ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) is an imaging instrument that is flying on Terra, a satellite launched in December 1999 as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). ASTER is a cooperative effort between NASA and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center (ERSDAC). ASTER will be used to obtain detailed maps of land surface temperature, emissivity, reflectance and elevation. The EOS platforms are part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, whose goal is to obtain a better understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere.

ASTER Imagery Examples:

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Landsat 7 ETM+

Spatial Mapping offers over 2500 Landsat 7 scenes covering most of the North America, South America, Australia and the Mid-East dating from 1999 to the present. Delivery options include custom band combinations, projections, file formats and mosaics.

Different band combinations produce completely different images that highlight the particular features the client is interested in.

Bands 3,2,1 (Red, Green, Blue) combine to form a 'true' colour image that simulates what an observer would see from an airplane.

Bands 5,4,3 (MIR, NIR, Red) combine to a 'false' colour image that highlight the differences between vegetated and non-vegetated areas.

IHS Fuse of Bands 5,4,3 (MIR, NIR, Red) can be used to incorporate Band 8 (15 meter Panchromatic) with the 'false' colour image thereby resulting in a 15 meter resolution colour image.

LANDSAT ETM+ scenes contain 8 different bands of data:

Repeat coverage interval: 16 days (233 orbits)
Altitude: 705 kilometers
Quantization: Best 8 of 9 bits (256 grey levels)

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IRS Pan data is acquired over the visible green to near infrared portion of the spectrum, and has 5.8 metre spatial resolution. However, compared to SPOT Pan data, which has 256 grey levels, IRS Pan has only 64 grey levels. Therefore, the increased spatial resolution of the IRS imagery has to be balanced against the better depth of SPOT data. Generally, IRS data is fine in lower latitudes.

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SPOT 4 data has 10 metre panchromatic and 3 band 20 metre mulitspectral imagery, with scene sizes of 60km by 60km. SPOT data has a higher bit depth than IRS data (8 bit data compared to 6-bit data of IRS), which enables SPOT data to differentiate many of the same forestry related ground features as IRS, even though SPOT has a lower resolution.

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SPOT 5 Earth observation satellite was successfully placed into orbit on the 4th of May 2002. It is scheduled to begin collecting commercial imagery in the 3rd quarter of 2002.

Balancing Spatial Resolution and Swath Width

SPOT 5 is the first of the high resolution satellites to truly balance large scene sizes with highly detailed imagery, with coverage of vast territories: scenes of 60 x 60 or 60 x 120 km.

SPOT 5 data are the first source of satellite imagery compatible with regular mapping standards and are an indispensable tool for:

SPOT 5 Imagery Examples:

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EROS 1A satellite, which provides 1.8 meter panchromatic imagery, was launched on December 5, 2000. It operates in a sun-synchronous circular orbit at an altitude of 480 km. The EROS satellite weighs 240 kilograms and features a CCD Sensor with more than 7,500 pixels per line. The satellite features an agile push broom sensor which is capable of rotating 45 degrees in any direction. This maneuverability provides efficient use of the satellite resources, resulting in optimized data collection and same-pass stereo collection. Each EROS scene is 12 km square.

EROS data is sold by the square kilometer with the minimum order of 12.5km by 12.5km.

EROS 1A Imagery Examples

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Spatial Mapping Ltd. uses IKONOS imagery to produce panchromatic images that are radiometrically corrected, geometrically corrected, and orthorectified. Panchromatic and multispectral images are available in easy-to-use 8-bit formats or wide dynamic range 11-bit formats. Applications include base mapping, map revision, GIS update, planning, site selection and development.

IKONOS imagery is offered in 1-meter resolution panchromatic, 4-meter resolution multispectral products and in 1m & 4m bundles.

IKONOS imagery Examples:

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QuickBird data is the highest resolution data commercial available to date. A 0.61 metre panchromatic sensor combined with a 2.44 metre 4 band mulitspectral sensor offer an unprecedented view of the earth. QuickBird data is sold by the square kilometer and has options for different band combinations.

QuickBird Data Examples:

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LANDSAT 7 ETM+ / Orthophoto Fusion

This product combines up-to-date multispectral Landsat 7 data with high resolution panchromatic orthophotograhpy to produce detailed colour imagery perfectly suited for forestry planning activities.

The image on the left is an example of how Landsat data can be used to apply current information to outdated based data. This images was created from a 1997 (or possibly 1996) TRIM II orthophoto fused with Bands 5,4,3 (MIR, NIR, Red) of Landsat 7 data captured in 2000. You can view the before and after images here.

You can see that in 1997 the road connecting these cutblocks had been constructed, but the cutblocks were cleared sometime after the taking of the orthophoto and before the year 2000, when the Landsat image was collected.

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