A technical review of planet smallsat data: Practical considerations for processing and using planetscope imagery

Amy E. Frazier, Benjamin L. Hemingway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With the ability to capture daily imagery of Earth at very high spatial resolutions, commercial smallsats are emerging as a key resource for the remote sensing community. Planet (Planet Labs, Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA) operates the largest constellation of Earth imaging smallsats, which have been capturing multispectral imagery for consumer use since 2016. Use of these images is growing in the remote sensing community, but the variation in radiometric and geometric quality compared to traditional platforms (i.e., Landsat, MODIS, etc.) means the images are not always ‘analysis ready’ upon download. Neglecting these variations can impact derived products and anal-yses. Users also must contend with constantly evolving technology, which improves products but can create discrepancies across sensor generations. This communication provides a technical review of Planet’s PlanetScope smallsat data streams and extant literature to provide practical considerations to the remote sensing community for utilizing these images in remote sensing research. Radiometric and geometric issues for researchers to consider are highlighted alongside a review of processing completed by Planet and innovations being developed by the user community to foster the adoption and use of these images for scientific applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3930
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume13
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Keywords

  • Calibration
  • Constellation
  • Cubesat
  • Geometric correction
  • Planet
  • Radiometric normalization
  • Smallsat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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