PlanetScope FAQs

PlanetScope Imagery

What has been deprecated?

In January 2023, Planet deprecated the PlanetScope 3-band and 4-band item types. Now, you can leverage the new PSScene item type to access all PlanetScope data, including 8-band.

Where is the PlanetScope 5-band asset?

PSScene does not have 5-band assets.

Harmonization (Tool)

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.

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.

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

Red, Green, Blue, and Near-Infrared.

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

No.

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

Scene Level Normalization and Harmonization of Planet Dove Imagery.

 

Planet Explorer 

How do I search for PlanetScope imagery in Explorer?

There are a few key points to look out for when searching for PlanetScope imagery 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 can search by band capabilities for PlanetScope. 
  • You can search for imagery that has surface reflectance assets available. 

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, and Red Edge (“8-band”). All of our images include RGB (“3-band”). 

What do I filter on to see only imagery that includes Coastal Blue, Green II, Yellow, and 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.

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. 

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. 

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 with 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, and 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. 

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.

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.

 

Integrations

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

In version 2.2 and above, 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. 

Note: Overview on how to search in the ArcGIS Pro Add-In and QGIS. 

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. 

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 will no longer be available with PSScene. 

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

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 percentage 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 is smaller. This difference exists because some images only have pixel values whereas 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. 

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.

Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns?

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

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