January 3, 2011

Why Use GeoEye-1

GeoEye-1 is one of the newest ultra high resolution optical satellite platforms for earth observation (EO).  With an approximate half meter spatial resolution capability, it gives the user an extremely fine view of their area(s) of interest.  The sensor has five spectral bands (red, green, blue, infra red and panchromatic) which makes it ideal for a number of uses including environmental monitoring, mineral exploration and urban planning.  The resolution of this sensor allows for extraction of very small features (approaching 1/10 hectare) and provides an economical alternative to air photos.

This half meter resolution GeoEye-1 image shows central Port-au-Prince,
Haiti after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the area on Jan. 12, 2010

Another advantage of GeoEye-1 comes from the orbit performance.  With an orbit velocity of 7.5 km/sec, orbiting at an altitude of 681 kilometers, it has a repeat frequency of approximately three days.  This means it is ideal for many types of change detection analysis.  For example, monitoring extreme flood conditions such as those currently being experienced in Queensland, Australia, is just one potential benefit of this satellites revisit frequency.  Imagery from this ultra-high resolution satellite can be acquired at regular intervals to help rescuers identify escape routes, assess areas of highest damage and monitor the changing flood conditions.  This is exactly what was done during the Haitian earthquake disaster which took place last year.  GeoEye-1 imagery was used to assess areas that suffered the most damage in order to more effectively target the rescue efforts. (see image above) .

Other examples of the utility of this satellite platform can be seen on the GeoEye website.  Hatfield Consultants is currently using this and other high resolution sensors on a project to assess the landslide potential from localized forest practices.  This work utilizes not only the spectral signature information of the imagery but also the stereoscopic capture abilities of this satellite.  Using techniques such as DEM extraction and principal components analysis (PCA), experienced Remote Sensing Analysts can determine the effects of activities such as clear cutting and road building from forestry projects.  This can be done at a very fine scale making the output data sets, assuming availability of good ground control,  very accurate and highly detailed.

There are many other uses for this imagery including vegetation health assessments, crop monitoring and even construction feasibility.  For more information contact Hatfield Consultants Partnership.

No comments: