Satellite Based Remote Sensing

Sun-synchronous polar orbits

  • Most earth imaging satellites is polar-orbiting, meaning that they circle the planet in a roughly north-south ellipse while the earth revolves beneath them. Therefore, unless the satellite has some sort of "pointing" capability, there are only certain times when a particular place on the ground will be imaged
  • Global coverage, fixed crossing, repeat sampling
  • typical altitude 500-1,500 km
Non-Sun-synchronous orbits
  • Tropics, mid-latitudes, or high latitude coverage, varying sampling
  • Typical altitude 200-2,000 km
Geostationary orbits
  • Regional coverage, continuous sampling
  • Over low-middle latitudes, altitude 35,000 km
What we measure using Remote sensing
  • Reflectance
  • Radiance