Earth Observation Satellites

ForestSAT machine learning algorithms process and analyze nearly 20 + years of Satellite imagery, forest, soil, , water and climate impact data from Earth Observation Satellites.


Satellites & Digital Earth Data

Landsat-8

Landsat-8 Satellite Imagery:

  • OLI & TIRS Sensors
  • OLI (Operational Land Imager) and a two-channel – IR radiometer TIRS (Thermal Infrared Sensor)
  • Distinguishing soil from vegetation
  • Emphasizes peak vegetation, which is useful for assessing plant vigor
  • Discriminates vegetation slopes & Biomass contents
  • Discriminates moisture content of soil and vegetation
  • 15 meter resolution, sharper image definition
  • 100 meter resolution, thermal mapping and estimated soil moisture
Image: NASA

MODIS Terra

MODIS Satellite Imagery:

MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites.

Image: Wikipedia

 

MODIS Aqua

MODIS – Aqua Satellite Imagery:

  • Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) — measures cloud properties, sea surface temperature, near-surface wind speed, radiative energy flux, surface water, ice and snow.
  • MODIS — also measures cloud properties and radiative energy flux, also aerosol properties; land cover and land use change, fires and volcanoes.
  • Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) — measures atmospheric temperature and humidity.
  • Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) — measures atmospheric temperature and humidity, land and sea surface temperatures.
Image: Wikipedia

Sentinel Copernicus ESA

Sentinel Satellite Imagery:

  • Monitoring land cover change for environmental monitoring
  • Agricultural applications, such as crop monitoring and management to help food security
  • Detailed vegetation and forest monitoring and parameter generation (e.g. leaf area index, chlorophyll concentration, carbon mass estimations)
  • Observation of coastal zones (marine environmental monitoring, coastal zone mapping)
  • Inland water monitoring
  • Glacier monitoring, ice extent mapping, snow cover monitoring
  • Flood mapping & management (risk analysis, loss assessment, disaster management during floods)

Image: EUMETSAT

Sentinel Family

  • Sentinel-2 serves a wide range of applications related to Earth’s land and coastal water.
  • The mission provides information for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security. Satellite images will be used to determine various plant indices such as leaf area chlorophyll and water content indexes. This is particularly important for effective yield prediction and applications related to Earth’s vegetation.

Image: ESA

ESA – Copernicus Sentinel data

Above-ground biomass in tons/ha estimated from SAR images, acquired by Copernicus Sentinel-1A in 2015, for a 150 x 90 km2 east-west transect in Southern Sweden, including the lakes of Vänern and Vättern.

The region is characterised by productive forests, cropland, pasture and lakes. Detailed and up-to-date information on forest biomass obtained with Sentinel-1 imagery support the work of forest agencies, land owners, climate and environmental modellers.

Sentinel-1

Source: ESA
 
 
 
Sentinel-1 is the first of the Copernicus Programme satellite constellation conducted by the European Space Agency. This mission is composed of a constellation of two satellites, Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B, which share the same orbital plane. They carry a C-band synthetic-aperture radar instrument which provides a collection of data in all-weather, day or night. This instrument has a spatial resolution of down to 5 m and a swath of up to 400 km. The constellation is on a sun synchronous, near-polar (98.18°) orbit. The orbit has a 12-day repeat cycle and completes 175 orbits per cycle.

The first satellite, Sentinel-1A, launched on 3 April 2014, and Sentinel-1B was launched on 25 April 2016. Both satellites lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, and each on a Soyuz rocket. Sentinel-1C and 1D are in development with Sentinel-1C set for launch in 2023.

There are a wide range of applications for the data collected via the Sentinel-1 mission. A few of these uses include sea and land monitoring, emergency response due to environmental disasters, and economic applications. A major goal of the mission was to provide C-Band SAR data. Recently, Sentinel-1 has worked in conjunction with SMAP to help achieve a more accurate measure of soil moisture estimates.[9] Observations from both instruments show to be complementary of each other as they combine data of soil moisture contents.

Sentinel-2

Source: ESA

Sentinel-2 is an Earth observation mission from the Copernicus Programme that systematically acquires optical imagery at high spatial resolution (10 m to 60 m) over land and coastal waters. The mission is currently a constellation with two satellites, Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B; a third satellite, Sentinel-2C, is currently undergoing testing in preparation for launch in 2024.[4]

The mission supports a broad range of services and applications such as agricultural monitoring, emergencies management, land cover classification or water quality.

Sentinel-2 has been developed and is being operated by the European Space Agency, and the satellites were manufactured by a consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space.

The Sentinel-2 mission has the following key characteristics:

  • Multi-spectral data with 13 bands in the visible, near infrared, and short wave infrared part of the spectrum
  • Systematic global coverage of land surfaces from 56° S to 84° N, coastal waters, and all of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Revisiting every 10 days under the same viewing angles.
  • At high latitudes, Sentinel-2 swath overlap and some regions will be observed twice or more every 10 days, but with different viewing angles.
  • Spatial resolution of 10 m, 20 m and 60 m
  • 290 km field of view
  • Free and open data policy
 

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