ESAEducationHomeWeather and ClimateGlobal ChangeNatural Disasters
About Eduspace
What is Eduspace?What tools does it offer?
Choose your language
Remote Sensing Principles
What is remote sensing?Remote sensing in depthHistory of Earth observationMapping and satellite dataSatellite orbitsEarth observation satellites
Image GalleryVideo Gallery
Contact usSearch in Eduspace
printer friendly page
Venice, Italy, as seen from IKONOS at an altitude of 680 km
Venice, Italy, as seen from IKONOS at an altitude of 680 km
The IKONOS satellite was launched on 24 September 1999 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The very high resolution panchromatic and multispectral sensors together can differentiate objects at less than one metre square from the ground - enough to distinguish between a car and a truck.

This capability, from an orbital altitude of 680 km, represented a significant increase in image resolution over all previous commercial remote sensing satellite systems. IKONOS is operated by the company GeoEye, whose fleet of satellites also includes the OrbView and GeoEye series of satellites.

The Optical Telescope Assembly captures the imagery across an 11 to 13 km swath of the Earth's surface, and reflects it to the digital imaging sensors.

Images from IKONOS are some of the most detailed satellite images available for non-military use.

IKONOS also carries a 4 metre resolution multispectral sensor with 3 visible channels and one near-infrared similar to Landsat 4 and 5, making detailed land use mapping possible.  


Earth observation satellites
Meteorological satellites
MeteosatMeteosat Second GenerationMetOpNOAA
Earth Explorer satellites
Commercial high resolution optical satellites
More on IKONOS
IKONOS satellite imagesTechnical specifications - IKONOS
   Copyright 2000 - 2014 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.