed and developed under the U.S National Geospatial-intelligence Agency�s Nextview Program. This agile satellite provides the U.S. military and intelligence community, as well as the commercial remote sensing industry, greater access and priority to high-resolution black and white and color commercial satellite imagery. GeoEye-1 is capable of acquiring image data at 0.41 meter panchromatic (black and white) and 1.65 meter multispectral (color) resolution. It has a target revisit time of less than three days, as well as the ability to locate an object within just three meters of its physical location. The satellite travels at approximately 16,800 mph and collects up to 700,000 square kilometers of imagery in a single day ~ an area nearly the size of Chile. GeoEye-1 was launched in September 2008. The satellite has a planned operational life of 7 years, which extends to fall of 2015, but is expected to be fully functional until at least 2018. GeoEye-1 was manufactured by General Dynamics and is owned and operated by DigitalGlobe.
The Worldview-1 spacecraft was designed and developed under the U.S National Geospatial-intelligence Agency�s Nextview Program. The primary mission of the satellite is to provide high resolution black & white imaging capability for defense and intelligence, disaster relief, civil government mapping, land use planning, and visualization and simulation environments. The camera is a panchromatic (black and white) imaging system featuring half-meter resolution imagery. With an average target revisit time of 1.7 days, it is capable of collecting up to 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles) per day ~ an area approximately the size of Chile. WorldView-1 was launched in September 2007. The satellite has a planned operational life of 7 years, which extends to the summer of 2014. WorldView-1 was built by Ball Aerospace and is owned and operated by DigitalGlobe.
The Worldview-2 spacecraft was designed and developed to support Digital Globe's existing U.S National Geospatial-intelligence Agency's Nextview contract. The primary mission of the satellite is to provide high resolution black & white and color imaging capability used for defense and intelligence, disaster relief, civil government mapping, land use planning, and visualization and simulation environments. Operating at an altitude of 770 km with an average target revisit time of 1.1 days, WorldView-2 provides commercially available panchromatic (black and white) imagery of .46 m resolution, and eight-band multispectral (color) imagery with 1.84 m resolution. With its pointing agility, WorldView-2 is able to act like a paintbrush, sweeping back and forth to collect very large areas of multispectral imagery in a single pass. It is capable of collecting up to 975,000 square kilometers (376,000 square miles) per day ~ an area approximately the size of Tanzania. WorldView-2 was launched in October 2009. The satellite has a planned operational life of 7.5 years, which extends to the summer of 2016. WorldView-2 was built by Ball Aerospace and is owned and operated by DigitalGlobe.
Quickbird-2 was designed to be an agile, stable and highly accurate Earth remote sensing platform capable of capturing black & white and color images. Originally slated as a 1-meter resolution imaging system, plans were modified to increase the resolution system by lowering the orbit in which the satellite is flown. The satellite collects panchromatic (black and white) imagery at 60 centimeter resolution and multispectral (color) imagery at up to 2.4 meter resolution. The QuickBird-2 spacecraft is capable of acquiring over 75 million square kilometers of imagery data annually (over three times the size of North America). QuickBird-2 was launched in October 2001. While nearing the end of its planned operational life of 7 years, the spacecraft was raised to a higher orbit in March of 2011 to save fuel and delay its retirement by about 18 months, to early 2014. QuickBird-2 was built by Ball Aerospace and is owned and operated by DigitalGlobe.
IKONOS, which is Greek for "Image", was originated under the Lockheed Martin Corporation as the Commercial Remote Sensing System (CRSS) satellite. On April 1994 Lockheed was granted one of the first licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce for commercial satellite high-resolution imagery. IKONOS-2 is equipped with an imager designed and built by Kodak capable of capturing black & white and color images. The satellite collects panchromatic (black and white) imagery at .8 meter resolution and multispectral (color) imagery at 4 and 1 meter resolutions. IKONOS-2 was launched in September 1999 after a launch failure for IKONOS-1 earlier that year. Upon launch, IKONOS2 was the first commercial high-resolution satellite on orbit. IKONOS has remained operational well beyond its originally planned lifespan of 7 years and now has been on orbit for over 13 years. More than 300 million square kilometers of imagery have been collected by IKONOS during this time span.
