THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Land >
Landscape topography >
Land surface topography


Measurement Definition*: Map of land surface heights - Physical unit: [ m ] - Accuracy unit: [ m ].
InstrumentStatus/
Accuracy
Instrument DescriptionMeasurement TechnologyTimeline
AEISS
Advanced Electronic Image Scanning System
Operational
High resolution imager for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoring.High resolution optical imager
AEISS-A
Advanced Electronic Image Scanning System-A
Operational
High resolution imager for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoring.High resolution optical imager
ASTER
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
Operational
Surface and cloud imaging with high spatial resolution, stereoscopic observation of local topography, cloud heights, volcanic plumes, and generation of local surface digital elevation maps. Surface temperature and emissivity. ASTER SWIR detectors are no longer functioning due to anomalously high SWIR detector temperatures. ASTER SWIR data acquired since April 2008 are not useable, and show saturation of values and severe striping. All attempts to bring the SWIR bands back to life have failed, and no further action is envisioned.High resolution optical imager
ATLAS
Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System
Operational
Provide date on ice sheet height and sea ice thickness, land altitude, aerosol height distributions, cloud height and boundary layer height.n/a
AWiFS
Advanced Wide Field Sensor
Operational
Vegetation and crop monitoring, resource assessment (regional scale), forest mapping, land cover/ land use mapping, and change detection.n/a
C-Band SAR
C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
Marine core services, land monitoring and emergency services. Monitoring sea ice zones and arctic environment. Surveillance of marine environment, monitoring land surface motion risks, mapping of land surfaces (forest, water and soil, agriculture), mapping in support of humanitarian aid in crisis situations.Imaging radar (SAR)
CCD (ZY-1-02C and ZY-3)
CCD and multispectral imager
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
COSI
Corea SAR Instrument
Operational
SAR for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoring.Imaging radar (SAR)
C-SAR
C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use, urban studies.Imaging radar (SAR)
CSG SAR
COSMO-SkyMed di Seconda Generazione SAR
Operational
All-weather images of ocean, land and ice for monitoring of land surface processes, ice, environmental monitoring, risk management, environmental resources, maritime management, Earth topographic mapping.Imaging radar (SAR)
Geoton-L1 (2)
Geoton-L1
Operational
Multispectral images of land surfaces and Oceans.High resolution optical imager
High Resolution Optical Sensor
High Resolution Optical Sensor
Operational
Cartography, land use and planningHigh resolution optical imager
HiRI
High-Resolution Imager
Operational
Cartography, land use, risk, agriculture and forestry, civil planning and mapping, digital terrain models, defence.High resolution optical imager
HRMX
High Resolution Multi Spectral
Operational
For crops and vegetation dynamics, natural resources census, disaster management and large scale mapping of themes.High resolution optical imager
LISS-III (Resourcesat)
Linear Imaging Self Scanner - III (Resourcesat)
Operational
Data used for vegetation type assessment, resource assessment, crop stress detection, crop production forecasting, forestry, land use and land cover change.High resolution optical imager
LISS-IV
Linear Imaging Self Scanner - IV
Operational
Vegetation monitoring, improved crop discrimination, crop yield, disaster monitoring and rapid assessment of natural resources.High resolution optical imager
MSC
Multi-Spectral Camera
Operational
High resolution imager for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoring.High resolution optical imager
PALSAR-2
Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar-2
Operational
Disaster monitoring, land monitoring, agricultural monitoring, natural resource exploration, global forest monitoring, potential use and interferometry.Imaging radar (SAR)
PAN (Cartosat-2A/2B)
Panchromatic Camera
Operational
High resolution stereo images for large scale (better than 1:0000) mapping applications, urban applications, GIS ingest.High resolution optical imager
PAN (Cartosat-2E)
Panchromatic Camera
Operational
High resolution stereo images for large scale (better than 1:0000) mapping applications, urban applications, GIS ingest.High resolution optical imager
PAN (GF-1)
Panchromatic and multispectral imager
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use, urban studies.High resolution optical imager
PAN (GF-2)
Panchromatic and multispectral imager
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use, urban studies.High resolution optical imager
POSEIDON-3B Altimeter
Positioning Ocean Solid Earth Ice Dynamics Orbiting Navigator (Single frequency solid state radar altimeter)
Operational
Nadir viewing sounding radar for provision of real-time high precision sea surface topography, ocean circulation and wave height data.n/a
Poseidon-4 Altimeter
Poseidon-4 SAR Radar Altimeter
Operational
Nadir viewing sounding radar for provision of real-time high-precision sea surface topography, ocean circulation and wave height data.n/a
SAR (RADARSAT-2)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) C band
Operational
