Remote Sensing Platforms and Types

Remote Sensing Platforms and Types

In this article one can see remote sensing platforms and types with a comparison between different types of sensors. The tabular comparison is made between satellite sensor, altitude, life, sensor bands, sensor resolution, revisit frequency, capacity and swath width all in one image. After visiting various websites this data has been compiled for those who are new in the field of GIS and should not have to spend much time gathering it.

Types of Sensors

Remote Sensing Platforms

Remote Sensing Platforms and Types

Platform Range Types Sensors
Ground Based Platforms ·    Short Range (50-100m)

·    Medium Range (150-250m)

·    Long Range (up to 1km)

·     Mobile Hydraulic Platforms (up to 15m height)

·     Portable Masts

·     Towers

·     Weather surveillance Radar (400 km or less)

·     Spectral reflectance meters

·     Photographic systems

IR or Microwave scanners

·     Radio Energy

Airborne Platforms ·    In between ground and space ·     Balloons Based (22-40km)

·     Radiosonde (Pressure temp, humidity)

·     Rawinsonde (Pressure temp, wind, humidity)

·     Wind finding radar

·     Aircraft (High Spatial Resolution 20cm or less)

·     High Frequency Transmitter and Receiver

·     High Spatial Resolution 20cm or less


Space Borne Platforms ·    100-36000km


·     Low level Satellites (700-1500km)

·     Polar Orbiting Satellites.

·     Near Polar Orbiting Satellites.

·     High Level Satellites (about 36000km)

·     Geostationary Satellites

·     Space shuttles (250-300km)

·     Space Stations (300-400km)

·      Polar orbiting satellite have a good spatial resolution, typically 1-50km per pixel

·      Meteosat transmits HRI data at 1694.5 MHz, at a data rate of 166.66 kbits/s


Satellite Sensors (0.31m – 2m)

Remote Sensing Platforms

Remote Sensing Platforms

Satellite Sensors (2.5m – 20m)

Remote Sensing Platforms

15 Free Satellites Imagery Data Sources

  1. USGS Earth Explorer
  2. ESA’s Sentinel Mission
  4. NASA Reverb
  5. Earth Observation Link (EOLi)
  6. National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
  7. Bhuvan Indian Geo-Platform of ISRO
  8. JAXA’s Global ALOS 3D World
  9. NOAA Data Access Viewer
  10. VITO Vision – Coarse Vegetation Data
  11. NOAA Digital Coast – Snorkel the Seashore
  12. Global Land Cover Facility – Derived Satellite Data
  13. DigitalGlobe Free Product Samples
  14. Geo-Airbus – Intercontinental Champions of Satellite Imagery
  15. UNAVCO Research Data


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