CIESIN Reproduced, with permission, from: SPOT Image Corporation. 1993. SPOT System Update. SPOTlight--The SPOT Image Corporation Newsletter (October): 4.

Spot System Update


SPOT 1, launched back in 1986, is still orbiting the Earth and acquiring imagery long past its original two-year design life. It is now dedicated to seasonal data collection for European agricultural monitoring. SPOT 2 has been the primary global data collection platform since early 1990. In over seven years of uninterrupted service, SPOTs 1&2 have recorded almost three million images.


SPOT 3 was successfully launched on September 25, 1993 at 9:45 EDT. Our third satellite is essentially the same as 1&2 in terms of basic design and capabilities. It is equipped with improved positioning instruments and modified onboard tape recorders. Two additional "passengers" on SPOT 3 include:


SPOT 4 is currently being built and is scheduled for launch in 1997. Most notable among its new features will be: The addition of a mid-infrared band (1.58-1.75 um for vegetation studies and geologic application.

Onboard registration of all spectral bands, achieved by replacing the panchromatic sensor (0.51-0.73 um) with Band 2 (0.61-0.68 um) operating in both a 10- and 20-meter resolution mode.

- 2000 km wide swath for daily monitoring of the entire Earth

- Spatial resolution of 1 km

- High radiometric resolution with the following bands:

Blue .43-.47 mum

Green .50-.59 mum

Red .61-.68 mum

Near Infrared .79-.89 mum

Mid-Infrared 1.58-1.75 mum