SkySat is a constellation of 21 high-resolution Earth imaging satellites owned and operated by the commercial company Planet. SkySat-1 was launched in 2013 and a launch programme has followed.
The first two Skysat satellites (Skysat-1 and Skysat-2) are A and B Generations, the other 19 satellites are modernised C Generation satellites. Six of the C-Generation SkySat satellites (from Skysat-16 to Skysat-21) were launched into non-sun-synchronous orbits to increase the image cadence between 52 degrees northern and southern latitude up to 6-7 times per day on worldwide average, with a maximum of 12.
|Date of Launch||
SkySat-1: 21 Nov 2013
Skysat 1-15: Sun-synchronous
Skysat 1-2: 600km
Skysat 3-15: 500km at launch, lowered to 450km in early 2020
Skysat 16-18: 400km
Equator Crossing Time
SkySat-1, 3-7, 14-15 : approximately 10:30 a.m.
SkySat-2, 8-13 : approximately 1:00 p.m.
SkySat-16-21 : variable
Number of satellites
This mission is considered a Third Party Mission Under Assesment. The evaluation will tackle cal/val activities and assess the products specifications. This analysis will be performed in the framework of the Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP). The evaluation will also allow any interested user to investigate the suitability of the data for scientific and R&D activities.”
The SkySat constellation collects thousands of square kilometers of imagery. Each satellite is three-axis stabilised and agile enough to slew between different targets of interest.
This is a Cassegrain telescope with a focal length of 3.6m, with three 5.5 megapixel CMOS imaging detectors making up the focal plane and able to collect frame imagery, stereo imagery, and video by day and by night.
In early 2020 the Skysat C-generation orbits were lowered from 500km to 450km altitude which, together with various processing evolutions, brought an improvement of the spatial resolution.
|Sensor Type||SkySat Satellites have three CMOS Frame Cameras per satellite with Panchromatic and Multispectral halves, which capture overlapping strips. Each of these strips contain overlapping scenes.|
|Spectral Bands||Blue 450 – 515 nm
Green 515 – 595 nm
Red 605 – 695 nm
NIR 740 – 900 nm
PAN 450 - 900 nm
|Ground Resolution after Super-Resolution processing (nadir)||
[SkySat-1, SkySat-2] -A/B Generation
Multispectral: 1.0 m
[SkySat-16 - SkySat-21] -C Generation
|Ortho Product Pixel Size||0.50m|
8 km at nadir (SkySat-1 to -2)
5.9 km at nadir (SkySat-3 to -15)
5.5 km at nadir (SkySat-16 to -21)
|Maximum Image Strip length||
Constellation: sub-daily, 6-7 times at worldwide average, 12 times max.
Satellite: 4 - 5 days (Reference altitude 500 km)
|Image Capture Capacity||400k km² /day|
ESA is offering, for scientific research and application development, access to archive and new tasking data from the SkySat mission upon submission and acceptance of a project proposal. These products are available as part of the Planet imagery offer.
ESA will support as many high-quality and innovative projects as possible within the quota limit available, therefore only a limited amount of products can be made available to each project.The data distribution of this collection is currently "under assessment" but the description of data collection is available:
- SkySat Full Archive and New Tasking: Basic Scene Product (L2B), the SkySat Orthoscene Product (L3B) and the SkySat OrthoCollect Product (L3B) in different product types
|SkySat Basic Scene
|The SkySat Basic Scene product includes Analytic
and Panchromatic imagery that is
uncalibrated and in a raw digital number format.
The Basic Scene Product
is not radiometrically corrected for atmosphere or for any geometric
distortions inherent in the imaging process.
It is provided with RPC values for geopositioning.
|SkySat Visual Ortho
|The SkySat Visual Ortho Scene product is orthorectified,
pansharpened, and color-corrected (using a color curve)
3-band RGB Imagery.
Multispectral Ortho Scene
|The SkySat Pansharpened Multispectral Scene product is
orthorectified, pansharpened, and color-corrected
(using a color curve) 4-band BGRN Imagery.
|SkySat Analytic DN
|The SkySat Analytic DN Ortho Scene product is
orthorectified, multispectral data from the SkySat constellation.
The Analytic DN product is an uncalibrated,
digital number imagery product. This product is designed
for a wide variety of applications that require imagery with
an accurate geolocation and cartographic projection.
The product has been processed to remove distortions
caused by terrain. It eliminates the perspective effect on
the ground (not on buildings), restoring the geometry of a
vertical shot. In addition to orthorectification, the imagery
has radiometric corrections applied to correct for any
sensor artifacts. The initial availability does not include
transformation to at-sensor radiance.
DN Ortho Scene
|The SkySat Panchromatic Ortho Scene product is
orthorectified, panchromatic data from the SkySat constellation.
The Panchromatic DN product is an
uncalibrated, digital number imagery product.
The Panchromatic product has a finer GSD than the Analytic
Product due to NOAA license restrictions, and is useful
for visual interpretation as well as pan-sharpening of
coarser resolution Multispectral data. The initial
availability does not include transformation to at-sensor radiance.
|Analytic products are calibrated multispectral imagery
products that have been processed to allow analysts to
derive information products for data science and analytics.
The imagery has radiometric corrections
applied to correct for any sensor artifacts and
transformation to top-of-atmosphere radiance.
(product is not available for images acquired before October 2017)
|The Ortho Collect product is created by composing
SkySat Ortho Scenes along an imaging strip into
segments typically unifying ~60 SkySat Ortho Scenes.
The product may contain artifacts resulting from the
composing process, particular offsets in areas of stitched
source scenes. In a next version, artifacts caused by
scene misalignment will be hidden by cutlines. This is
particularly important for the appearance of objects in
built-up areas and their accurate extraction.