SPOT Image : A ambitious vision

Way back when I was a lowly Masters student studying Remote Sensing, one of the most exciting developments at the time was the availability of imagery from the new French satellite SPOT. At the time this was a huge leap forward with 10m resolution imagery captured by a solid state push broom scanning system, it represented  as big a leap forward from Landsat-5 as CD’s did from cassette tapes.

I had the pleasure last week of attending the International Conference of SPOT Image the Toulouse based company that launched SPOT 1 back then and who are now operating a constellation of SPOT satellites that provide imagery to many familiar names including Google.

2009-06-10-1405I had been asked to make a couple of presentations and take part in a round table debate, but had the pleasure to sit back and watch as Jeff from the SPOT Image web team demoed their new online services using Google Earth.

Over the next five years SPOT Image will launch another 4 remote sensing satellites, and amazingly ambitious goal, Pleiades I and II will be 0.5m highly agile satellites similar in capability to GeoEye and WorldView and SPOT 6 & 7 will be mission continuity satellites for the current SPOT constellation.

That is a great demonstration that in Europe there is a very active Earth Observation industry that is leading the world.

Written and submitted from NH Atlanta Hotel, using the swisscom 802.11 network.

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