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Earth Observation



Earth Observation in the frame of EO-MINERS - Overview of remote sensing methods, sensors and applications

Airborne - Spaceborne remote sensing comparison for optical electromagnetic sensors

The following table presents a summarized comparison of the core topics related to airborne and spaceborne remote sensing. Please note that this only a summary. Specific sensor systems might not comply with this table.

Comparison between airborne and space borne remote sensing

Parameter Airborne Spaceborne
Time of overpass Flexible Mostly fixed
Temporal resolution (Revisit time) Minutes Days
Spatial resolution GSD<5m GSD up to 0.5m for panchromatic images. For multi-band images, it ranges from a few meters(low altitude sensors) up to a few kilometres for high altitude sensors.
Spectral resolution Panchromatic to hyperspectral Mostly panchromatic (one band) to multispectral
Calibration Before launch + possible on-board Precalibration before launch, then on-board characterisation (usually yearly)
Cost 10,000 € and up for a campaign Free (non-commercial), up to 25 € per sq km (commercial)
Stability Low, due to turbulence High
FOV (swath width) Small (up to 10 km per flight line) High (up to 2500 km for low altitude sensors, a full hemisphere for high altitude sensors)