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The comprehensive source for information on Earth-observing satellites around the world—past, present and future—has improved even more.

The Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation (JACIE) Earth Observing Satellites Online Compendium has released its Phase 3 updates, providing new filtering and querying capabilities that give new views into the database for private and government/civil satellites.

The first phase, the introduction of the tool, enabled the remote sensing community to page through and search for satellites. The second phase allowed users to filter optical satellites by fields such as satellite name, spectral band, resolution and country of origin.

Screenshot of database results
A screenshot of the Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation (JACIE) Online Compendium satellite database after the site's third phase of improvements.

Now, filters enable users to also search by radar band, sensor name, data cost and whether data policies are restricted or unrestricted. In addition, the export feature now includes more information on sensors and bands, and the details page has added data cost, data policy, and revisit information.

The Compendium phases represent updates that can take six months to a year to achieve. But the database itself is continually updated as satellites reach orbit or become decommissioned, sensors fail, or other changes occur. A team monitors databases, space news articles and reports from organizations like the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and also gleans information from satellite-focused meetings and interactions with satellite owners. Although information continually changes, the team works hard to verify the accuracy of all the data included.

“It is challenging because we have 500 satellites. Each satellite has at least, on average, one to two sensors,” said Shankar Nag Ramaseri Chandra, a contractor systems engineer for the USGS EROS Cal/Val Center of Excellence (ECCOE) Team, which supports the JACIE agency partnership of the USGS, NASA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Users from the United States and around the world may be drawn to the Compendium for a variety of reasons—from a search for a high-resolution satellite capturing images of Ukraine to a search for a satellite suitable for agricultural applications.

Which capabilities to include in new phases relies in part on feedback from the JACIE partners, Ramaseri Chandra said. The close timing of Phase 3’s updates to the JACIE 2023 Workshop on March 27-30, 2023, at the USGS Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, could result in new ideas for enhancements in Phase 4.

The continually updated online Compendium also has a print counterpart, with versions produced in 2019, 2020 and 2022 containing details about satellites listed alphabetically.

Feedback or questions about the Online Compendium are welcome at

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