The SPOT program was initiated by the CNES (Centre National d'�tudes Spatiales � the French space agency) in the 1970s. SPOT-5 was designed to improve the knowledge and management of the Earth by exploring the Earth's resources, detecting and forecasting phenomena involving climatology and oceanography, and monitoring human activities and natural phenomena. SPOT-5 has 2 identical imagers capable of capturing data simultaneously. SPOT-5 has a resolution of 2.5 to 5 meters in panchromatic mode and 10 meters in multispectral mode. SPOT-5's other key feature is the acquisition capability of the on-board HRS stereo viewing instrument, which can cover vast areas in a single pass. Stereo pair imagery is vital for applications that call for 3D terrain modeling and computer environments, such as flight simulator databases, pipeline corridors, and mobile phone network planning. SPOT-5 was launched in May 2002. SPOT-5 has a planned operational lifespan of at least 12 years, meaning that the satellite should be fully operational into 2014. SPOT-5 is owned and operated by the French company Spot Image.
The SPOT-6 satellite built by Astrium was successfully launched in September 2012 by a PSLV launcher from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in India. SPOT-6 is an optical imaging satellite capable of imaging the Earth with a resolution of 1.5 meter panchromatic (black and white) and 6 meter multispectral (color) and will offer imaging products to customers in defense, agriculture, deforestation, environmental monitoring, coastal surveillance, engineering, oil, gas and mining industries. SPOT-6 is owned and operated by the French company Spot Image.
Earth Resources Observation Satellite (EROS) is a series of Israeli commercial Earth observation satellites, designed and manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), with optical payload supplied by El-Op. The satellites are owned and operated by ImageSat International, another Israeli company. EROS A was launched in December 2000. The EROS-A satellite design was based off of the Israeli military reconnaissance satellite Ofeq 3. EROS-A is capable of capturing black and white imagery with an resolution of 1.8 meters. The anticipated operational lifespan of EROS-A is 14 years, which will extend into late 2014.
Earth Resources Observation Satellite (EROS) is a series of Israeli commercial Earth observation satellites, designed and manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), with optical payload supplied by El-Op. The satellites are owned and operated by ImageSat International, another Israeli company. The EROS-B satellite is the second of the EROS series of satellites designed for Israeli commercial/military use. EROS-B was launched in April 2006 aboard a Russian Start-1 rocket from the Svobodny Launch Complex in eastern Siberia. Its design is based off of the EROS-A platform. EROS-B is capable of capturing .7 meter resolution black and white imagery with an imager more sophisticated than its predecessor, EROS-A. The satellite was launched in order to address market demand for higher resolution and faster revisit of EROS constellation satellites. The anticipated operational lifespan of EROS-B is 14 years, which extends into 2020.
FORMOSAT-2 is a high-resolution optical satellite able to revisit the same point on the globe every day in the same viewing conditions. It is well suited to change detection and rapid coverage of large areas in black & white or in color. FORMOSAT-2 was developed by National Space Organization (NSPO) of Taiwan to conduct remote sensing imaging over Taiwan and on terrestrial and oceanic regions of the entire earth. FormoSAT-2, originally called Rocsat-2, was launched in May 2004. FORMOSAT-2 is capable of 2 meter resolution black and white and color imagery and 8 meter multispectral imagery. It has a mission life of 5 years and design life of 7 years, both have which were surpassed in May of 2011.
The CartoSat-2A satellite is the thirteenth satellite in the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite series to be built, launched and maintained by the Indian Space Research Organisation. The highly agile satellite can be steered up to 45 degrees along as well as across the direction of its movement to facilitate imaging of any area more frequently. CartoSat -2A is capable of capturing black and white imagery with .8 meter resolution. CartoSat -2A was launched in April 2008. The satellite's health is monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at Bangalore with the help of ISTRAC network of stations at Bangalore, Lucknow, Mauritius, Bearslake in Russia, Biak in Indonesia, and Svalbard in Norway. The originally planned operational life span of CartoSat -2A was 5 years, which was surpassed in early 2012.
