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What is the highest resolution satellite imagery available?

Updated: May 27

As of May 2024, commercial satellite companies such as Maxar Technologies, Planet Labs, 21st Century Aerospace Technology, and Airbus Defense and Space offer the highest-resolution satellite imagery available to the public. These companies offer satellite imagery with resolutions as high as 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) per pixel, which means that objects as small as 30 centimeters on the ground can be identified from the images.

Colorado-based startup Albedo plans to launch satellites in 2025 that will capture high-quality optical and thermal long-wave infrared imagery with resolutions of 10 cm and 2 meters, respectively.

It is important to note that access to these high-resolution images may be restricted due to national security concerns or other legal reasons. Additionally, the availability of high-resolution satellite imagery is constantly evolving as new satellites are launched and new technologies are developed, so it is possible that higher-resolution imagery may become available in the future.

Commercial Vs Government

Yes, governments around the world have access to high-resolution satellite imagery, including some of the highest-resolution imagery available. Governments may own or operate their own satellites, or they may purchase imagery from commercial satellite companies. We do not have access to classified or sensitive information. However, it is widely believed that some government agencies and military organizations have access to high-resolution satellite imagery with resolutions much higher than what is available to the public. The exact resolution of such satellite imagery is not publicly disclosed, but it is believed to be as high as a few centimeters per pixel or even better. Such high-resolution imagery is typically classified and used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance purposes.

It is important to note that the exact capabilities and limitations of government access to high-resolution satellite imagery are not publicly known and can vary from country to country.

For more information, please feel free to reach us at:

USA (HQ): (720) 702–4849

India: 98260-76466 - Pradeep Shrivastava

Canada: (519) 590 9999

Mexico: 55 5941 3755

UK & Spain: +44 12358 56710

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GeoWGS84 Solutions
GeoWGS84 Solutions
Oct 12, 2023

Update: Aug. 7 , 2023 saw the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announce the relaxation of restrictions on commercial remote sensing satellite systems. By modifying "Tier 3" licenses, several companies can now offer higher-resolution imagery and additional services, as conditions that were previously in effect for up to three years have been lifted.

NOAA has announced the removal of 39 limitations on an undisclosed quantity of licenses. These limitations encompass a decrease in global imaging constraints for specific imaging methods, as well as the elimination of constraints on non-Earth imaging and rapid revisit. Additionally, all temporary conditions on X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery have been lifted by NOAA.

“NOAA is fulfilling the commitment we made to the industry…

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