U.U. FACULTY of AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT of SOIL SCIENCES
REMOTE SENSING & GIS CENTRE

 

SATELLITES

 

 Technical Information on Most Used Satellites in Agriculture
 LANDSAT              
 SPOT              
 IRS 1C/D              
 BILSAT              
 TERRA              
 IKONOS              
 QUICKBIRD              
 ORBVIEW              
 ENVISAT              
 EO1              
 Other Satellites          
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

[ HOME ] [ REMOTE SENSING ] [ GIS ] [ SATELLITES ] [ LABORATORY ]

[ RESEARCH ] [ PROJECTS ] [ THESIS ] [ SATELLITE DATA ]
[ LINKS ] [ CONTACT ]
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
               
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ON SATELLITES USED IN AGRICULTURAL & ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCHES

 

SATELLITE OPERATOR LAUNCH DATE SENSOR RESOLUTION SWATH (km) REVISIT (day)
SPECTRAL (um) SPATIAL (m) RADIOMETRIC
                 
LANDSAT 1-2-3 NASA - EOSAT 1972-1975-1978 MSS VNIR:0.5-0.6,0.6-0.7,0.7-0.8,0.8-0.11 80 8 bit   18
                 
LANSAT 4-5 NASA - SPACE IMAGING 1982-1984 TM VNIR:0.45-0.52,0.52-0.60,0.63-0.69,0.76-0.90 30 8 bit 183 16
SWIR:1.55-1.75,2.08-2.35
TIR:10.42-12.5 120
                 
LANDSAT 7 NASA 1999 PAN 0.52-0.9 15 8 bit 185 16
ETM VNIR:0.45-0.52,0.52-0.60,0.63-0.69,0.76-0.90 30
SWIR:1.55-1.75,2.08-2.35
TIR:10.42-12.5 (Low-High Gain) 60
                 
SPOT 1-2-3 CNES - SPOT 1986-1990-1993 HRV-PAN 0.51-0.73(S) 10 8 bit 60 1-4(26)
HRV VNIR:0.50-0.59,0.61-0.68,0.79-0.89 20
                 
SPOT 4 CNES - SPOT 1998 HRV-PAN 0.61-0.68(S) 10 8 bit 60 1-4(26)
HRVIR VNIR:0.50-0.59,0.61-0.68,0.79-0.89 20
SWIR:1.58-1.75
VEGETATION 0.43-0.47,0.61-0.68,0.78-0.89,1.58-1.75 1000 4/8 bit 2200 1
                 
SPOT 5 CNES - SPOT 2002 HRS-PAN 0.49-0.69(S) 10 8 bit 120 1-4(26)
HRG-PAN 0.49-0.69(S) 2.5-5 60
HRG VNIR:0.49-0.61,0.61-0.68,0.78-0.89(S) 10
SWIR:1.58-1.75 20
VEGETATION 0.43-0.47,0.61-0.68,0.78-0.89,1.58-1.75 1000 4/8 bit 2250 1
                 
IRS 1C/D ISRO India 1995-1997 PAN 0.5-0.75(S) 5.8 6 bit 70.5 24-25
LISS-III VNIR:0.52-0.59,0.62-0.68,0.77-0.86 23 7 bit 141
SWIR:1.55-1.7 70
WIFS 0.62-0.68,0.77-0.86 188 812
                 
IRS P6 ISRO India 2003 LISS-III VNIR:0.52-0.59,0.62-0.68,0.77-0.86 24 7 bit 140 24
SWIR:1.55-1.70
LISS-IV VNIR:0.52-0.59,0.62-0.68,0.77-0.86 6 24 5
SWIR:1.55-170 PAN(0.62-0.68) 70(PAN)
WIFS VNIR:0.52-0.59,0.62-0.68,0.77-0.86 60 10 bit 740 24
SWIR:1.55-1.70
                 
