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Posted on May 5th, 2020

Nighttime Jilin-1 Satellite Imagery – Surajpur, India

Launched and operated by CG Satellite, meet Jilin-1, the only world’s only high-resolution, color satellite constellation collecting nighttime imagery. Offered at 92-centimeter (cm) resolution, nighttime imagery from Jilin-1 is the ideal solution for a plethora of problems only now solvable by this satellite constellation, including:

  • Light pollution studies
  • Population estimates
  • Detection of burnt out street and building lights
  • Measurement of short-term disturbances in power delivery caused by natural disasters
  • Change detection
  • Monitoring of illegal nighttime fishing
  • Modeling of anthropogenic carbon emissions

In this perhaps brief series focused on the 92-cm nighttime satellite, Jilin-1, we feature new image samples plus filters that can highlight different details or change the use case of the data. After two months in a row in Europe, we travel to Asia and specifically to Surajpur in central India for our third Jilin-1 nighttime imagery sample of this series. The 92-cm nighttime Jilin-1 image featured here was collected on September 30, 2019 over Surajpur, India (Image Courtesy: CG Satellite). The first two images are static JPEGs and they have been processed by Apollo Mapping for improved clarity and enhanced brightness. What you will see in these two samples are multiple red, green and blue dots spread across Surajpur and particularly along lit roads and other pathways. While it is hard to be sure the exact source of the colorful lights, and whether or not these are actually errors in the data, given how they cluster where other lights can be found, they appear to be lights on bikes, stalls and/or held by humans – pretty cool! The third image is an animated GIF showing the original nighttime data over Surajpur and then the same 92-cm data with filters for speckling and color noise applied. These filters make the second 92-cm Jilin-1 nighttime image look at bit more even in tone and ‘cleaned up’ so to speak.

Jilin-1 Specifications Summary

If you are new 92-cm color, nighttime Jilin-1 satellite imagery, here is a summary of its key specifications:

  • Imagery Resolution – 92-cm (at nadir), imagery delivered at native ground sampling distance (GSD)
  • Spectral Bands – blue, green and red
  • Approximate Equatorial Nighttime Imaging Time – 22:30 local time, Video 3/7/8; 0:00 local time, Video 4/5/6
  • Average Revisit Frequency –3 days, varies by off-nadir and latitude
  • Dynamic Range – 8-bits
  • Footprint Dimensions – 11 kilometers (km) x 4.5 km, Video 3 satellite; 19 km x 4.5 km, Video 4/5/6/7/8 satellites
  • Imaging Blackout Dates – varies by maximum North or South latitude, feasibility available with submission of project polygon

If you are interested in samples of Jilin-1 or additional specifications, you can check out our website here. And if you would like a price list that includes Jilin-1 nighttime imagery pricing or need help pricing out a specific project, send us an email anytime at

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