Data

The RISCO RapidIce Viewer includes satellite imagery from various agencies and sources.  This metadata page is provided as a frame of reference for imagery included in the viewer.  Please note that not all imagery products for the sensors are available and some of the data may have been post-processed.  If you have any questions, please contact RISCO Principal Investigator Ian Howat.

The satellite imagery provided by RISCO is available without restriction or fee.  However, some imagery is not available in georeferenced formats (e.g. commercial imagery) because of licensing restrictions; the preview JPEGs are still available for download.  If imagery is downloaded and used  for mapping, publications, analysis or other presentations, you must cite the original source of the data and RISCO.  Citations can be found on the individual sensors' information pages, where available.  Please also use this citation for RISCO: "Imagery data provided by Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO)."

Below you will find basic metadata about each of the sensors included in the Viewer.  These figures are metadata from the source imagery. 

Landsat MSS

Landsat Multispectral Scanner System (MSS)

Since 1972, the Landsat satellites have provided repetitive, synoptic, global coverage of high-resolution multispectral imagery. The characteristics of the MSS bands were selected to maximize each band's capabilities for detecting and monitoring different types of land surface cover characteristics.

Sensor Homepage http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/mss.html
Sensor Specifications http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/mss.html
Organizations NASA, USGS
Satellite(s) Landsat 1 to Landsat 5 Spectral Range 0.5 - 1.1 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution 60 meters
Number of Bands 4 (5 with Landsat 3) Swath Dimensions 185 x 185 km
Data Collection Active 1972 - 1992 Revisit Time 18 days (Landsat 1 to 3), 16 days (Landsat 4 to 5)

Landsat TM

Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)

The Thematic Mapper (TM) is an advanced, multispectral scanning, Earth resources sensor designed to achieve higher image resolution, sharper spectral separation, improved geometric fidelity and greater radiometric accuracy and resolution than the MSS sensor. TM data are sensed in seven spectral bands simultaneously. Band 6 senses thermal (heat) infrared radiation. Landsat can only acquire night scenes in band 6. A TM scene has an Instantaneous Field Of View (IFOV) of 30m x 30m in bands 1-5 and 7 while band 6 has an IFOV of 120m x 120m on the ground.

Sensor Homepage http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/tm.html
Sensor Specifications http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/tm.html
Organizations NASA, USGS
Satellite(s) Landsat 4 and 5 Spectral Range 0.45 - 12.5 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Bands 1-5 & 7= 30 m, Band 6= 120 m
Number of Bands 7 Swath Dimensions 185 km X 172 km
Data Collection Active 1982 to present Revisit Time 16 days

Landsat ETM+

Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+)

The Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument is a fixed "whisk-broom", eight-band, multispectral scanning radiometer capable of providing high-resolution imaging information of the Earth's surface. It detects spectrally-filtered radiation in VNIR, SWIR, LWIR and panchromatic bands from the sun-lit Earth in a 183 km wide swath when orbiting at an altitude of 705 km.

Sensor Homepage http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/etm+.html
Sensor Specifications http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/etm+.html
Organizations NASA, USGS
Satellite(s) Landsat 7 Spectral Range 0.45 - 12.5 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Band 8 (pan) = 15m, Bands 1-5 & 7= 30 m, Band 6= 60 m
Number of Bands 8 Swath Dimensions 183 km x 170 km
Data Collection Active 1999 to present Revisit Time 16 days

MODIS Aqua

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua

MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths. These data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.

Sensor Homepage http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov
Sensor Specifications http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/specifications.php
Organization NASA
Satellite(s) Aqua Spectral Range 459 nm - 14.385 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Bands 1-2: 250 m, Bands 3-7: 500 m, Bands 8+ = 1000 m
Number of Bands 36 Swath Dimensions 2330 km (cross track) by 10 km (along track at nadir)
Data Collection Active 2002 to present Revisit Time 24 hours

MODIS Terra

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra

MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths. These data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.

Sensor Homepage http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov
Sensor Specifications http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/specifications.php
Organization NASA
Satellite(s) Terra Spectral Range 459 nm - 14.385 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Bands 1-2: 250 m, Bands 3-7: 500 m, Bands 8+ = 1000 m
Number of Bands 36 Swath Dimensions 2330 km (cross track) by 10 km (along track at nadir)
Data Collection Active 1999 to present Revisit Time 24 hours

ASTER

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer

ASTER is a cooperative effort between NASA and Japan's Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI), with the collaboration of scientific and industry organizations in both countries. The ASTER instrument provides the next generation in remote sensing imaging capabilities when compared to the older Landsat Thematic Mapper and Japan's JERS-1 OPS scanner. ASTER captures high spatial resolution data in 14 bands, from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelengths, and provides stereo viewing capability for digital elevation model creation. As the "zoom lens" for Terra, ASTER data are used by other Terra and space-borne instruments for validation and calibration.

