Next-Generation PlanetScope FAQs

Next-Generation PlanetScope FAQs

Release Date: March 1, 2022


What’s new and being released?

The following features will be released and generally available on March 1, 2022 to all PlanetScope Monitoring, Archive, AUM, and Tile View customers:

  • The introduction of a new item type – PSScene – that allows you to search and download all PlanetScope data in a unified way.
  • Through the PSScene item type, you can access the 8-band PlanetScope data at no additional cost.
  • The 8-band PlanetScope data is generally available through the APIs, Planet Explorer, and our GIS integrations (ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, & Google Earth Engine).
  • Over the last nine months, we have made significant improvements to PlanetScope image quality, including things like band-to-band registration. 
  • Over the same time period, we have improved our SuperDove collected coverage, achieving daily frequency.

 

  • PlanetScope Imagery

 

1.1 What are the key image quality improvements over the past year?

Read this Overview of image quality improvements.

 

1.2 What is being deprecated?

By January 2023, Planet will deprecate the PlanetScope 3-band and 4-band item types as the means by which you search and download PlanetScope data. Instead, you will leverage the new PSScene item type to access all PlanetScope data, including 8-band.

 

1.3 When are the PSScene3band and PSScene4band being deprecated within the APIs, Integrations, and Planet Explorer?

 

As of March 1, 2022, the only way to access the older PSScene3band and PSScene4band item types after March 1 ,2022 will be via Planet’s APIs. PSScene3band or PSScene4band will not appear in Planet Explorer or integrations. 

 

These legacy item types will be available in the APIs until January 2023. After January 2023, customers will no longer be able to use the older PSScene3band or PSScene4band item. You will receive more updates and resources over the next few months.

 

1.4 Where can I learn more about the deprecation of item types?

Read the Deprecation and Migration Plan to learn more.

 

1.5 Where is the PlanetScope 5-band asset?

PSScene does not have 5-band assets. They are available only within PSOrthotile. 

 

1.6 Will there be a PSScene asset for all PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band assets?

No, not all PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band assets will be supported in PSScene. For the list of unsupported assets, please visit Unsupported asset types in PSScene on the migration path page.

 

1.7 What will happen to my saved searches and subscriptions?

Planet will be migrating saved searches created by the Data API and subscriptions created by the Subscriptions API that are using PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band assets to use PSScene in the background. 

 

1.8 What if I don’t migrate to PSScene by the final date on January 31, 2023?

API requests with the PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band item and asset types will fail on January 31, 2023 when we remove these item types. 

 

1.9 Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about PSScene migration?

Please reach out to your CSM or contact us at support.planet.com for assistance. 

 

  • APIs

 

2.1 What is changing with the APIs?

Customers can search and download PlanetScope imagery in a more unified way. Where previously customers selected, for example, 3-band or 4-band items in the APIs, Explorer, and integrations, they now can use PSScene to get all PlanetScope data in one place. 

 

2.2 As a Planet customer, what should I do to adopt the new PSScene item type?

Read this Overview of how to migrate from legacy item types to PSScene.

 

2.3 How can I access the new PSScene item type across the different APIs?

Read this Overview of how to update your existing searches in the APIs.

2.4 Does this release change the quota in any way? 

No, quota charges will not be changed.

 

2.5 What is the new target sensor in the harmonization tool within the Orders and Subscriptions API?

The new target sensor “Sentinel-2” provides temporally and spatially consistent data approximately matching a Sentinel-2 spectral response. 

 

The “Sentinel-2” target sensor is applied to all Doves (Dove-C, Dove-R, SuperDove) and allows all sensors to be consistent and compatible with each other. Only Red, Green, Blue and Near-Infrared bands are harmonized and normalized. The radiometric values are approximately preserved, but radiometric accuracy is not guaranteed. Read the Harmonization White Paper.

 

2.6 Does the new target sensor in the harmonization tool work on all PSScene asset types?

The Sentinel-2 target sensor can only be applied on the surface reflectance assets.

 

2.7 Which bands are harmonized and normalized when using the new “Sentinel-2” target sensor?

Red, Green, Blue and Near-Infrared.

 

2.8 Is the SuperDove (PSB.SD) Red Edge band harmonized and normalized to Sentinel-2 Red Edge?

No.

 

2.9 Where can I learn more about the methodology for the Sentinel-2 target sensor in the harmonization tool?

Read the Harmonization White Paper.

 

  • Planet Explorer 

 

3.1 What has changed about how I search for PlanetScope imagery in Explorer?

There are a few key changes to look out for when searching for PlanetScope in Explorer: 

  • You can search for all medium-resolution PlanetScope images by selecting PSScene in filters.
  • You won’t see PlanetScope3band or PlanetScope4band items in Explorer. 
  • You now have the ability to search by band capabilities for PlanetScope. 
  • You now have the ability to search for imagery that has surface reflectance assets available. 

