The Landmapper constellation is Aquila Space Technology. Its uniqueness is in the reliability of coverage and diversity of sensors. Flying 30 satellites and two sensor configurations, Landmapper captures both daily coverage and high resolution shots of our planet.
Landmapper-HD is a constellation of 20 satellites imaging all agricultural land, globally every 3-4 days.
Imaging the world at 2.5 meters resolution, the spacecraft weighs 20kg and is about the size of a small microwave
The Ka band transmitter moves data from space to ground faster than your iPhone 6 sends a text message over LTE. Downlinking 10x faster than industry standard means more data from space to ground and into your app.
The largest part on the spacecraft is the telescope. From 600km up we need this huge telescope to zoom in on the Earth’s surface and capture details like cars, rows of crops, pipelines, houses, and shipping containers.
The 5 band imager captures data in the blue, green, red, red edge, and near infrared spectrum. With each pixel equal to 2.5 meters on the ground, about the size of car. The pixels are assembled into an image which covers 450 km2 on Earth's surface - about the size of Guam.
Butcher Block Filter
As the name suggests, this filter assembles stripes of colour in a way thatresembles the strips of wood glued together on a butcher block. A single filter means that all the energy of the telescope and camera are sent through a single plane.
Landmapper-BC is a constellation of 10 broad coverage satellites that complement the HD sensor. Imaging all agricultural land daily creates deep stacks of pixels for trend detection and identifying change.
Imaging the world at 22 meters resolution, the spacecraft weighs 10kg and is about the size of a shoebox.
Solar panels generate the power to image and downlink long strips of land over every orbit. Panels are mounted on every surface which means that each spacecraft generates enough power to capture 1TB of imagery.
Data Power Module
The data power module is the brain of the satellite: GPS imprints ground coordinates on each image, flight computer makes all of the bits talk to each other, batteries store energy from the solar panels.The plug and play nature of the design means fewer touches during assembly and less chance of failure.
These are the same batteries you'll find in a Tesla!
The camera is tuned to capture images beyond what the eye can see. The light coming into the camera creates pixels used to detect the productivity of planets and forests. Each image covers 30,000 km2 which is about the size of Washington, DC.
The focal plane detects the light coming into the camera and converts the analog signal into 12-bit digital high quality imagery.
The red, green, and near infrared filters exactly match Landsat 8. Among other analysis, the red and near infrared spectrum are used to calculate the productivity of plants and estimate crop yields.
Landsat 8 is used from drought monitoring to regional planning to forest management to geological mapping. The diverse spectral bands allow us to see beyond the visible spectrum into subsurface minerals, through the smoke of wildfires, and into the chlorophyll in plant leaves.
The USGS and NASA Landsat program has been collecting a fresh image of Earth every 16 days at 30 meters resolution for over 40 years.
Sentinel-2 consists of 2 identical satellites with multi-spectral coverage tuned for agriculture and forest monitoring, natural disaster management, soil and water cover sensing, and climate change monitoring.
The mission provides high resolution (10-60 meters resolution) global coverage of the Earth's land surface every 10 days with one satellite and 5 days with 2 satellites, making the data of great use in on-going studies.
Sentinel-2 data is an free and open data source where the satellites are operated by the European Space Agency as part of the Copernicus Program. Sentinel-2 launched the first satellite in the pair in June 2015 and the second is scheduled for launch in mid-2016.