How Do You Calibrate the Optical Sensor on Each Satellite?

Planet undertake the following calibrations on our Dove satellites:

  • Sensor Calibration: Calibration of known parameters specific to each satellite sensor and optical assembly, such as flat field correction, de-noising, bad column adjustment (fixing anomalies based on known sensor defects), optical aberration correction, and balancing CCD columns.
  • Photometric Calibration: Images are adjusted to a nominal brightness configuration and color profile to ensure overall product consistency, including adjustments for differences in exposure technique, count, exposure time, gain, and sun angle.
  • Radiometric calibration: We establish and maintain the calibration of each sensor by using a combination of adjustment techniques before launch and while in orbit. On-orbit approaches include lunar calibration and cross-calibration with well-calibrated satellites (such as RapidEye). Planet updates the calibration coefficients regularly to ensure that each radiometric accuracy stays high over time and that there is minimal uncertainty between images.

Our team is constantly improving the radiometric calibration process. For the latest updates on your project, please refer to our Imagery Specs.

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