All-weather images of ocean, ice and land surfaces. Used for monitoring of coastal zones, polar ice, sea ice, sea state, geological features, vegetation and land surface processes.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR (RCM)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) C band
Operational
All-weather, C-band data to support ecosystem monitoring, maritime surveillance and disaster management.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR 2000
Synthetic Aperture Radar - 2000
Operational
All-weather images of ocean, land and ice for monitoring of land surface processes, ice, environmental monitoring, risk management, environmental resources, maritime management, Earth topographic mapping.Imaging radar (SAR)
SAR-L
L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
Land, ocean, emergencies, soil moisture, interferometry, others.Imaging radar (SAR)
SIRAL
SAR Interferometer Radar Altimeter
Operational
Marine ice and terrestrial ice sheet thickness measurement.n/a
SRAL
SAR Radar Altimeter
Operational
Marine and land services.n/a
TOP (PAN)
THEOS Optical Payload (PAN)
Operational
THEOS Optical Payload - PAN (2m GSD, 22km Swath) is a cassegrain type opto-mechanical instrument employing a line scanning technique. Data is used for various applications including cartography, land use planning and management, national security, etc.High resolution optical imager
WFV
Wide Field View
Operational
Earth resources, environmental monitoring, land use.n/a
WPM
Wide Swath Panchromatic and Multispectral Camera
Operational
Agriculture; Forestry; Geology; Natural disaster management; Cartography; Environment monitoring; Fire detection, localization and counting; Hydrology, coastal water mapping; Land use; Surveillance and law enforcementHigh resolution optical imager
X-Band SAR
X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Operational
High resolution images for monitoring of land surface and coastal processes and for agricultural, geological and hydrological applications.Imaging radar (SAR)
AEISS-HR
Advanced Electronic Image Scanning System-High Resolution
Being developed
High resolution imager for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoringHigh resolution optical imager
AEISS-HR-A
Advanced Electronic Image Scanning System-High Resolution-A
Being developed
High resolution imager for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoringHigh resolution optical imager
ALISS III
Advanced LISS III
Being developed
For crops and vegetation dynamics, natural resources census, disaster management and large scale mapping of themes.High resolution optical imager
Ka-band Radar INterferometer (KaRIN)
Ka-band Radar INterferometer (KaRIN)
Being developed
Swath mapping radar altimeter that provides measurements for surface water.n/a
LISS-V
Linear Imaging Self Scanner-V
Being developed
Vegetation monitoring, improved crop discrimination, crop yield, disaster monitoring and rapid assessment of natural resources.High resolution optical imager
MX (HRSAT)
Multispectral HR VNIR
Being developed
For crops and vegetation dynamics, natural resources census, disaster management and large scale mapping of themes.High resolution optical imager
NAOMI (PAN)
New Astrosat Optical Modular Imager (PAN)
Being developed
NAOMI - MS (2m GSD, 10.3km Swath) is a TMA opto-mechanical instrument employing 24-stage TDI scanning. Data is used for various applications including cartography, land use planning and management, national security, etc.High resolution optical imager
PALSAR-3
Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar-3
Being developed
Disaster monitoring, land monitoring, agricultural monitoring, natural resource exploration, global forest monitoring, potential use and interferometry.Imaging radar (SAR)
PAN (HRSAT)
Panchromatic Camera
Being developed
High resolution stereo images for large scale mapping applicationsHigh resolution optical imager
SAR (KOMPSAT-6)
SAR (KOMPSAT-6)
Being developed
High resolution imager for land applications of cartography and disaster monitoringImaging radar (SAR)
CAR
High Resolution Camera
Approved
Panchromatic and multispectral (Vis/IR) measurements with high spatial resolution, with stereo capability for DEM generation. Applications in emergencies in general, agriculture, land use/land cover, change detection, urban environment, cartography, topography.High resolution optical imager
L-band SAR (NISAR)
L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) (NISAR)
Approved
3-year mission to study solid earth deformation (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides), changes in ice (glaciers, sea ice) and changes in vegetation biomassImaging radar (SAR)
OEK VR
Multispectral optoelectronic high resolution module
Approved
Multispectral images of land surfaces and Oceans.High resolution optical imager
POSEIDON-3C Altimeter
Positioning Ocean Solid Earth Ice Dynamics Orbiting Navigator (Single frequency solid state radar altimeter)
Approved
Nadir viewing sounding radar for provision of real-time high precision sea surface topography, ocean circulation and wave height data.n/a
L-Band SAR
L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Proposed
Global observation of dynamic processes in the bio-, cryo-, geo- and hydrosphere.Imaging radar (SAR)
WSAR
WSAR
Proposed
High resolution radar measurements of land and ocean features.Imaging radar (SAR)
S-Band SAR
S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar
No longer operational
Radar measurements for natural and disaster monitoring.Imaging radar (SAR)
* Description adapted from WMO.
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