The SPOT satellite constellation offers acquisition and daily revisit capacity for anywhere in the world. SPOT produces two high resolution optical images. The multispectral mode is in the red, green and infrared bands of the EM spectrum. The panchromatic mode is a single wide band in the visible part of the spectrum with higher resolution.
In 1986, SPOT 1 became one of the most sophisticated Earth observation satellite of its time. It had a ground resolution of 10 metres. Landsat 5 had 30 metres.
SPOT 1 provided the first usable elevation data for a sizeable portion of the planet's landmass, using two-pass stereoscopic correlation.
SPOT 1 sent nearly 2.7 million high-quality images down to Earth, for the benefit of scientists, government agencies, regional authorities and many other stakeholders.
Ten days after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, SPOT 1 provided images of the highly contaminated zone. 115,000 people were evacuated because of the Chernobyl disaster. This area was known as the “exclusion zone” which is a 30 km buffer around the nuclear power plant. The evacuation area could only be seen by satellite.
The first sign of recovery was found in 1988. SPOT 1 uncovered photosynthesis using the near-infrared sensor. Over the years, the SPOT family has kept a watchful eye on new infrastructure, decontamination activities and reforestation of the area.