SPOT is a medium-resolution (for SPOT 1, 2, 3, 4) or high-resolution (for SPOT 5), optical imaging Earth observation satellite system operating from space. This programme is part of CNES's Earth observation strategy. Since 1986, the SPOT family of satellites has been viewing our planet and providing remarkably high-quality images. The system comprises a serie of spacecrafts plus ground facilities ... for satellite control and programming, image production and distribution. The SPOT satellites capture panchromatic and multispectral imagery in resolutions ranging from 2.5m to 20m. The satellites are fitted with two independent imaging instruments, containing detector arrays that operate using a "Push Broom" technique. This results in high geometric accuracy across the full 60km wide swath. Each instrument is also fitted with a steerable mirror that allows it to image areas up to 27 degrees east or west off the vertical, which increases the revisit capability and provides stereo imagery for digital elevation modelling. Importantly, the SPOT satellites can be programmed to target client specific areas of interest. SPOT imagery has a wide range of applications, including agriculture, environment, cartography and engineering. The satellite's unique features - variable viewing geometry, stereo imaging and high revisit capability - provide a flexible platform for capturing imagery on request.The level 0 data stored at CNES are those adressed in this description. Other levels are generated on command by Astrium GeoInformation.
SPOT has been designed to improve the knowledge and management of the Earth by exploring the Earth's resources, detecting and forecasting phenomena involving climatology and oceanography, and monitoring human activities and natural phenomena. The SPOT system includes a series of satellites and ground control resources for satellite control and programming, image production, and distribution.