Free Remote Sensing Book

The PDF version of the document is available for download Remote Sensing Satellites for Land Management. A valuable and current contribution if we consider the importance that this discipline has come to have in the decision making for the efficient management of forests, agriculture, natural resources, meteorology, cartography and territorial ordering.remote sensing

According to data extracted from the Union of Concerned Scientists by February 2012 had more than 900 satellites orbiting the Earth, of which the majority, approximately 60%, are communications. Remote sensing satellites are approximately 120.

The document includes a historical context not negligible, since the acceleration of the advance in the last decades can make us forget that the beginnings of this discipline were primitive, nevertheless it was the most advanced in space technology. Nowadays the potential of remote sensing (remote sensing) is in the extensive offer of images captured by many satellites that orbit the planet but this same diversity causes the same confusion for the understanding of the pertinence of the data.

In this, precisely the book focuses its attention. It includes an introduction to remote sensing to fill the theoretical training needs and a glossary. But the strength of the document is in the presentation in the form of a schematic and practical catalog of the most used high and medium resolution remote sensing satellites, as well as basic parameters for acquiring satellite images. A big effort to homogenize the content in view that the information is usually too broad and scattered. There is no doubt that it will help those interested to know the applicability of remote sensing in their respective discipline since the great weakness has been the lack of systematic dissemination; what this document accomplishes with complete certainty.

The criteria for selecting the satellites described in the book were:

  • They will be operational as of the date of this publication. (February 2012)
  • Possessing a spatial resolution equal to or greater than 30 meters / pixel approximately.
  • That their products were available through some relatively simple marketing route.

RADAR type microwave sensors were left out of this catalog. Although these have the advantage of being able to operate in almost any meteorological situation (cloudiness, light rain, etc.), the processing and interpretation of their images requires a methodology very different from that reported in this document.

And for each of them is summarized the information in iconographic form quite practical as explained below:

remote sensing

  • The first field indicates the name of the sensor, which in the case of many satellites, being only one, has chosen to indicate the name of the satellite itself. In the case of satellites with several sensors, several cells are added, one for each sensor.
  • The second field indicates the spatial resolution provided by the sensor. This can vary depending on the viewing angle of the satellite, so the maximum possible in the vertical orbit (nadir) is shown. In the case of satellites that have several sensors, the spatial resolution of each is specified.
  • The third field indicates the number of spectral bands provided by the sensor.
  • The fourth Indicates the temporal resolution of the sensor. This data is relatively ambiguous, since this characteristic varies depending on the latitude and the angle with which the satellite is "forced" to acquire the image. Therefore the data that appears is orientative and aims to give the reader an idea of ​​the potential periodicity of the satellite to cover the same area.
  • And the latter reflects the minimum price per square kilometer of a custom-made image on the date of production of this catalog. It has been chosen to include this information so that the reader gets a rough idea of ​​what it would cost to acquire an image of a particular area. The final price depends on a multitude of factors (order size, priority, minimum cloud percentage, degree of image processing, possible discounts, etc.), so it will always be necessary to contact the supplier company and determine exactly the type of product that is required to know the exact price.

Definitely you have to download the document, read it, save it in the collection of favorite readings and share it. I summarize the content index.



  • Introduction
  • Historical details
  • Elements of the remote sensing process
  • The electromagnetic spectrum in remote sensing
  • Reflectance of land surfaces
  • Orbital characteristics of remote-sensing satellites
  • Resolution of remote sensors: Spatial, Spectral, Radiometric, Temporal
  • Types of Remote Sensing Images


  • DMC
  • GEOEYE-1
  • SPOT-5
  • TERRA (EOS-AM 1)


It seems to us an invaluable work, which comes to us from the Project «Use of high-resolution satellite images for the management of the Macaronesian territory» (SATELMAC), approved in the first call of the Transnational Cooperation Program - Madeira Azores Canarias (PCT-MAC) 2007-2013. In this project the General Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water of the Government of the Canary Islands acts as Chief of Rows, and the Earth and Atmospheric Observation Group of the University are participating partners. of La Laguna (GOTA) and the Regional Institute of Agrarian Regulation, of the Azores (IROA).

We acknowledge the credit of this effort, and Cartesia for sharing the link via LinkedIN.

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4 Replies to "Free Remote Sensing Book"

  1. Thank you very much, it seems to me a great contribution, I will keep an eye on the new publications you make.

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