The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B1-2022
30 May 2022
 | 30 May 2022


K. Jacobsen

Keywords: SkySat, Geometry, Satellite orientation, Merging images, Accuracy, Economics

Abstract. The very high-resolution space imagery now competes with some functions that were previously solved with aerial images. Several very high-resolution optical satellites with a ground sampling distance (GSD) of 1 m and smaller are currently active. Not all of these satellites take images worldwide. Nevertheless, it is not a problem to obtain up-to-date satellite images with a very high resolution. Mapping projects not only need to consider access and quality, but also cost-effectiveness. Of course, the economic framework conditions are decisive for the decision as to whether space images or very high-resolution satellite images should be used. With a total 21 SkySat satellites, low-cost satellites with very high resolution have changed the economic conditions. To keep costs and weights down, the Skysat satellites were not designed to offer the best direct geo-referencing performance, but this problem can be solved by automatic orientation in relation to existing orthoimages.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the cadastral maps must be checked at regular intervals to ensure that the buildings are complete. A test project examined whether this is possible with SkySat images. The geometric conditions and the image quality with the effective ground resolutions are investigated. Experiences from earlier publications could not be used. First the specific problem had to be solved, the resolution of the SkySat images was improved by lowering the satellite orbit altitude from 500 km to 450 km and by a better super resolution with 0.50 m ground sampling distance for the SkySat Collect orthoimages and in addition Planet improved their generation of Collect images. The required standard deviation of the object details of 4 m was achieved clearly as the effective ground resolution of 0.5 m if the angle of incidence is below 20°.