STARS Project
STARS Project

Refine your search

Knowledge Portal


The SPOT range of satellites have been in operation since 1986. To date, seven SPOT satellites have been launched, all providing high spatial resolution images with a wide footprint of about 60×60 km. Table 3.3 provides the relevant details of the various missions. 

Table 3.3. Characteristics of SPOT satellites. Find here more details on: SPOT 1SPOT 2SPOT 3SPOT 4SPOT 5SPOT 6SPOT 7

SPOT-1 to -3 had three multi-spectral bands (green, red, NIR) and one panchromatic band with spatial resolutions of 20 m and 10 m, respectively. A SWIR band was added to the multi-spectral bands of SPOT-4 and -5, while spatial resolution improved to 5 m with a 2.5 m panchromatic band. SPOT satellites operate with the pushbroom imaging design.

Although spatial resolution has improved from 20 m (SPOT 1) to 1.5 m (SPOT 6/7), the footprint of SPOT 6/7 has remained the same. This is an important characteristic for smallholder agricultural applications compared to DigitalGlobe images, relatively large areas can be analyzed at a high spatial detail. Thus, in terms of spatial resolution, it may be cost-effective to use SPOT-6/-7 for agricultural management. However, depending on the specific use, spectral characteristics may have to be considered too. For example, WorldView-2 and -3 have more spectral bands than SPOT-6 and -7 (e.g., they include red-edge), which can benefit mapping the spatial distribution of different crop types.  

All images acquired by SPOT-1 through to -5 are now accessible online in a Geostore catalogue which contains more than 30 million images at resolutions of between 20 m (SPOT-1) and 2.5 m (SPOT-5). SPOT-6/-7 data can be obtained from archives or by tasking. 

SPOT images have been useful in civilian and military mapping, agricultural applications, land planning, natural resource exploitation, 3D mapping (SPOT-5), maritime surveillance and environmental protection.

Related publications