The CartoSat-2B satellite is the seventeenth satellite in the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite series to be built, launched and maintained by the Indian Space Research Organisation. The highly agile satellite is capable of capturing black and white imagery with .8 meter resolution giving users close views of cities, neighborhoods, natural resources and military sites around the world. The imagery will have applications in resource mapping, urban planning, transportation studies, water monitoring, and crop inventories. CartoSat-2B was launched in July 2010. The planned operational life span of CartoSat-2B was 5 years, which extends to 2015.
RADARSAT-2 has a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor with multiple polarization modes. Its highest resolution is 1 m in Spotlight mode (3 m in Ultra Fine mode) with 100 m positional accuracy. SAR imagery is independent of weather and lighting and is used in marine surveillance, ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource management and mapping in Canada and around the world. RADARSAT-2 was launched in December 2007. It is owned and operated by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) of Canada.
The TerraSAR-X satellite provides high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery with a resolution of up to 1 meter independent of weather conditions and illumination. TerraSAR-X is a joint venture between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and EADS Astrium. TerraSAR-X was launched in June 2007. With its active phased array X-band SAR antenna, TerraSAR-X acquires new high-quality radar images of the Earth from a polar orbit at 514 km altitude. TerraSAR-X has excellent location accuracy, and multiple imaging modes (SpotLight, StripMap, and ScanSAR). The planned operational life span of TerraSAR-X was 5 years, which it surpassed in 2012.
COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for the Mediterranean basin Observation) is a constellation of 4 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery satellites conducted by the Italian Space Agency for civil and military use. Its main applications are maritime awareness, defense and intelligence, thematic mapping, emergency response, and land stability analysis. The constellation was launched over 3.5 years beginning June 2007 with the final satellite launching in November 2010. The number of satellites in conjunction with the use of a SAR sensor allows for observations of an area of interest to be repeated several times a day in all-weather conditions. The COSMO-SkyMed satellites have three basic types of imaging modes: Spotlight, a high-resolution mode collected over a small area by steering the radar beam slightly fore-to-aft during the collection period. Stripmap, a medium-resolution mode collected over long, continuous swaths in which the beam is pointed broadside to the satellite track. ScanSAR, a low-resolution mode that creates extra-wide swaths by collecting short segments at different ranges and then mosaicking them together.
Kompsat-2 (Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite-2), also referred to as Arirang-2, is a South Korean imaging satellite developed and operated by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The main mission objectives of the Kompsat-2 system are surveillance of large scale disasters, acquisition of independent high resolution images (as good as 1 meter black & white and 4 meter color) for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and composition of printed maps and digitized maps for domestic and overseas territories.
KOMPSAT-3 is a high-resolution optical observation satellite developed and operated by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The mission is funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The objective of KOMPSAT-3 is to provide observation continuity from the KOMPSAT-1 and KOMPSAT-2 missions to meet the nation's needs for high-resolution optical imagery required for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other environmental, agricultural and oceanographic monitoring applications. KOMPSAT-3 is 3.5m tall and 2.0m in diameter, and has a design life of 4 years. KOMPSAT-3 images have a maximum resolution of 0.7 meters (black & white) or 2.8 meters (color).
The Pléiades system was designed under the French-Italian Optical & Radar Federated Earth Observation (ORFEO) program. Pléiades-1A is a highly agile optical imaging satellite capable of acquiring high-resolution stereo imagery in one pass. Pléiades-1A can acquire panchromatic (black & white) imagery at a resolution of 0.5 meters and multispectral (color) images at a resolution of 2.0 meters. The Pléiades-1A and Pléiades-1B satellites are operated in the same orbital plane, offset 180 degrees from each other.
The Pléiades system was designed under the French-Italian Optical & Radar Federated Earth Observation (ORFEO) program. Pléiades-1B is a highly agile optical imaging satellite capable of acquiring high-resolution stereo imagery in one pass. Pléiades-1B can acquire panchromatic (black & white) imagery at a resolution of 0.5 meters and multispectral (color) images at a resolution of 2.0 meters.The Pléiades-1A and Pléiades-1B satellites are operated in the same orbital plane, offset 180 degrees from each other.
