Earth Observation/Remote Sensing Satellites

Satellite Design

2016 – Surface Imaging – Snapshot

The majority of Earth observation satellites launched in 2016 were small. Only 12 of the 116 Earth observation satellites had a launch mass of 1000 kilograms (2205 pounds) or more.…

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2005 – Military Reconnaissance

The DoD and national security agencies could also use a variety of Earth observation satellites, like Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) under development, Fast On-orbit Recording of Transient Events (FORTÉ),…

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2007 – Military Reconnaissance

AGI designates remote sensing satellites as surveillance/military satellites. Exhibit 3p (below) provides the number of these satellites by country. AGI reports ## active U.S. surveillance/military satellites that it designates as…

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2007 – Land Imaging

Remote sensing satellites provide images of the Earth for civil, scientific, military, and intelligence applications using a number of different technologies. Remote sensing satellites provide images of the Earth for…

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2012 – Dual Purpose EO/RS

Many remote sensing satellites have dual military and civil or commercial purposes. India launched its indigenously developed radar imaging satellite, RISAT-1, in April 2012. The satellite will join RISAT-2 and…

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2012 – Meteorology

Weather satellites form another major segment of remote sensing satellites, typically operating in GEO or polar LEO orbits. These systems are primarily operated by national governments for forecasting near-term weather…

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2012 – Land Imaging

Land imaging satellite performance is described using a variety of characteristics, including differences in spatial resolution (as measured by how many pixels compose an object), positional accuracies (as measured by…

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2013 – Military Reconnaissance

Military-specific observation satellites can be used for reconnaissance or other intelligence-gathering purposes. The capabilities of remote sensing satellites can sometimes obscure whether or not they are being used for civilian…

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2013 – Meteorology

Weather satellites are a major segment of remote sensing satellites. Most weather satellites are in GEO or polar LEO orbits and have traditionally been operated by national governments for near-term…

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