 

3.2 Why can’t I find PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band in Explorer anymore? 

There is a new way to search for PlanetScope Scenes. Instead of searching for PSScene3Band or PSScene4Band separately, you can search for PSScene and select the band capabilities you need. Band filters include a filter for NIR (“4-band”), as well as Coastal Blue, Green II, Yellow, Red Edge (“8-band”). All of our images include RGB (“3-band”). 

 

3.3 What do I filter on to see only imagery that includes Coastal Blue, Green II, Yellow, Red-Edge capabilities?

If you’d like to see imagery that has “8-band” capabilities, go to the filters and select “Coastal Blue, Green II, Yellow, Red Edge.” This displays only the imagery captured by the SuperDove constellation.

 

3.4 What do I filter on to see the PlanetScope archive?

Planet Explorer defaults to having the “NIR” band filter checked, to show only imagery that includes NIR capabilities (which is a majority of Planet’s catalog). If you’d like to see Planet’s entire PlanetScope catalog, make sure that PSScene is selected under imagery and de-select the “NIR” band capability under Planetscope filters. 

 

3.5 What are the default search filters in Planet Explorer?

By default, you will see PlanetScope imagery that has at least NIR capabilities (i.e. “4-band”). This includes imagery from Planet’s Dove-Classic, Dove-R, and Super-Dove constellations. It is not inclusive of Planet’s entire archive because some imagery from Dove Classics does not have NIR (“4-band”) capabilities. 

 

3.6 How does what I search and filter for impact what I see when I’m ready to order imagery? 

What you filter on impacts the options you see when ordering. When you are ordering imagery, a menu displays assets available based on the capabilities of the imagery you selected. The menu only shows assets that are in common for all of the imagery that you selected. For example:

  •  If you filter on PSScene and NIR capabilities, you should expect to see Visual and Surface-Reflectance 4-band assets, with the Surface-Reflectance 4-band asset chosen by default.  
  • If you filter on PSScene and Coastal Blue, Yellow, Green II capabilities, you have Visual, Surface-Reflectance 4-band, Surface-Reflectance 8-band, TOAR 4-band, TOAR 8-band assets at order time. The Surface-Reflectance 4-band asset is chosen by default, but you can adjust this according to your use case. 

 

3.7 If I need a 3-band analytic asset, what should I do? 

3-band analytic assets are available for Dove-Classic images only. When searching, select “PSScene” under Medium Resolution imagery, de-select “NIR” under Additional PlanetScope filters, and select “Dove-Classic” under the Instrument Filter. Once you reach the ordering step, choose between Visual or Analytic assets. 

 

Note: Uncalibrated DN - UDM and Basic analytic/uncalibrated DN - UDM - Tiff and RPC are not available with PSScene. 

 

3.7 I use Saved Searches and have previous saved searches that include both PSScene3band and PSScene4Band. Will that stay the same?

When you log into Explorer and go to your saved searches, you are prompted to update your saved searches to PSScene. Once your saved search is updated, all of the results of the PSScene items are available based on your filters. 

 

3.9 I see the option to “harmonize” imagery when I’m ordering. What does this do?

Planet operates three generations of Doves (Dove Classics, Dove-R, SuperDove) that have different spectral responses. The option to “harmonize” provides temporally and spatially consistent data approximately matching a Sentinel-2 spectral response. 

 

Harmonization is applied to all Doves and allows all sensors to be consistent and compatible with each other. The radiometric values are approximately preserved, but radiometric accuracy is not guaranteed. Read the Harmonization White Paper.

 

3.10 What if I want to order PlanetScope scenes calibrated to RapidEye? 

If you prefer to have PlanetScope scenes calibrated to RapidEye, you may still order PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band via Planet’s APIs or the CLI until January 2023. If you are unsure how to use Planet’s APIs, contact us at support.planet.com for assistance.

  1. Integrations

 

4.1 What is being released with V2.2 of Planet’s ArcGIS Add-In and QGIS Plugin?

 

  • Access to 8-band imagery. In V2.2, users can discover and download 8-band Planet imagery, which includes coastal blue, blue, green_i, green, yellow, red, red edge and nir bands, directly in their Planet GIS integration. 
  • Ability to apply harmonization to PlanetScope surface reflectance asset orders. Planet operates three generations of Doves (Dove Classics, Dove-R, SuperDove) that have different spectral responses. The option to “harmonize” provides temporally and spatially consistent data approximately matching a Sentinel-2 spectral response. 
  • Other improvements, like the ability to filter by surface reflectance, and specific spectral bands. 

 

4.2 What has changed about how I search for PlanetScope imagery in my GIS?

 

In 2.2 you won’t see PSScene3Band or PSScene4Band imagery types anymore in the Imagery Search Panel filters. Instead, you can search for 3-, 4-, and 8-band PlanetScope imagery using PlanetScope Scene and applying spectral band filters. 