Sensor Homepage http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov
Sensor Specifications http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/characteristics.asp
Organizations NASA, METI
Satellite(s) Terra Spectral Range 0.60 - 11.65 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Bands 1-3 = 15 m, Bands 4-9 = 30 m, Bands 10-14 = 90 m
Number of Bands 14 Swath Dimensions 60 km
Data Collection Active 1999 to present Revisit Time 16 days nominal, higher with pointing

SPOT-5 SPIRIT (currently unavailable)

SPOT 5 Stereoscopic survey of Polar Ice: Reference Images and Topographies

Astrium Services and CNES supplied satellite data for the international Polar Year research programmes. Earth-observing satellites are mapping the poles to provide scientists with a more precise picture of how glaciers are changing and to help them understand the impacts of climate change on our planet. Astrium Services and CNES joined the SPIRIT project in partnership with French survey, the French mapping agency IGN and the LEGOS, space geophysics and oceanography research laboratory. During two years, from 2007 to 2009, an archive of SPOT 5 HRS images was compiled over polar ice in order to produce DTMs and ortho-images.

Sensor Homepage http://www.astrium-geo.com/en/143-spot-satellite-imagery
Sensor Specifications http://www.astrium-geo.com/en/2934-spirit-spot-5-stereoscopic-survey-of-polar-ice-reference-images-and-topographies
Organization Astrium
Satellite(s) Spot 5 Spectral Range 0.51 - 0.73 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution 5 m
Number of Bands Only panchromatic band available Swath Dimensions 80 km
Data Collection Active 2007-2011 for SPIRIT program Revisit Time N/A

EO-1 ALI

Earth Observing 1 - Advanced Land Imager (ALI)

The EO-1 ALI is the first Earth-Observing instrument to be flown under NASA's New Millennium Program (NMP). The ALI employs novel wide-angle optics and a highly integrated multispectral and panchromatic spectrometer.

Sensor Homepage http://eo1.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Sensor Specifications http://eo1.usgs.gov/sensors/ali
Organizations NASA, USGS
Satellite(s) NASA EO-1 Spectral Range 0.4 - 2.4 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Panchromatic = 10 m, Multispectral = 30 m
Number of Bands 10 Swath Dimensions 37 km
Data Collection Active 2000 - present Revisit Time 16 days

WorldView-1

WorldView-1

WorldView-1, launched September 2007, is a high-capacity, panchromatic imaging system featuring half-meter resolution imagery. Operating at an altitude of 496 kilometers, WorldView-1 has an average revisit time of 1.7 days and is capable of collecting over one million square kilometers per day of half-meter imagery. The satellite is also equipped with state-of-the-art geolocation accuracy capabilities and exhibits stunning agility with rapid targeting and efficient in-track stereo collection.

Sensor Homepage http://www.digitalglobe.com
Sensor Specifications http://www.digitalglobe.com/downloads/WorldView1-DS-WV1-Web.pdf
Organizations DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Satellite(s) WorldView-1 Spectral Range 0.4 - 0.9 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution 0.5 meters
Number of Bands 1 panchromatic Swath Dimensions 17 km
Data Collection Active 2007 - present Revisit Time 1.7 days

WorldView-2

WorldView-2

WorldView-2, launched October 2009, is the first high-resolution 8-band multispectral commercial satellite. Operating at an altitude of 770 kilometers, WorldView-2 provides 46 cm panchromatic resolution and 1.85 meter multispectral resolution. WorldView-2 has an average revisit time of 1.1 days and is capable of collecting up to 1 million square kilometers of 8-band imagery per day.

Sensor Homepage http://www.digitalglobe.com
Sensor Specifications http://www.digitalglobe.com/downloads/WorldView2-DS-WV2-Web.pdf
Organizations DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Satellite(s) WorldView-2 Spectral Range 0.4 - 1.04 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Panchromatic 0.46 m, Multispectral 1.8 m
Number of Bands 1 panchromatic, 8 multispectral Swath Dimensions 16.4 km
Data Collection Active 2009 - present Revisit Time 1.1 days

QuickBird-2

QuickBird-2

The QuickBird satellite is the first in a constellation of sub-meter spacecraft that DigitalGlobe has developed that offers highly accurate, commercial high-resolution imagery of Earth. QuickBird’s global collection of panchromatic and multispectral imagery is designed to support applications ranging from map publishing to land and asset management to insurance risk assessment. An operational altitude of 482 km was achieved with an expected gradual descent to 450 km by early 2013.

