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About SPOT 4

SPOT 4 (Satellite pour l'Observation de la Terre) was a commercial Earth-imaging satellite from CNES (Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales), the French Space Agency. It was launched on 24 March 1998 and ceased operations after a malfunction on 29 June 2013.

Mission Parameters
Orbit Height832 km
Orbit TypeSun-synchronous circular
Orbit Inclination98.7°
Orbit Duration101 mins
Repeat Cycle26 days

SPOT 4 Objectives

SPOT 4, like all the SPOT missions, was aimed at supplying high-resolution, wide-area optical imagery. This was designed to improve the knowledge and management of Earth's resources, detecting and forecasting phenomena involving climatology and oceanography, and monitoring human activities and natural phenomena.

SPOT 4 Instruments

High-Resolution Visible and InfraRed (HRVIR)

With respect to the HRV instrument on board SPOT 1, 2 and 3 the HRVIR had the same geometric imaging characteristics but improved performance was achieved by adding a new shortwave infrared spectral band (SWIR).

Two identical HRVIR  imaging instruments on SPOT 4 were able to operate in two modes either simultaneously or individually.

The HRVIR had an oblique viewing capability of 27° on each side of the local vertical.The swath was 117 km2 if both sensors were used simultaneously with a 3 km2 overlap.

HRVIR Instrument Details
TypeHigh-resolution optical pushbroom imager
Ground Sample DistancePanchromatic: 10 m
Multispectral: 20 m
Swath Width60 km
BandsMonospectral (PAN)
NIR (Near Infrared)
0.61-0.68 µm
0.50-0.59 µm
0.61-0.68 µm
0.79-0.89 µm
1.53 - 1.75 µm
Instrument Field of View4.13°
Ground Sampling Interval (Nadir Viewing)Panchromatic:10 m x 10 m
Multispectral:20 m x 20 m
Pixel per LinePanchromatic: 6000
Multispectral: 3000
Swath Width)60 km


Other Instruments

The VEGETATION instrument was carried on SPOT 4 and onward. It acts independently of the HRVIR (Visible & Infrared High-Resolution) sensors. This instrument can cover almost all Earth’s surface in a day because of its swath size of 2250 km. It captures reflected light in four spectral bands (blue, red, near-infrared, and middle-infrared).

SPOT 4 Data


Registered users are allowed access to the SPOT 1 to 5 ESA archive through the online dissemination server. The archive consists mainly of imagery over Europe and Africa that ESA has collected through the years.