Orbiting our planet alone for nearly two years, Airbus Defense and Space’s medium resolution satellite, SPOT 6, was finally joined in space on June 30, 2014 at 04:22 UTC by its identical twin, SPOT 7. After a brief calibration phase, SPOT 7 will be made commercially available, doubling the capacity of the constellation to more than 6 million square kilometers (sq km) per day or more than 2 billion sq km per year! SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 collect 1.5-meter multispectral data with a swath that is 60-km wide. This medium resolution imagery is ideal for regional analysis including environmental, oil and gas and mining applications.
Just a mere three days after the launch of SPOT 7, Airbus released five images collected by the medium-resolution satellite over a variety of terrains. This shows the robust and scalable nature of the SPOT tasking, collection, downlink and production chain. To say that this is an impressive feat is rather an understatement!
Here is a brief summary of the key specifications of SPOT 6 and 7:
- Resolution and Spectral Bands: 1.5-meter (m) panchromatic & 6-m multispectral (i.e. blue, green, red and near-infrared)
- Bit Depth: 12-bits
- Swath Width: 60-km (at nadir)
- Constellation Collection Capacity: 6 million sq km per day
- Minimum Order Size: 100 sq km (archive); 500 sq km (new collection)
- Commercial Starting Cost: $5.15 per sq km (archive); $6.20 per sq km (new collection); academic discounts are available