Posted on February 6th, 2018

The Pléiades 1 – SPOT 6/7 Stadium of the Month – The Dean E. Smith Center

In January, we found ourselves at the site of a highly touted Big 12 – SEC men’s basketball matchup, and in February we stay with a college basketball theme, moving to the site of the 246th (by our count at least) showdown between Duke University and the University of North Carolina (UNC), the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for this Pléiades 1 – SPOT 6/7 Stadium of the Month.



A 50-cm color image of the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA collected on September 23, 2017 by Pléiades 1A; and then a 1.5-m SPOT 6 image of the same stadium collected on November 29, 2017! These images have custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. PLEIADES © CNES 2018, Distribution Airbus DS. SPOT © Airbus DS 2018.

Name & Its Origin: The idea for the Dean E. Smith Center, now often referred to as the Dean Dome, started in 1980 as a way to honor the legendary coach of the men’s basketball team of the UNC Tar Heels, who won 879 games while coaching from 1961 to 1997 at the university.

Location: The Dean Dome is located on the south-eastern portion of the UNC campus at about 380 feet (~115.8 meters) above sea level. UNC is situated in Chapel Hill, North Carolina which is a nearby western suburb of the Raleigh-Durham metro.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: During May 1980 the UNC Department of Athletics started fundraising to build the Dean Dome, raising some $35 million by 1984 from almost 2,400 donors. Designed by Middleton McMillan Architects, the arena took 43 months to finish, breaking ground on April 17, 1982; and then opening on January 18, 1986 to host a men’s basketball game (fittingly) between the #1 Tar Heels and the #3 Duke Blue Devils. Renovation plans for the nearly thirty year-old Dean Dome were put on hold again this year meaning the seating capacity will stay at 21,750 for the time being.

Type of Field Surface: The Dean Dome features a custom hardwood surface built and installed by Robbins Sports Surfaces.

Key Sports Teams: The Dean E Smith Center is the home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and in 2017, the Dean Dome had the 4th highest average attendance of any Division I men’s team at 18,067 per game.

Most Popular Yearly Event: Besides the annual showdown between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils on the men’s side, the arena is used to host a variety of annual commencement and graduation activities as well as a plethora of concerts and speeches including Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, the Grateful Dead and even Barak Obama.

Fun Factoids: (1) On February 8, 2018, the Dean Dome will light up again for the first meeting of the Tar Heels’ and Blue Devils’ men’s basketball teams of the season, which will likely feature two top 25 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) squads. (2) The Dean Smith Center features 20,000 yards of rock mined from a ravine off nearby Mason Farm Road – and the site required 150,000 cubic feet of soil to be moved before construction of the arena began. (3) The Dean Dome is the fourth largest college basketball arena according to this list.

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high-resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

The SPOT Medium-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The SPOT medium-resolution constellation consist of seven satellites launched from 1986 to 2014 with the most recent additions, SPOT 6 and SPOT 7, launching in 2012 and 2014 respectively. SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are twin satellites offering 1.5-m panchromatic and 6-m 4-band multispectral data with a massive footprint at 60-kilometers (km) wide. For projects requiring recent archive coverage or rapid new collections of medium-resolution data, SPOT 6/7 should be one of your top imagery sources!

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here; while the same can be found here for the SPOT constellation and specifically about SPOT 6/7.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about Pléiades 1 and/or any of the SPOT satellites. We can be reached at (303) 993-3863 or sales@apollomapping.com.

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