IKONOS 2 SPACE IMAGING 1999 PAN 0.45-0.90(S) 1 11 bit 11 3.5-5
MULTI VNIR:0.45-0.53,0.52-0.61,0.64-0.72,0.77-0.88(S) 4
                 
ORBVIEW 3 ORBIMAGE 2003 PAN 0.45-0.90(S) 1 11 8 bit <3
MULTI VNIR:0.45-0.52,0.52-0.60,0.62-0.69,0.76-0.9(S) 4
                 
QUICKBIRD 2 DIGITAL GLOBE 2001 PAN 0.445-0.9(S) 0.61-0.73 11 bit 16.5 3.5
MULTI VNIR:0.45-0.52,0.52-0.60,0.63-0.69,0.76-0.89(S) 2.5-2.9
                 
BILSAT TÜBITAK - BILTEN 2003 PAN PAN:0.538-0.700(S) 12 8 bit 25 5(116)
MULTI VISIBLE:0.45-0.52,0.52-0.60,0.63-0.69,NIR:0.77-0.9 26 55 4(52)
                 
ASTER/TERRA METI - NASA 1999 ASTER VNIR:0.52-0.60,0.63-0.69,0.76-0.86(s) 15 8 bit 60 48 (16)
SWIR:1.60-1.70,2.145-2.185-2.225,2.235-2.285,2.295-2.365,2.360-2.430 30 8 bit 60
TIR:8.125-8.475,8.475-8.825,8.925-9.275,10.25-10.95,10.95-11.65 90 12 bit 60
                 
MODIS/TERRA METI - NASA 1999 MODIS 2 spektral band 250 8 bit 2330 1-2
7 spektral band 500
26 spektral band 1000
                 
JERS 1 NASDA 1992 SAR L-HH (1.275 GHz) 18 3 bit 75 44
OPS VNIR:0.52-0.60,0.63-0.69,0.76-0.86(S) 6 bit
SWIR:1.60-1.71,2.01-2.12,2.13-2.25,2.27-2.40
                 
RADARSAT 1 CSA 1995 SAR C-HH, 16 BEAM MODE (S) 8-100   50-500 3-35(24)
                 
RADARSAT 2 CSA - MDA 2006 SAR C-HH,W,HV,VH (S) 3-100   20-500 3-35(24)
                 
             

[ PAGE UP ]

 
 
 
LANDSAT

              In 1972, the effectiveness of satellite observations of weather had been proven, but the study of land features was untried. The Landsat Program (originally Earth Resources Technology Satellite-ERTS) was NASA's first step, and it was so successful it literally changed the way we looked at our planet, almost overnight! An entire new field for scientific study and practical applications had emerged: remote sensing. The three first generation, satellites carried two sensors - the Return Beam Vidicon (RBV) camera and the Multispectral scanner (MSS). Due to technical problems with the RBV and the spectral and radiometric superiority of MSS, RBV data were seidom used. The second generation of LANDSAT satellites, beginning in 1982 with LANDSAT 4, carries a Thematic Mapper (TM) in addition to the MSS. In 1993, LANDSAT 6 was unfortunately lost immediately after launch. Landsat 7 was launched on April 15, 1999 from the Western Test Range by a Delta-II Expendable Launch Vehicle. At launch, the satellite weighed approximately 4,800 lbs (2200 kg). It is about 14 feet long (4.3 meters) and 9 feet (2.8 meters) in diameter. The Landsat 7 satellite consists of a spacecraft bus provided under a NASA contract with Lockheed Martin (formerly Martin Marietta Astro Space, and GE Astro prior to that) in Valley Forge, PA and the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument procured under a NASA contract with Raytheon (formerly Hughes) Santa Barbara Research Center in Santa Barbara, CA. A reaction control system maintains the orbit at an altitude of approximately 438 miles (705 km) with a sun-synchronous 98 degree inclination and a descending equatorial crossing time of 10:00 AM. The orbit was adjusted upon reaching orbit so that its 16 day repeat cycle coincides with the Landsat Worldwide Reference System. This orbit is maintained with periodic adjustments for the life of the mission. A three-axis attitude control subsystem stabilizes the satellite and keeps the instrument pointed toward Earth to within 0.05 degrees. For more information please visit; http://www.eurimage.com/

[ PAGE UP ]

