SkySat INSTRUMENTS

Explore instruments used in SkySat mission.

EXPLORE INSTRUMENTS

SkySat Data

SkySat data is freely and openly available to everyone.

ACCESS MISSION DATA

SkySat is a constellation of high-resolution Earth imaging satellites from the commercial company Planet.

About SkySat

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.

Mission Parameters
Operator Planet
Date of Launch

SkySat-1: 21 Nov 2013
Skysat-2: 08 Jul 2014
Skysat-3: 22 Sep 2016
Skysat-4 to 7: 16 Sep 2016
Skysat-8 to 13: 31 Oct 2017
Skysat-14-15: 3 Dec 2018
Skysat 16-18: 13 June 2020
Skysat 19-21: 18 Aug 2020

Mission Status

Operating nominally

Orbit Type

Skysat 1-15: Sun-synchronous


Skysat 16-21: inclined, non sun-synchronous

Orbit Altitude

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

21


 

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.”

SkySat Objectives

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.

SkySat Instruments

SkySat camera

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 Parameters
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
Panchromatic: 0.86 m

Multispectral: 1.0 m
[SkySat-3 - SkySat-15] -C Generation
Panchromatic: 0.65m (0.72 m before 30/06/2020)
Multispectral: 0.81m (1.0 m before 30/06/2020)

[SkySat-16 - SkySat-21] -C Generation

Panchromatic: 0.57m

Multispectral: 0.75m

Ortho Product Pixel Size 0.50m
Swath width

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

200 km

Revisit Time

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

SkySat Data

DATA DESCRIPTION

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:

Product Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Name Description
SkySat Basic Scene
            Product
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
            Scene
The SkySat Visual Ortho Scene product is orthorectified,
            pansharpened, and color-corrected (using a color curve)
            3-band RGB Imagery.
SkySat Pansharpened
            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
            Ortho Scene
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.
SkySat Panchromatic
            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.
SkySat Analytic
            Ortho Scene
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)
SkySat Ortho
            Collect Product
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.