SkySat 50cm FAQ

Below is a list of FAQ's related to the release of SkySat 50 cm spatial resolution

How did SkySat spatial resolution improve?

Through orbit lowering and processing enhancements, SkySat's spatial resolution has improved, with basic products at 65 cm (super-res) and 81 cm (non super-res) at nadir. Ortho products are resampled to 50 cm.
The lowering of the SkySat orbit from 500 km to 450 km altitude occurred in early 2020. This change, along with various processing improvements, enabled the improvement of the spatial resolution of SkySat imagery. From June 30, 2020, onwards, the spatial resolution for ortho products was improved to 50 cm, and for basic products, it was improved to 65 cm at nadir view for super-res assets and 81 cm for non-super-res assets​.


Asset Types

Spatial Resolution


basic_analytic / _dn

0.81 m

basic_panchromatic / _dn

0.65 m

ortho_panchromatic / _dn



ortho_analytic / _dn

0.5 m

How will this impact SkySat Assets?

Due to the lower orbit, the swath width of SkySatCollect is reduced to 5.9 km. (~10 percent less than before). The file sizes for Ortho SkySatScene and SkySatCollect assets will increase by approximately 3.5 times due to the higher resolution. The resolution for SkySat analytic products will be less than 1 meter.

No changes to the API interface, ensuring continued compatibility with existing tools.

What resolution will the 50 cm images display in Planet Explore. Will these be displayed at zoom level 18? 

SkySat imagery will continue to be displayed at zoom level 17 in Planet Explorer.

How will this impact SkySat Basemap resolution?

Basemaps will be produced at zoom level 18 with improved pixel resolvability.

Will there be any changes to the file formats?

There will be no changes to image or metadata formats.

When was the 50 cm resolution SkySat data made available in the catalog?

The 50 cm resolution SkySat data has been available in the catalog since June 30, 2020. Images collected before June 30, 2020, will not be reprocessed to 50 cm; however, archive ortho assets reactivated for download will be reproduced at 50 cm resolution.

Are there differences in latency between delivery of basic product and ortho products, given improvements to spatial resolution?

No, the Basic L1A asset is the only asset that publishes through the pipeline early, separate from the remaining Basic and Ortho Scene and Collect products, and it is not impacted by the ortho resolution change. Otherwise the remaining Basic and Ortho products publish at the same time.     

How does this impact video product resolution?

Video products will have a resolution of 81 cm at nadir, using L1A frames without super-resolution.

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