 
SPOT

              The system has been operational since 1986 when SPOT 1 was launched. SPOT 2 was placed in orbit in January 1990, followed by SPOT 3 in September 1993, SPOT 4 in March 1998 and SPOT 5 in May 2002. System continuity will be assured by a constellation of new-generation minisatellites known as Pleiades. With the rotation of the earth around the polar axis, the inclination of the orbital plane (98 degrees) allows the satellite to fly over any point of the earth during a 26-day cycle. Altitude: 832 km, inclination: 98 degrees (i.e near-polar orbit), revolutions per day: 14 + 5/26, period: 101 minutes, westward drift between successive ground tracks: 2823 km, cycle duration: 26 days, orbital revolutions per cycle: 369. If images of different locations are to be suitable for comparison, they must be acquired from the same altitude. Thus, the orbit must be circular, or have a constant altitude relative to the Earth's surface. Every 26 days, each Spot satellite flies over the same points on the ground. During this period of time, it will make an integer number of revolutions (369) following one complete track cycle (the satellite performs 14 + 5/26 revolutions per day). The same pattern is then repeated over and over. The orbit is said to be "phased". To ensure that the satellite covers every point on the earth's surface during the cycle, HRV (High Visible Resolution) and HRG (High Geometric Resolution) imaging instruments offer a combined field-of-view that is wider than the greatest distance between two adjacent tracks. The inter-track distance is 108 km at most (on the equator) and the total field covered by the two instruments when viewing almost vertically below the satellite is 117 km. The Earth can therefore be completely covered in a 26-day cycle. For more information please visit; http://www.spotimage.fr

[ PAGE UP ]

   
IRS 1C

              India's ambitious Earth observation program was commissioned in March 1988 with the launch of Indian Remote Sensing Satellite 1A (IRS-1A). Since then the program has provided data for the management of natural resources and other tasks such as the mapping and planning of urban areas. The sensors of subsequent missions are designed to provide data continuity and to utilise recent technical progress at the same time. This section provides fact sheets of the IRS missions Euromap is receiving data from and for which we plan to do so in the near future. The Indian Remote Sensing Satellite IRS-1C was successfully launched into polar orbit on December 28, 1995 by a Russian launch vehicle. Its sensors were activated in the first week of January 1996. IRS-1D was successfully launched into polar orbit on September 29, 1997 by a PSLV launch vehicle. Its sensors were activated in the middle of October 1997. IRS-P6 Resourcesat-1 has been successfully launched into polar orbit on October 17, 2003 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre by the Indian PSLV-C5. ISRO's Spacecraft Control Centre at Bangalore now commands IRS-P6. IRS-P5 Cartosat-1 has been successfully launched into polar orbit on May 5, 2005. The payload was lifted by the PSLV-C6 and for the first time the new Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre was used. The satellite has two panchromatic cameras that can be used for in flight stereo viewing or wide swath mode acquisitions (~54 km swath). For more information please visit; http://www.euromap.de

[ PAGE UP ]

