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New satellites bring SA data home

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has unveiled its high-resolution SPOT 6 and 7 National Mosaics and ortho-bundle data.

With a resolution of 1,5m, the SPOT 6 and 7 earth observation satellites, form a small constellation, which were deployed into the same orbit on 9 September 2012 (SPOT 6) and 20 June 2014 (SPOT 7). The two satellites replace a single satellite, SPOT 5, which was decommissioned at the end of March 2015.

“We are very excited to harness the potential benefits of the SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 satellite imagery products to further address national issues, including tackling food security, agricultural issues, energy, rural development and urban
planning, especially at local government level,” says SANSA CEO, Dr Sandile Malinga.

“SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are crucial decision-supporting tools for South Africa,” he adds. “The Defence, Intelligence and Police departments will benefit greatly from their highly responsive sensors that increase acquisition capacity and simplify data access.”

SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 cover wide areas in record time and their agility capability makes them useful for disaster monitoring. Both products can accommodate last-minute urgent task requests with high levels of data detail.

“Using satellite data provides repetitive, reliable and consistent information about the planet on a global scale. When combined with ‘in-situ’ observations, it’s an extremely powerful tool for monitoring our environment, including low-cost housing mapping, which helps government with future planning and development. More importantly, with the two satellite we are in a position to provide two seasonal mosaics per year,” says SANSA Earth Observation MD, Dr Jane Olwoch.

SPOT 6 will aid agriculture by making available information about vegetation and providing water quality analysis. Among other wide-ranging data, these products are strategically in line with the SANSA goal to collect, assimilate and disseminate earth observation data to support South Africa’s policy making, decision making, economic growth and sustainable development initiatives.