The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

Landsat 7 System Capabilities

Use of Spectral Bands: 1 Blue-green – Used for bathymetric mapping; distinguishes soil from vegetation and deciduous from coniferous vegetation 2 Green – Emphasizes peak vegetation, which is useful for assessing plant vigor 3 Red – Emphasizes vegetation slopes 4 Reflected IR – Emphasizes biomass content and shorelines 5 Reflected IR – Discriminates moisture content of soil and vegetation; penetrates thin clouds 6 Thermal IR – Useful for thermal mapping and estimated soil moisture 7 Reflected IR – Useful for mapping hydrothermally altered rocks associated with mineral deposits 8 Panchromatic – Landsat 7 carries a panchromatic band (visible through near infrared) with 15-meter resolution for “sharpening” of multispectral images

Multispectral images

Measured Parameters

Landsat 7 contributes to economic development, environment, and sovereignty and security policy priorities in the Arctic, providing beneficial data for monitoring of changes in land and water use, mineral exploration and disaster response.

Relevance to Arctic Interests

SPOT 5 Facts in Brief

Country: France Operations: National Centre for Space Studies (CNES)

Status: Launched in 2002 (SPOT 6 and 7 to be launched in 2012 and 2014, respectively) Mission Duration: SPOT 5 designed for 5 year life, but currently planned to end in 2014 Coverage: Global coverage, 26 day cycle, with repeat coverage of 5 days (northern areas) down to 2 days (equatorial areas) Orbit: Sun synchronous, near polar and almost circular orbit at 822 km altitude Key Service Areas: Natural disaster management, geology, oil and mineral exploration, water resource management, iceberg detection, oil spill tracking, military operations and crisis response. Web link: SPOT 5 was designed with the dual objective of continuity of service and ever-improving image quality. While retaining the main characteristics that have earned SPOT a worldwide reputation for its acquisition capability, with the same orbit, spectral bands and imaging swath of 60 kilometres either side of the ground track, the SPOT 5 satellite offers improved ground resolutions of 10 metres in multispectral mode and 2.5 to 5 metres in panchromatic and infrared mode. SPOT Earth observation satellites were 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. The SPOT 5 system includes a series of satellites and ground control resources for satellite control and programming, image production, and distribution. Covering a wide area (60 km x 60 km) SPOT imagery comes in a full range of resolutions from 20 m down to 2.5 m. Higher 2.5-metre resolution is achieved using an innovative sampling concept called Supermode. SPOT 5 also features a new HRS imaging (High Resolution Stereoscopic) instrument operating in panchromatic mode and able to point forward and aft of the satellite. In a single pass, the forward-pointing camera acquires images of the ground, and then the rearward-pointing camera covers the same strip 90 seconds later. HRS is thus able to acquire stereo pair images almost simultaneously to map relief, produce digital elevation models (DEMs) of wide areas and generate high quality orthorectified image products.

Mission Objectives

System Capabilities

Panchromatic and multispectral images (simultaneously)

Measured Parameters

SPOT 5 contributes to environmental, sovereignty and security and economic development policy priorities in the Arctic. The availability of high resolution imagery at relatively short repeat coverage provides beneficial data for environmental monitoring on land and ocean, exploration for valuable mineral and oil resources in the region and support of any necessary emergency response or sovereignty protection needs.

Relevance to Arctic Interests

Pleiades HR-1 and HR-2 Facts in Brief

Country: France Operations: National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) Status: HR-1 launched in 2011, HR-2 to be launched in 2013. Mission Duration: 5 years Coverage: Global coverage, 26 day cycle, with repeat coverage of 2 days (one satellite) and 1 day (two satellites) Orbit: Sun-synchronous, phased and almost circular orbit at 694 km altitude Key Service Areas: Defence (operations and crisis response); emergency management; cartography; geological risk assessment (volcanoes, slides, etc.); hydrological risk assessment (floods); forestry yield estimation; and coastal zone monitoring. Web link: As part of ORFEO, Pleiades is a Dual Use System devoted to providing high resolution optical products/services for both civilian and military applications, while respecting the strong requirements of each one. The system must ensure: the protection of defence interests in terms of security and priority of mission requests; and that civilian users’ needs are satisfied in terms of general operational capacity, quick access to data, image availability and quality and the competitiveness of the services supplied.

Mission Objectives


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