BİLSAT

              Realized by TUBITAK - BILTEN with technology transfer first Turkish observation satellite called BILSAT has been launched in 27th of September 2003. Being located at 686 km altitude at lower orbit, main function of the satellite will be distant monitoring and communication. Mini satellite of 129 kg weight is planned to be launched in the middle of year 2003. With the help of taking photographs taken by two cameras with the abilities of 12 meters panchromatic resolution (black-white) and 26 meters multi-spectral resolution (red, green, blue and near infrared) it will be landed in the land station located in TUBITAK - BILTEN. In this way, images obtained from BILSAT will be used in the evaluations such as crop yield, environment pollution; damage resulted from natural disasters and so on. With this purpose, TUBITAK - BILTEN will be involved in several projects with both public and international firms. Moreover, a camera of nine channels and 120 meters resolution called COBAN and image tightening and data processing card called GEZGIN, which are designed and produced as function loads, will be integrated to the satellite. GEZGİN is a digital signal processing card that compress images from the cameras in real time in JPEG2000 format. The name is an abbreviation for 'GErçek Zamanda Görüntü İşleyeN', that is, 'Real Time Image Processor'. GEZGİN is a real-time image processing subsystem, developed as one of the two Turkish R&D payloads to be hosted on BİLSAT-1. GEZGİN has evolved as an implementation to achieve image compression tasks that would lead to an efficient utilization of both the down-link and on-board storage. The image processing on GEZGİN includes capturing of 4-band multi-spectral images of size 2048x2048 8-bit pixels, compressing them simultaneously with the new industry standard JPEG2000 algorithm and forwarding the compressed multi-spectral image to Solid State Data Recorders (SSDR) of BİLSAT-1 for storage and down-link transmission. The mission definition together with orbital parameters impose a 5 seconds constraint on real-time image compression. GEZGİN meets this constraint by exploiting the parallelism among image processing units and assigning compute intensive tasks to dedicated hardware which also allows for full reconfigurability of all processing units. ÇOBAN is a low resolution 8-channel camera. The name is an abbreviation for 'ÇOk-BANtlı Kamera', that is, 'Multi-Band Camera'. BİLTEN has gained experience on electro-optical systems in space. ÇOBAN has been designed in the framework in the framework of the BİLSAT project. ÇOBAN has been designed and manufactured by Turkish engineers and technicians. All intellectual property rights pertinent to these systems belong to BİLTEN. They are the first space systems entirely designed, manufactured and tested in Turkey. The satellite weight: 129kg., Orbit: 685km. Sun-synchronius, 3-axis control, Orbit correction control with impulsion engine, Time to live 5 - 10 years. For more information please visit; http://www.bilten.metu.edu.tr/bilsat/

[ PAGE UP ]

 
TERRA

                Terra,” Latin for land, is the name of the Earth Observing System (EOS) flagship satellite, launched on December 18, 1999. The five sensors aboard Terra are comprehensively measuring our world’s climate system to observe and measure how Earth’s atmosphere, cryosphere, lands, oceans, and life all interact. Data from this mission are used in many research and commercial applications. Terra is a vital part of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, helping us understand and protect our home planet. The satellite has five modules named ASTER, MODIS, CERES, MOPITT and MISR. MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is the key instrument aboard the satellites Terra (EOS AM-1), launched on 18 December 1999 and Aqua (EOS PM-1), launched on 4 May 2002. MODIS views almost the entire surface of the Earth every day, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands over a 2330 km swath. MODIS data will improve the understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment. For more information please visit; http://eos-am.gsfc.nasa.gov/  ; http://terra.nasa.gov/About/

[ PAGE UP ]

IKONOS

              Since its launch in September 1999, Space Imaging's IKONOS earth imaging satellite has provided a reliable stream of image data that has become the standard for commercial high-resolution satellite data products. IKONOS produces 1-meter black-and-white (panchromatic) and 4-meter multispectral (red, blue, green, near infrared) imagery that can be combined in a variety of ways to accommodate a wide range of high-resolution imagery applications. The IKONOS satellite weighs about 1600 pounds. It orbits the Earth every 98 minutes at an altitude of approximately 680 kilometers or 423 miles. IKONOS was launched into a sun-synchronous orbit, passing a given longitude at about the same local time (10:30 A.M.) daily. IKONOS can produce 1-meter imagery of the same geography every 3 days. Standard products include 1-meter black-and-white, 4-meter multispectral (all bands), 1-meter color (true color, false color, or 4-band), and a 1-meter and 4-meter data bundle. IKONOS image data is available in easy to use 8-bit or full dynamic range 11-bit format. For more information please visit; http://www.spaceimaging.com/default2.htm/

[ PAGE UP ]

QUICKBIRD

              Today, The QuickBird satellite collects the highest resolution imagery commercially available. QuickBird satellite provides the largest swath width, largest on-board storage, and highest resolution of any currently available or planned commercial satellite. QuickBird is designed to efficiently and accurately image large areas with industry-leading geolocational accuracy. The QuickBird spacecraft is capable of acquiring over 75 million square kilometers of imagery data annually (over three times the size of North America). It was launched in October 18, 2001 from Vanderberg Air Force Base, California. For more information please visit Digital Globe web page at; http://www.digitalglobe.com/

