Launched on September 24, 1999, IKONOS is the world's first commercial satellite providing very high resolution (up to 1 m) imagery of the earth. The IKONOS satellite is operated by Space Imaging Inc. of Denver, Colorado, USA. IKONOS simultaneously collects one-meter resolution black-and-white (panchromatic) images and four-meter resolution color (multispectral) images. The multispectral images consist of four bands in the blue, green, red and near-infrared wavelength regions. The multispectral images can be merged with panchromatic images of the same locations to produce "pan-sharpened color" images of 1-m resolution. The satellite camera can distinguish objects on the Earth’s surface as small as one meter square, but it cannot see individual people. The IKONOS satellite is equipped with state-of-the-art star trackers and on-board GPS, enabling it to acquire imagery with very high positional accuracy. The IKONOS imagery is suitable for applications requiring a high level of details and accuracy, such as mapping, agricultural monitoring, resource management and urban planning.


Type Sun-Synchronous
Altitude 681 km
Inclination 98.1 deg
Descending node crossing time10:30 am local solar time
Period 98 min
Off-Nadir Revisit 1.5 to 2.9 days at 40o latitude

Sensor Characteristics

Viewing Angle Agile spacecraft, along track and across track pointing
Swath Width 11 km nominal at nadir
Image Modes Single scene: 13 km x 13 km
Strips: 11 km x 100 km up to 11 km x 1000 km
Image mosaics: up to 12,000 sq. km
Metric Accuracy 12 m horizontal, 10 m vertical without GCP
Radiometric Digitization 11 bits

Spectral Bands wavelength (µm) Resolution
1 (blue) 0.40 - 0.52 4 m
2 (green) 0.52 - 0.60 4 m
3 (red) 0.63 - 0.694 m
4 (NIR) 0.76 - 0.904 m
Panchromatic 0.45 - 0.90 1 m

Link to: Space Imaging Web Page (http://www.spaceimaging.com).

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Please send comments/enquiries/suggestions about this tutorial to Dr. S. C. Liew at scliew@nus.edu.sg Copyright © CRISP, 2001