Fine spatial resolution satellite sensors for the next decade
Abstract. Following the end of the Cold War governmental restrictions on the commercial availability of fine spatial resolution satellite sensor imagery have been relaxed world-wide. This, combined with marked reductions in the costs of developing, launching and operating satellites, has led to considerable research activity in this field by a number of private remote sensing organisations. Within the next few years, imagery with a spatial resolution as fine as 1 m in panchromatic mode and 4 m in multispectral mode will be available widely. This Letter presents a review of fine spatial resolution satellite sensors in operation or planned for operation within the next decade. Details of both commercial and governmental systems are provided. The emphasis is on commercially available data and so data collected for defence applications only are not included. A variety of both instrument and data specifications are highlighted, including spatial and spectral capabilities, and characteristics of viewing geometry, satellite orbit, data collection and supply. Typically, these systems are characterized not only by their fine spatial resolution, but also by high geometric precision, short revisit intervals and rapid data supply.