[ PAGE UP ]

ORBVIEW

              OrbView-2 satellite, successfully launched in August 1997. The satellite provides unprecedented multispectral imagery of the Earth's land and ocean surfaces at 1.1km spatial resolution. The imagery from OrbView-2 includes eight spectral bands, six in the visible and two in the near-infrared spectrum. OrbView-2 provides the world's first daily color imagery of the Earth and the first routinely available ocean color imagery. OrbView-2's imagery is valuable for monitoring plankton and sedimentation levels in the oceans and assessing the health of land-based vegetation on a global basis. OrbView-3 satellite is among the world's first commercial satellites to provide high-resolution imagery from space. It was launched in 2003. OrbView-3 produces one-meter resolution panchromatic and four-meter resolution multispectral imagery. One-meter imagery enables the viewing of houses, automobiles and aircraft, and makes it possible to create highly precise digital maps and three-dimensional fly-through scenes. Four-meter multispectral imagery provides color and infrared information to further characterize cities, rural areas and undeveloped land from space. For more information please visit; http://www.orbimage.com/corp/orbimage_system/ov3/index.html

[ PAGE UP ]

ENVISAT

              In March 2002, the European Space Agency launched Envisat, an advanced polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite which provides measurements of the atmosphere, ocean, land, and ice. The Envisat satellite has an ambitious and innovative payload that will ensure the continuity of the data measurements of the ESA ERS satellites. Envisat data supports earth science research and allows monitoring of the evolution of environmental and climatic changes. Furthermore, the data will facilitate the development of operational and commercial applications. The satellite has 10 sensors named MERIS, ASAR, AATSR, RA-2, MWR, DORIS, GOMOS, MIPAS, SCIAMACHY and LRR. MERIS (The MEdium Resolution Imaging Specrometer Instrument), measures the solar radiation reflected by the Earth, at a ground spatial resolution of 300m, in 15 spectral bands, programmable in width and position, in the visible and near infra-red. MERIS allows global coverage of the Earth in 3 days. The primary mission of MERIS is the measurement of sea colour in the oceans and in coastal areas. Knowledge of the sea colour can be converted into a measurement of chlorophyll pigment concentration, suspended sediment concentration and of aerosol loads over the marine domain. ASAR (An Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar), operating at C-band, ASAR ensures continuity with the image mode (SAR) and the wave mode of the ERS-1/2 AMI. It features enhanced capability in terms of coverage, range of incidence angles, polarisation, and modes of operation. This enhanced capability is provided by significant differences in the instrument design: a full active array antenna equipped with distributed transmit/receive modules which provides distinct transmit and receive beams, a digital waveform generation for pulse "chirp" generation, a block adaptive quantisation scheme, and a ScanSAR mode of operation by beam scanning in elevation. For more information please visit; http://envisat.esa.int/

[ PAGE UP ]

EO1

            The NASA Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite was launched on November 21, 2000 as part of a one-year technology validation/demonstration mission. The original EO-1 mission was successfully completed in November 2001. As the end of the mission approached, the remote sensing research and scientific communities expressed high interest in continued acquisition of image data from EO-1. Based on this user interest, an agreement was reached between NASA and the USGS to allow continuation of the EO-1 Program as an Extended Mission. The EO-1 Extended Mission is chartered to collect and distribute Advanced Land Imager (ALI) multispectral and Hyperion hyperspectral products in response to Data Acquisition Requests. Under the Extended Mission provisions, image data acquired by EO-1 are archived and distributed by the USGS EROS Data Center (EDC) and placed in the public domain. The EO-1 spacecraft follows Landsat 7 by approximately one minute. It is capable of cross-track pointing to allow potential imaging within one full adjacent WRS path in each direction from the current flight path. Each ALI scene covers approximately one-fifth the width of a Landsat 7 ETM+ scene. Hyperion scenes are acquired in strips, with a cross-track width of 7.7 km. Imagery from either sensor will have a user-specified along-track length of either 42 km or 185 km (equivalent to one full Landsat 7 ETM+ scene length). For more information please visit; http://www.nasa.gov