Radar Imaging Satellite 1, or RISAT-1, is an Indian remote sensing satellite which was built and is operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It uses C-band 5.35 GHz Synthetic Aperture Radar for earth observation irrespective of the light and weather conditions of the area being imaged. The satellite is intended to be used for natural resources management, primarily agriculture planning and forestry surveys, as well as to predict and prevent flooding. It will be used for monitoring paddy plantations and yields in the kharif season and to assist India's food security planning. Pictures from RISAT-1 will be used to estimate the number of hectares being farmed in India, to assess crop health and predict total yield. They can also be used to identify wreckage from aircraft which go down in forested areas. RISAT-1 can collect images with a resolution as good as 3 meters.
SkySat-1 is a commercial Earth observation satellite built and operated by Skybox Imaging. The satellite operates in a polar inclined, circular orbit at approximately 450 km above the earth and is the first of a planned 24-satellite constellation. SkySat-1 has a 90cm (0.9m) resolution at nadir for black and white (panchromatic) images and an 8km-wide imaging swath width. SkySat-1 was launched on November 21, 2013 as part of a cluster of small payloads on a Dnepr rocket from Russia.
The Göktürk-2 global reconnaissance satellite was built in Turkey by TBITAK UZAY and Turkish Aerospace Inc. (TAI). The satellite is the second remote sensing satellite built by Turkey. Its imaging payload has a top resolution of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) according to Tubitak, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. Turkey will use Göktürk-2 data for security, disaster response, environmental mapping, urban planning, coastal zone monitoring and water resource management. The optical payload will take pictures with an image swath width of 20 kilometers (about 12 miles). Göktürk-2 weighs about 900 pounds (408 kg).
VNREDSat 1 is an Earth observation satellite on a mission to survey the planet with a high-resolution optical camera for the Vietnamese government. Astrium Satellites built the 254-pound (115-kg) spacecraft in an agreement with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. Funded mostly by overseas direct assistance from the French government, VNREDSat 1 is Vietnam's first Earth observation satellite. Vietnam will use the spacecraft to better respond to natural disasters, manage the development of natural resources, and observe the effects of climate change, according to the VAST website. The satellite's camera has a resolution of 2.5 meters, or 8.2 feet capable enough to see cars and trucks from orbit more than 400 miles (644 km) above Earth.
UrtheCast Corp. is a Vancouver-based, publicly traded technology company. UrtheCast’s two cameras were built by RSC Energia and installed on the International Space Station’s Russian Zvezda module by Russian cosmonauts during two spacewalks. The MRC camera produces 50km-wide swaths of 5.5 meter resolution still imagery and points straight down, while the HRC camera is pointed using a precision pointing platform and can generate 1.1m resolution full color Ultra HD video. Video and still image data captured by the cameras will be downlinked to ground stations across the planet and displayed on the UrtheCast web platform or distributed directly to exclusive partners and customers. UrtheCast imagery of Earth will allow for monitoring of the environment, humanitarian relief, social events, agricultural land, and more.
Gaofen-1 is the first in a series of planned Chinese high-resolution Earth observation satellites and is part of the CHEOS program initiated in 2010 by CNSA (Chinese National Space Administration). Major users of the observation data include the Ministry of Land and Resources, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Ministry of Agriculture. Gaofen-1 is based on the CAST small satellite bus designed and built by China SpaceSat Co. Ltd., the commercial subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST). Gaofen-1 was launched on April 26, 2013 on a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Gaofen-1 has a high resolution camera that can image 60km-wide swaths with 2m black & white resolution (8m color), as well as a Wide Field Imager that can take an 800km-wide swath of imagery at 16km resolution using a set of 4 cameras.
KOMPSAT-5 (also known as ARIRANG-5) is a high-resolution synthetic aperature radar (SAR) satellite developed by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space Italy. The mission is funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. KOMPSAT-5 has three observation modes including High Resolution Mode (spotlight mode for 1m resolution images of a 5km x 5km area), Standard Mode (3m resolution with 30km wide swath), and Wide Swath Mode (ScanSAR mode for 20m resolution with 100km wide swath). SAR imagery collected by KOMPSAT-5 will compliment the optical imagery collected by KOMPSAT-2 and KOMPSAT-3 for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other defense, mapping, and natural resource management applications. KOMPSAT-5 was launched on August 22, 2013. KOMPSAT-5 is the fourth (not fifth) satellite in the KOMPSAT family. There is no satellite with numeral 4 because the Sino-Korean word for the number four, sa, is a homonym of the Chinese character for death.