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Descartes Labs has created three distinctive global composites—Landsat 8, Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2—using each satellite’s unique image resolutions and frequency bands. Leveraging our own platform, we pre-processed all of the imagery needed to make an easy-to-access composite you can explore.

How we pre-process imagery

Why multiplier band matters

Earth observation satellites record different spectra which in turn reveal different properties of objects and materials on the earth’s surface. The visible light spectrum is most familiar to us. Other examples include the infrared spectrum, which can quantify biomass and radar, differentiating materials, textures and change.

Landsat 8 (RGB bands)

Landsat’s red, green and blue bands represent the visible spectrum

15 meters per pixel resolution

3.1 trillion pixels per band (red, green and blue)

Built from 70 trillion pixels per band captured from 2013 to 2017 (320 TB)

Sentinel-2 (Red Edge bands)

Sentinel-2 captures red edge data at scale for the first time, useful for monitoring vegetation health

20 meters per pixel resolution

1.8 trillion pixels per band (RE1, RE2, RE3)

Built from 22 trillion pixels per band captured from 2015 to 2016 (120 TB)

Sentinel-1 (SAR)

Descartes Labs created the world’s first global composite on Sentinel-1

The composite highlights differences between surfaces and metal objects (shipping lanes are an excellent example)

20 meters per pixel resolution

680 billion pixels

Built from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) range/azimuth measurements captured from 2014 to 2017 (86 TB)