 

Read this Overview on how to search in the ArcGIS Pro Add-In and QGIS. 

 

4.3 What are the default search filters in my GIS integration?

By default, you see PlanetScope imagery that has at least near-infrared data (4-band images). This includes imagery from Planet’s Dove-Classic, Dove-R, and Super-Dove constellations. It is not inclusive of Planet’s entire archive because some imagery from Dove Classics does not have NIR (“4-band”) capabilities. SkySat Collects is selected by default, as well. 

 

4.4 What if I had a saved search with PSScene3Band or PSScene4Band items?

For saved searches created using legacy item types like PSSscene4Band or PSScene3Band you are prompted to update to the new PlanetScope scene item type. If your saved search was created for 4-band images, updating to PlanetScope scene applies the “Near-infrared (NIR)” filter. 

 

Updating is optional, but to get the benefits of the new PlanetScope bands and radiometric improvements, it’s encouraged! 

 

Note: PSScene4Band and PSScene3Band item types will be deprecated in January 2023. We encourage you to update your saved searches as soon as possible.

 

Before January 2023,  you may “dismiss” any update notices for your saved search and continue to use your legacy item types with the typical tooling like previewing tiles, or downloading images. 

 

4.5 What happens if I use the inspector tool on a Planet Basemap that was created from legacy PSScene3Band or PSScene4Band items?

 

If the “source” imagery used for your Planet Basemap is a PSScene3Band or PSScene4Band item, the imagery is still discoverable via the Planet inspector tool. If you use the inspector tool to identify a source scene and open that scene in your search panel, you clear the item id filter before you can search again.

 

4.6 If I need a 3-band analytic asset, what should I do? 

3-band analytic assets are available for Dove-Classic images only. When searching, select “PSScene” under Medium Resolution imagery, de-select “NIR” under Additional PlanetScope filters, and select “Dove-Classic” under the Instrument Filter. Once you reach the ordering step, choose between Visual or Analytic assets. 

 

Note: uncalibrated DN - UDM and Basic analytic/uncalibrated DN - UDM - Tiff and RPC are not will no longer be available with PSScene. 

 

4.7 What if I want to order PlanetScope scenes calibrated to RapidEye? 

If you prefer to have PlanetScope scenes calibrated to RapidEye, you may still order PSScene3Band and PSScene4B and via Planet’s APIs or the CLI. If you are unsure how to use Planet’s APIs, contact support.planet.com

 

Note: All PSB.SD (SuperDove) images are calibrated to Sentinel-2 in PSScene3Band and PSScene4Band. No PSB.SD (SuperDove) image has been calibrated to RapidEye even in the archive. 

 

4.8 I would like to maintain or revert my GIS integration back to the previous version, how can I do so?

If you need more time, you are welcome to use a previous GIS plugin version. The last release (2.1) is hosted on our developer pages for the QGIS Plugin and ArcGIS Add-In integrations. 

 

Updating is optional, but to get the benefits of the new PlanetScope scene bands and radiometric improvements, it’s encouraged! 

 

4.9 What should I know if I’m doing time series or change detection analysis in my GIS with PSScene data?

Planet has three versions of Dove’s that have different spectral responses. To achieve a stable time series or change detection analysis, use the “harmonize” option. The option to “harmonize” provides temporally and spatially consistent data approximately matching a Sentinel-2 spectral response. 

 

Harmonization is applied to all Doves (Dove Classics, Dove-R, SuperDove) and allows all sensors to be consistent and compatible with each other. The radiometric values are approximately preserved, but radiometric accuracy is not guaranteed. Note: the “harmonize” tool is applied only on the Surface Reflectance assets in PSScene. 

 

  • Additional Questions

 

5.1 Are there any changes to PSOrthotile?

The PSOrthotile item type is available. 

 

5.2 Do all the assets have the same footprint?

3-, 4-, and 8-band assets from PS2.SD (Dove-R) and PSB.SD (SuperDoves) are approximately 32.5 km by 19.6 km. 

 

3- and 4- band assets from PS2 are approximately 24 km by 8 km. In some areas of the globe (a small percent of archive images), PS2 images have a different footprint in the visual asset versus the analytic asset. The visual asset has a larger footprint while the analytic asset are smaller. This difference exists because some images only have pixel values where we have RGB and NIR pixel values.  These are all approximate sizes. The assumptions are that all satellites are at the same altitude and orientation, and that the content in the scene is at sea level. 

 

5.3 What are the differences in file size between 8-band assets and 3- or 4-band assets?

8-band assets have an additional four bands; thus, the file size will be different than 3- and 4-band assets. The approximate size of an 8-band asset is 1.4 GB. The file size of a GeoTIFF can vary based on scene content.






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