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Satellite Imagery of the Earth

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Satellite imagery refers to images of the Earth captured by satellites orbiting the planet. These images can be used for a variety of purposes, including scientific research, mapping, weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, and national security. Satellite imagery can be collected using various types of sensors, including cameras, radar, and infrared detectors, which capture data that can be used to create images of the Earth's surface.


Satellite imagery is used in a wide range of applications, including:


  • Mapping: Satellite imagery is used to create detailed maps of the Earth's surface, which can be used for a variety of purposes, including urban planning, land-use management, and natural resource management.

  • Weather forecasting: Satellite imagery is used to monitor weather patterns, such as cloud cover, temperature, and precipitation, which can be used to forecast weather conditions and issue warnings for severe weather events.

  • Environmental monitoring: Satellite imagery can be used to monitor changes in the environment, such as deforestation, land-use changes, and changes in water levels, which can be used to support environmental management and conservation efforts.

  • National security: Satellite imagery is used by military and intelligence agencies to monitor activity in different parts of the world, including potential threats to national security.

  • Scientific research: Satellite imagery is used by scientists to study a range of phenomena, including climate change, natural disasters, and changes in the Earth's surface.



Top Satellite Imagery Providers


There are several companies that provide satellite imagery and related services. Here are some of the top satellite imagery providers:


Maxar Technologies:



Maxar Technologies is a leading provider of commercial satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Maxar operates a constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites, including the WorldView-1, WorldView-2, WorldView-3, and WorldView-4 satellites, as well as the GeoEye-1 satellite.


Some of the key features of Maxar satellite imagery include:


  • High-resolution imaging: Maxar's satellites are capable of capturing high-resolution images of the Earth's surface, with resolutions ranging from 30 cm to 50 cm, depending on the satellite.

  • Multispectral imaging: Maxar's satellites can capture images in multiple spectral bands, including visible, near-infrared, and shortwave infrared. This allows for a wide range of applications, including land use mapping, vegetation analysis, and mineral exploration.

  • Rapid revisit time: Maxar's satellites have a short revisit time, which means they can capture images of the same location on the Earth's surface multiple times a day. This is useful for monitoring rapidly changing conditions, such as natural disasters or environmental events.

  • Wide area coverage: Maxar's satellites have a wide area coverage, with the ability to capture images of large regions of the Earth's surface in a single pass.


Maxar's satellite imagery is used for a variety of applications, including defense and intelligence, environmental monitoring, natural resource management, and commercial applications such as urban planning and infrastructure development. Maxar also offers a range of geospatial solutions, including analytics, software, and platforms, to help customers make sense of the satellite imagery data.



Airbus Defence and Space:


Airbus Defence and Space is a major provider of satellite imagery and geospatial data, offering high-resolution imagery from their Pléiades, SPOT, and TerraSAR-X satellite constellations.


Planet Labs:


Planet Labs operates a large constellation of small, low-cost Earth-imaging satellites that capture daily images of the entire planet. Their images are used for a variety of applications, including agriculture, forestry, and urban planning.


BlackSky:


BlackSky operates a constellation of small, high-resolution imaging satellites, providing a range of geospatial intelligence and monitoring services for defense, intelligence, and commercial customers.


KOMPSAT :


KOMPSAT, which stands for the Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite, is a series of Earth observation satellites operated by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The KOMPSAT program was established to develop and operate Korean-made Earth observation satellites for various applications, including environmental monitoring, natural resource management, and disaster management.


There are currently several KOMPSAT satellites in operation, each with a unique set of capabilities and specifications. Some of the key features of KOMPSAT satellites include:


  • High-resolution imaging: KOMPSAT satellites are capable of capturing high-resolution images of the Earth's surface, with resolutions ranging from 0.4 meters to 6 meters.

  • Multi-spectral imaging: KOMPSAT satellites can capture images in multiple spectral bands, including visible, near-infrared, and thermal infrared. This allows for a wide range of applications, including land use mapping, vegetation analysis, and disaster monitoring.

  • Rapid revisit time: KOMPSAT satellites have a short revisit time, which means they can capture images of the same location on the Earth's surface multiple times a day. This is useful for monitoring rapidly changing conditions, such as natural disasters or environmental events.

  • Wide area coverage: KOMPSAT satellites have a wide area coverage, with the ability to capture images of large regions of the Earth's surface in a single pass.


KOMPSAT satellite imagery is used for a variety of applications, including environmental monitoring, agriculture, forestry, and disaster management. The data from KOMPSAT satellites is made available to the public through various channels, including the KOMPSAT Ground Receiving Station and the KOMPSAT Image Archive.


Satellogic:


Satellogic is a company that provides geospatial solutions and Earth observation data through a constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites. The company was founded in 2010 and has launched several satellites to provide coverage of the entire Earth's surface.


Some of the key features of Satellogic's satellite imagery include:


  • High-resolution imaging: Satellogic's satellites are capable of capturing high-resolution images of the Earth's surface, with resolutions ranging from 1 meter to 30 meters, depending on the satellite and the imaging mode.

  • Multispectral imaging: Satellogic's satellites can capture images in multiple spectral bands, including visible, near-infrared, and shortwave infrared. This allows for a wide range of applications, including precision agriculture, environmental monitoring, and mineral exploration.

  • High-frequency revisits: Satellogic's satellites have a high-frequency revisit rate, which means they can capture images of the same location on the Earth's surface several times a day. This is useful for monitoring changes in the environment, such as vegetation growth and water levels.

  • Wide area coverage: Satellogic's satellite constellation is designed to provide global coverage of the Earth's surface, with the ability to capture images of large regions in a single pass.


Satellogic's satellite imagery and geospatial solutions are used for a variety of applications, including agriculture, forestry, environmental monitoring, and urban planning. The company also offers a range of analytics, software, and platforms to help customers analyze and make use of satellite imagery data.



These companies offer a range of products and services, from raw satellite imagery data to analytical tools and software, and serve a wide range of industries and applications.


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