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Using the Land Remote Sensing Satellites Online Compendium

The Land Remote Sensing Satellites Online Compendium contains details about past, present and future Earth observing satellites and the sensors they carry.  This resource has been developed and is managed by the Requirements, Capabilities and Analysis for Earth Observation (RCA-EO) team at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The information contained in the Land Remote Sensing Satellites Online Compendium is updated regularly, based on data available from satellite owners and other resources, and can be used freely, endorsing the USGS for publications.

Please use the suggested citation when referencing the Compendium:

Ramaseri Chandra, S.N., Christopherson, J.B., Casey, K., Oeding, J., Ranjitkar, B., and Rusten, T., 2022, Land remote sensing satellites online compendium: U.S. Geological Survey digital data,

Note: The RCA-EO team or the USGS do not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information. Also, any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


System Requirements

Current web and mobile browsers that support JavaScript and stylesheets is recommended. Systems that have the latest version of the following browsers can utilize this compendium: 

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Default Android Browser

For the best display, it is recommended to set the resolution of screen to be at least 1024 pixel x 768 pixel resolution.


Using the Compendium

The main page of the compendium (shown below) displays satellite parameters: Name, Status, Orbit, Launch year, Country, Spectral bands, Range (nm), Ground Sample Distance (GSD), Sensing Element Type and Satellite Associations. The tool reports the satellite list by using either the search tab or the filters. 

Screenshot of the Land Remote Sensing Online Compendium
This image displays the Land Remote Satellites Online Compendium. 

The filters shown on the left side of the page can be used to narrow down the results: 

  1. Launch Date: Select the date range to see the satellites launched during that timeframe.
  2. Spectral bands (All): Select the list of satellites based on the spectral bands
    • AND: Returns the list only satisfying all selected options
    • OR: Returns the list satisfying any of the selected options
  3. Range (nm): Select the upper and lower edge of the spectral range in nanometers to return a list of satellites carrying sensors operating in the selected range. Slider can be used to adjust the upper and lower edge values.
    • Reset Range: Click to reset the values to default.
  4. Ground Sample Distance (All): Select from a list of six GSD groups
    • AND: Returns the list only satisfying all selected options
    • OR: Returns the list satisfying any of the selected options
  5. Sensing Element Type (All): Select the desired sensor type.
  6. Country (All): Select country to show the satellites operated/owned by them.
  7. Status (All): Select the desired status (current options include: Cancelled, Degraded, Development, Failed, Operational, Planned, Research, Retired, and Standby)
  8. Satellite Orbit (All): Select the desired orbit (Geosynchronous, Sun-Synchronous and Other - Other includes ISS sensors)
  9. Satellite Association: Select to show satellites owned by commercial industry versus civil/government agencies.
  10. Satellite Name (All): Search the satellites based on its full name or acronym. (Instrument names cannot be filtered here.)
    • Reset Satellite Name: Click to remove filter values.

The Search bar on the top right of the page can be used to enter acronyms and keywords to search the Satellite and Sensor details. For example, all satellites launched by ‘NASA’ or ‘MODIS’ sensor. Note: This search also includes the occurrence of the searched text anywhere in the compendium. This means that a search for 'NASA' will return NASA systems but also any other system that may mention the word 'NASA' within its descriptions.


The export feature on the top left can be used to return a list of the filtered satellites. The export is returned as an Excel file.

Satellite Details

Click the magnifier symbol in the Details column to view a popup page that contains more information about the selected satellite and the sensors carried on that satellite. Each popup page contains the description of the satellite, life span, country of ownership, orbit details, sensor description, sensor specifications, spectral bandwidths, radar bands, and links to additional resources.

As seen in the example image below, the red colored Life span bar indicates the design life; blue indicates optimistic end of life based on a rough estimate based on the satellite system’s history. The vertical bar represents today’s date.  The colors on the spectral chart are for illustrative purposes only. The popup page can be printed to pdf by right clicking on it.

Online compendium satellite detail sample
This image shows the details of the popup box for each satellite within the Land Remote Satellites Online Compendium. 


Contact Information 

Any questions about the Land Remote Sensing Satellites Online Compendium can be sent to

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