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Satellite Probatoire pour L'observation de la Terre. Set up in 1978 by France in partnership with Belgium and Sweden. The SPOT satellites are operated by the French Space Agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES).

The first satellite of the series, SPOT-1, was launched from the Kourou Launch Range in French Guiana on February 21, 1986. First earth resources satellite system to include a linear array sensor and employ push-broom scanning techniques.
It is also the first system to have portable optics which enables side-to-side off-nadir viewing capabilities, and it provides full-scene stereoscopic coverage of the same area. SPOT 2 joined SPOT 1 in orbit on January 22, 1990 and SPOT 3 followed on September 26, 1993.

SPOT Orbit
The SPOT orbit is polar, circular, sun-synchronous, and phased. The orbit has an altitude of 830 kilometers for which sun synchronism is obtained for an inclination of 98.7.

The SPOT satellite has been designed to circle the earth 14 and 5/26 times each day. After 26 days (i.e. 26 rotations of the earth) the SPOT satellite completes a whole integer number of revolutions(369). It then begins a new 26 day cycle in which the satellite follows exactly the same ground tracks as before.

SPOT Satellite- General View

The satellite loads were identical, each including two identical HRV (High Resolution Visible) imaging instruments that were able to operate in two modes, either simultaneously or individually. The two spectral modes are panchromatic and multispectral. The panchromatic band has a resolution of 10 meters, and the three multispectral bands (G,R,NIR) have resolutions of 20 metres. They have a scene size of 3600 km2 and a revisit interval of one to four days, depending on the latitude. Because the orbit of SPOT 1 was lowered in 2003, it will gradually lose altitude and break up naturally in the atmosphere. Deorbitation of Spot 2 in accordance with IADC (Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee)- commenced in mid-July 2009 for a period of two weeks, with a final burn on 29 July 2009. SPOT 3 is not working anymore either, due to problems with its stabilization system.

SPOT 4 and 5



The SPOT satellites that are functional today are:

i. SPOT 4: launched on March 23, 1998. ii. SPOT 5: launched on May 3, 2002 They features some major improvements over SPOT 1,2 and 3.

On Spot 4, the two identical optical instruments are HRVIR (Visible & Infrared High-Resolution) sensors. Spot 4 also carries on-board a low-resolution widecoverage instrument for monitoring the continental biosphere and to monitor crops. The VEGETATION instrument provides global coverage on an almost daily basis at a resolution of 1 kilometre with a swath of 2250 km, enabling the observation of long-term environmental changes on a regional and worldwide scale.

HRVIR Sensors
The HRVIR sensors are very similar to the HRV sensors of the previous generation (same spatial resolution and possibility of orienting the mirrors). However, they differ by:
the presence of an additional spectral band in the middle-infrared band; the panchromatic (0.51-0.73 m) bands being replaced by the B2 (0.61-0.68 m) band, which can function equally well in 10m and 20m mode; and onboard superimposition of all of the spectral bands.

HRVIR Sensors
Mode Band Spectral band Resolution

Multispectral B1 (green) 0.50-0.59 m B2 (red) 0.61 0.68 m B3 (near IR) 0.79 0.89 m MIR(middle IR)1.58 1.75 m M monospectral PAN 0.61 0.68 m

20mx20m 20mx20m 20mx20m 20m x 20m 10m x 10m

The VEGETATION programme is co-financed by the European Union, Belgium, France, Italy, and Sweden and being conducted under the supervision of the CNES (National Centre for Space Studies, France).

VEGETATION works independently from the HRVIRs. It includes a wide-angle radiometric camera operating in four spectral bands (blue, red, near-infrared, and middleinfrared). Given its 2,250km swaths, this instrument is thus able to cover almost all of the Earths dry land in just one day.

Band B0 Spectral band 0.43 0.47m (blue) Resolution Applications 1165m x 1165m Oceanographic applications/ Atmospheric corrections 0.61 0.68 m (red) 1165m x 1165m Vegetation photosynthesis 0.79 0.89 m (near IR)1165m x 1165m activity 1.58 1.75 m (middle IR)1165m x 1165m Ground and vegetation humidity


SPOT 5 has two high resolution geometrical (HRG) instruments that were deduced from the HRVIR of SPOT 4. They offer a higher resolution of 2.5 to 5 meters in panchromatic mode and 10 meters in multispectral mode (20 metre on short wave infrared 1.58 - 1.75 m).

SPOT 5 also features an HRS imaging instrument operating in panchromatic mode. The Spot 5 spectral bands are the same as those for Spot 4.
The VEGETATION sensor remains unchanged in comparison to the one installed onboard SPOT 4.

HRG Sensor
HRG sensors (High Resolution Geometric) sensors Two HRG instruments are capable of generating data at 4 resolution levels with the same 60 km swath.
Mode Multispectral Band Spectral band 0.50 0.59 m 0.61 0.68 m 0.79 0.89 m 1.58 1.75 m 0.51 0.73 m Resolution 10mx10m 10mx10m 10mx10m 20m x 20m 5m x 5m

B1 B2 B3 SWIR M - monospectral PAN

HRS Sensor
Characteristics - spectral band: panchromatic - resolution: 10 m, along the track sampling: 5 m - imaging swath (centred on the satellite track): 120 km - maximum scene length: 600 km - viewing angle of the telescopes:+ and - 20 Mode Band M monospectral PAN Spectral band 0.51 0.73 m Resolution 10m x 10m

Designed to improve the knowledge and management of the Earth by exploring the Earth's resources, detecting and forecasting phenomena involving climatology and oceanography, and monitoring human activities and natural phenomena. SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 launches are scheduled for 2012 and 2013, respectively. They form a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites designed to provide continuity of high-resolution, wide-swath data up to 2023.