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The IKONOS satellite is the world’s first commercial satellite to collect panchromatic (black-and-white) images with 0,80 m resolution and multispectral imagery with 3,2-meter resolution. The satellite itself was launched on the 24th of September in 1999 from the Vandenberg Air Base, California. IKONOS imagery is being used for national security, military mapping, air and marine transportation, and by regional and local governments. From a 423-mile-high-orbit, IKONOS revisit the same location once every three days and downlinks directly to more than a dozen ground stations around the globe.

Luleå Airport, Sweden, August 2013. IKONOS satellite ©DigitalGlobe
Luleå Airport, Sweden, August 2013. IKONOS satellite ©DigitalGlobe
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, 2014. IKONOS satellite ©DigitalGlobe
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, 2014. IKONOS satellite ©DigitalGlobe
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, 2014. IKONOS satellite ©DigitalGlobe
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, 2014. IKONOS satellite ©DigitalGlobe

Spacecraft design and mission details






Lockheed Martin, Eastman, Rayteon



Launch vehicle


Launch date

24 September 1999

Launch site

Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Date of deactivation

31 March 2015

Orbit: Type
Altitude, km
Inclination, deg.


Mission duration, years

15 years, 6 months, 6 days

Revisit frequency, days

~ 3

Spacecraft dimensions, m

1,83 × 1,57

Power, W


Mass, kg



Sensor bands Panchromatic: 530–930 nm
8 Multispectral:
Blue: 450–520 nm       
Green: 510–600 nm
Red: 630–700 nm       
Near-IR: 760–850 nm
Dynamic range, bits per pixel 11
Sensor resolution, m Panchromatic Nadir: 0,82 m
Multispectral Nadir: 3,2 m
Swath width, km At nadir: 11,3 km
Horizontal accuracy (CE90%) 15 meter CE90 (specification)
9 meter CE90 (measured)
Onboard storage 80 Gb
Image transmission, Mbit/s 320

Collection scenarios:

  • Long strip: 360 × 11,3 km
  • Large Area Collect: 112 × 51 km
  • Multiple Point Targets: 11 × 11 km
  • Stereo Area Collect: 120 × 11 km


DigitalGlobe offers products of various tier: Geo, GeoProfessional, GeoStereo. Customers can choose and order a product type that fits their needs better.

Geo – this type of products intends for manual interpretation and analysis of the satellite imagery. The imagery goes through radiometric correction and minimal geometric correction according to the calibrating parameters of the camera. Then the customer receives the imagery with all necessary information for the photogrammetric processing, including a rigorous sensor model and rational polynomial coefficients (RPC). All Geo products are map-projected, rectified to a datum and map projection system.

GeoProfessional – intended for customers who need a ready-for-use product with high geometric accuracy. All GeoProfessional products are orthorectified and have a radiometric and geometric correction, including considering the influence of the relief of the surface according to the existing DEM. Customers receive the products in the UTM coordinate system, but it also can be supplied in another system, depending on the customer’s wish. GeoProfessional products are available in two types with different accuracy: Precision and Precision Plus. Products are created basing on the imagery collected with a 0-45° off-nadir angle.

GeoStereo – high-resolution stereo pair collected in the same orbital pass, minimizing changes in lighting or scene content. DigitalGlobe provides the stereo imagery pairs with a RPC camera model file. The RPC file provides camera model data to popular software packages for block adjustment, photogrammetric extraction of three-dimensional feature coordinates; DTMs and orthorectification suitable for DEM generation and other photogrammetric operations.

Each stereo pair contains images collected at an off-nadir angle between 0 and 30 degree. A satellite collects stereo pairs with 30-45 degrees convergence (0.54 to 0.83 base-to-height ratio). The GeoStereo products have a minimum horizontal accuracy of 15 meters CE90 and a vertical accuracy of 22 meters LE90.

Product Geo GeoProfessional GeoStereo
Radiometric correction Yes Yes Yes
Geometric correction Yes Yes Yes
Georeferencing Yes - -
Orthorectification - Yes Yes

Horizontal accuracy (CE90%), m


1:12000 – 10
1:5000 – 4 (with GCPs)

1:20000 – 15
1:5000 – 4 (with GCPs)

Vertical accuracy (LE90%), m

- -

1:20000 – 2
1:5000 – 6 (with GCPs)

Datum WGS84, NAD83
Projections UTM, other projections
Spectral bands Panchromatic, multispectral (4 bands) or Bundle (PAN+4 bands); Natural colours: Infra-red; Synthesized (PAN+4 bands)
Minimum order size, km2 Archive data – 49
Delivery formats GeoTIFF 1.0, NITF 2.1 or NITF2.0
Delivery method CD, DVD, Hard Drive, FTP


  • Creation and update of maps and plans;
  • Creation of DTMs;
  • Engineering survey for construction works of oil and gas facilities;
  • Inventory of forests and forest management;
  • Monitoring of the crops’ state, yield forecasting;
  • Creation of maps for urban planning purposes;
  • Emergency monitoring;
  • Researches.
For cost calculation of the IKONOS imagery for your area of interest, send technical description of your proposal to: For consultations contact by the phone: +7 495 245-04-24
Request a call back
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