Sensor Homepage http://www.digitalglobe.com
Sensor Specifications http://www.digitalglobe.com/downloads/QuickBird-DS-QB-Web.pdf
Organizations DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Satellite(s) QuickBird-2 Spectral Range 0.405 - 0.918 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Panchromatic 0.61 m, Multispectral 2.44 m
Number of Bands 1 panchromatic, 4 multispectral Swath Dimensions 18 km
Data Collection Active 2001 - present Revisit Time 2.5 days

GeoEye-1

GeoEye-1

GeoEye-1, the highest resolution and most advanced commercial imaging satellite in the world, offers unprecedented spatial resolution. It creates this accuracy by simultaneously acquiring 0.41-meter panchromatic and 1.65-meter multispectral imagery. The satellite can collect up to 700,000 square kilometers of panchromatic imagery per day. Due to U.S. Government licensing, commercial customers will receive .50-meter color imagery.

Sensor Homepage http://www.geoeye.com
Sensor Specifications http://www.geoeye.com/CorpSite/products/earth-imagery/geoeye-satellites.aspx
Organizations GeoEye, Inc.
Satellite(s) GeoEye-1 Spectral Range 0.45 - 0.92 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Panchromatic 0.5 m, Multispectral 1.65 m
Number of Bands 1 panchromatic, 4 multispectral Swath Dimensions 15.2 km
Data Collection Active 2009 - present Revisit Time <3 days

IKONOS

IKONOS

IKONOS is the world’s first sub-meter high resolution commercial satellite to collect black-and-white (panchromatic) images with 0.82-meter resolution and multispectral imagery with 4-meter resolution From a 423 mile high orbit, IKONOS has a revisit time of once every three days, and it downlinks directly to more than a dozen ground stations around the world.

Sensor Homepage http://www.geoeye.com
Sensor Specifications http://www.geoeye.com/CorpSite/products/earth-imagery/geoeye-satellites.aspx
Organizations GeoEye, Inc.
Satellite(s) IKONOS Spectral Range 0.45 - 0.853 µm
Sensor Type Optical Spatial Resolution Panchromatic 0.82 m, Multispectral 4.0 m
Number of Bands 1 panchromatic, 4 multispectral Swath Dimensions 15.2 km
Data Collection Active 2000 - present Revisit Time <3 days

IceBridge ATM

NASA Operation IceBridge Advanced Topographic Mapper Lidar

The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), developed at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., is a scanning laser altimeter that measures ice surface elevation with an accuracy of 10-20 cm. It has been flown over the Greenland Ice Sheet nearly every spring since 1993 and in Antartctica in several fall campaings over the past seven years, with expanded operations on both ice sheets since 2010 as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge. Both IceBridge and Pre-IceBridge data are available in the viewer. RISCO distributes these data as grids with a 30 m posting, interpolated from the level 1B (qfit) point clouds obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Sensor Homepage http://atm.wff.nasa.gov
Sensor Specifications http://atm.wff.nasa.gov
Organizations NASA's Wallops Flight Facility
Aircraft Twin Otter, DC-9, P-3 Spectral Range 550 nm (Green)
Sensor Type Lidar Spatial Resolution ~10 m2
Number of Bands 1 Swath Dimensions ~200 m
Data Collection Active 1993 - present Revisit Time ~1 per year, Spring in Arctic, Fall in Antarctic

IceBridge LVIS

NASA Operation IceBridge Land Vegetation and Ice Sensor

NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (a.k.a. the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor) or "LVIS", is a scanning laser altimeter instrument that is flown, by aircraft, over target areas to collect data on surface topography and vegetation coverage. It has been flown over the Greenland Ice Sheet in a pilot study in 2007 and 2009-2012 as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge. RISCO distributes these data as grids with a 30 m posting, interpolated from the level 2  point clouds obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Sensor Homepage http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html
Sensor Specifications http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov/instrumentdetails.html
Organizations NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Aircraft DC-9, P-3, G-5 Spectral Range 1064 nm
Sensor Type Lidar Spatial Resolution ~20 m2
Number of Bands 1 Swath Dimensions ~2 km
Data Collection Active 2007 - present Revisit Time ~1 per year, Spring in Arctic, Fall in Antarctic

 

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