12 May 2002


The First SPOT 5 Image


RESTON, VA - The first images taken by the High Resolution Geometric (HRG) instruments aboard the SPOT 5 satellite were obtained on Tuesday 7th May. Initial analysis shows that the quality of the data matches the expected technical specifications. The satellite was launched on 4th May at 01:31 GMT.

The first images received in Toulouse, France Tuesday at 09:27 GMT were obtained in black and white over the city of Athens, Greece. Using the new processing facilities installed at SPOT Image, a 2.5 m resolution image was produced using two 5 m resolution images sampled according to the Supermode technique. As the commissioning period continues, additional work with ground processing software and systems is expected to produce even higher quality images.

Extracts of parts of this image are available .tif files on the following FTP server:

In-orbit commissioning of the new satellite is proceeding as planned. The other instruments of the payload, High Resolution Stereoscopic (HRS) and Vegetation, have also been switched on and are working perfectly. Imaging by the HRG, HRS and Vegetation sensors is continuing, and more images will be available in the near future. The DORIS orbit determination system is operating with excellent precision.

An important step has also been accomplished: the first orbital adjustment to bring SPOT 5 towards its final orbit at an altitude of 832 km. The remaining maneuvers will take place next week.

The SPOT 5 satellite has been developed by CNES in cooperation with Belgium and Sweden, with Astrium as prime-contractor. Alcatel Space has contributed numerous equipment systems and is the prime-contractor for the Vegetation instrument. SPOT Image distributes SPOT products throughout the world.

The SPOT Image group of global companies provides imagery and geospatial information to support decision-making for businesses and governments worldwide. SPOT Image is the oldest commercial satellite imaging company, having launched its first satellite in 1986. SPOT 5, launched on May 4, 2002, provides very-wide-area 2.5-meter, 5-meter and 10-meter-resolution imagery, along with global digital elevation models from its dedicated High Resolution Stereoscopic (HRS) instrument. The SPOT satellite constellation with multiple orbiting cameras is the only system that offers daily coverage of any location on Earth.


Image Samples

Tuesday 7 May, a standard 60 x 60 km scene of Athens, Greece has been acquired by the SPOT 5 satellite in black and white, and processed to 2.5 m resolution. The 2 selected extracts cover small portions of the scene to illustrate early indications of the resolution and clarity. As the commissioning period continues, additional adjustments to the acquisition and processing systems are expected to produce even finer results.

SPOT Image will be releasing additional samples of 2.5 meter color imagery and 3D elevation models as they become available during the commissioning phase which is expected to take 2 months.

© CNES 2002 – Distribution by SPOT Image