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The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center and its Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation (JACIE) partners have just released the second edition of the JACIE land remote sensing satellite compendium.

Cover of the 2020 Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation—Remote Sensing Satellite Compendium
Cover of the 2020 Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation—Remote Sensing Satellite Compendium​​​​​​​

The publication acts as a “cheat sheet,” offering one-page rundowns on the origins, uses, availability and capabilities of hundreds of Earth observation satellites launched by dozens of countries and private companies.

The second edition of the compendium includes information on more than 75 additional satellites, including additional Chinese and Russian satellite systems. Each edition of the annually-updated publication offers fresh articles with insight on trends, changes, challenges and future considerations in the rapidly-advancing realm of Earth observation. In 2020, those articles appear under the following headings:

  • Earth Observation Satellite Trends—Smaller and Smaller?
  • Data Quality and Interoperability
  • Directions of Governmental Programs Nationally and Internationally
  • Commercial Earth Observation Constellations
  • Geostationary Imagers for Earth Observation

The compendium’s first edition was released in 2019, taking the form of a formalized outgrowth of a list of remote sensing satellite compiled by Bill Stoney. Stoney led NASA’s Earth Observation Programs for decades and maintained a list of Earth observing satellites as the number of countries and agencies launching them grew.

EROS Cal/Val Center of Excellence (ECCOE) staff began compiling the compendium in 2018 in recognition of the evolving nature of the field and the explosive growth within the public and private satellite sectors.

Commercial players such as Planet have launched hundreds of small satellites in recent years, for example, European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus missions have expanded in scope, and smaller nations such as United Arab Emirates have entered an Earth observation arena dominated a few decades ago by just a handful of government agencies in large countries.

The second edition was released in advance of the annual JACIE workshop, which is planned as a virtual event for November 17-19, 2020. The workshop offers a chance for experts in the field to present information on new satellite systems and the results of quality assessments, as well as to share ideas on topics such as interoperability, data harmonization and cross-agency collaboration.

Download the 2020 Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation—Remote Sensing Satellite Compendium by following this link.

Learn more about the 2020 JACIE Workshop or register by following this link.

Hear a podcast on the JACIE Conference by following this link.

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