[ PAGE UP ]

OTHER SATELLITES
 

RADARSAT

               The RADARSAT satellite was launched on 4 November 1995 and has a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor on board. This sensor can operate in a variety of imaging modes to suit a range of applications. The SAR sensor is an active microwave sensor capable of imaging the Earth regardless of time of day, cloud, haze or smoke over an area. The instrument is classified as "active" as it emits the microwave energy necessary to image the Earth's surface. In contrast, "passive" or "optical" sensors rely on the sun's reflected energy to image the Earth. For more information please visit; http://gs.mdacorporation.com/

  
NOAA

               The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the USA operates the series of NOAA satellites which each carry the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor. These sensors collect global data on a daily basis for a variety of land, ocean, and atmospheric applications. Specific applications include forest fire detection, vegetation analysis, weather analysis and forecasting, climate research and prediction, global sea surface temperature measurements, ocean dynamics research and search and rescue. The first operational NOAA satellite (NOAA-6) was launched in 1979. This was followed by a series of additional NOAA satellites with the latest launch being NOAA-17 in June 2002. NOAA's 12, 15 and 16 are all still transmitting AVHRR data. The AVHRR sensor is a five or six channel (depending on the model) scanner, sensing the visible, near-infrared, and thermal infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It provides global on board collection of data over a 2399 km swath. The sensor orbits the earth 14 times each day from an altitude of 833 km. ACRES collects direct broadcast AVHRR data (ie. not recorded data) from within our acquisition circle several times every day. Prior to April 2002, only the afternoon passes from NOAA-16 were collected due to acquisition conflicts for the morning passes. During April 2002, a dedicated NOAA antenna was installed in Alice Springs permitting acquisition from NOAA's 12, 15, 16 and 17 from both day and night-time passes. There are normally about 2 day-time passes per satellite and 2 night-time passes per satellite. For more information please visit; http://www.noaa.gov/satellites.html

  

METEOSAT

              Meteosat First Generation refers to a series of geostationary satellites that have provided images of the full Earth disc and data for weather forecasts in a continuous and reliable stream for a quarter of a century. The first Meteosat, Meteosat-1, was launched in 1977, and the last of the first generation, Meteosat-7, was launched 20 years later, in 1997. The First Generation Meteosats provide data 24 hours a day from the three spectral channels of the main instrument, the Meteosat Visible and InfraRed Imager (MVIRI), every 30 minutes. The three channels are in the visible, infrared, and water vapour regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The main operational location for Meteosat is over the Equator, at 0° longitude. Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) is a significantly enhanced follow-on system to the previous generation of Meteosat. MSG consists of a series of four geostationary meteorological satellites, along with ground-based infrastructure, that will operate consecutively untill 2018. The first MSG satellite to be launched was Meteosat-8, in 2002. The second satellite followed up in December 2005. For more information please visit; http://www.eumetsat.int/

  
SEASAT

                 Seasat was the first satellite designed for remote sensing of the Earth's oceans with synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The mission was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of global satellite monitoring of oceanographic phenomena and to help determine the requirements for an operational ocean remote sensing satellite system. Specific objectives were to collect data on sea-surface winds, sea-surface temperatures, wave heights, internal waves, atmospheric water, sea ice features and ocean topography. The mission ended on October 10, 1978 due to a failure of the vehicle's electric power system. Although only approximately 42 hours of real time data was received, the mission demonstrated the feasiblity of using microwave sensors to monitor ocean conditions, and laid the groundwork for future SAR missions. The major difference between Seasat-A and previous Earth observation satellites was the use of active and passive microwave sensors to achieve an all-weather capability. For more information please visit; http://www.nasa.gov

 

[ PAGE UP ]

  

[ HOME ] [ REMOTE SENSING ] [ GIS ] [ SATELLITES ] [ LABORATORY ]

[ RESEARCH ] [ PROJECTS ] [ THESIS ] [ SATELLITE DATA ]
[ LINKS ] [ CONTACT ]