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Satellite Imagery FAQ - 2/5
Section - Russian Imagery

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  Russian Imagery
   _Contributed by W. Steven Sklaris (then of DBA systems; now Information regarding suppliers and availability
   applies to the USA; elsewhere YMMV._
    What about Russian Satellite Imagery?
   The Russian Federation through the Russian Space Agency permits the
   sale of commercial multi-source satellite imagery. The current
   restriction placed on this imagery is limited to 2 meter resolution
   but 1 meter resolutions are currently being considered. The majority
   of commercial sources are from film return systems. The technical
   philosophy is that the highest quality ground resolve is acquired by
   film systems - no argument. The two primary commercial satellites are
   KOSMOS, RESURS and Okean. The KOSMOS is utilized by the ministry of
   Defense. RESURS and Okean satisfies environmental and weather
    What are the characteristics of the KOSMOS satellite systems?
   The KOSMOS has on board 2 camera systems; the KVR-1000 and TK-350. The
   main attraction of the system is for mapping applications. The TK-350
   is a frame camera that provides 80% overlap between images (every
   third image provides 60%), along with internal and external
   orientation data. This system provides for accurate determination of
   latitude, longitude and elevation. The TK-350 covers an approximately
   265 x 170 kilometer area per image and an 8 to 10 meter resolution.
   The ground feature characteristics are provided by the KVR-1000
   camera. This camera system operates simultaneously with the TK- 350
   and provides 10% overlap between images. This is a panoramic camera
   with 2 meter ground resolution and 36 - 44 x 165 kilometer area.
    What are the characteristics of the RESURS satellite system?
   The RESURS-O consists of the 01 and 02 series and are direct digital
   return systems.
   The RESURS-01 has on-board 2 sensor systems; the MSU-E and MSU-SK. The
   MSU-E is a three channel system covering the 500 to 900 nanometer band
   range. The sensor has a resolution of 45 meters and covers a 45
   kilometer swath. The MSU-SK has 5 distinct channels covering the 540
   to 11,800 nanometer band range. This sensor has a resolution of 160
   meters for the first 4 channels and 600 meters for the 5th channel and
   covers a 600 kilometer swath.
   The RESURS-02 is an upgraded version of the 01 and has 4 on-board
   sensor systems; the MSU-E, MSU-SK, SLR "Travers-1T" and MW-radiometer
   "Delta-2." The MSU-E on this more recent satellite system covers the
   same 3 channels as that of the 01 but the resolution has improved to
   25 to 30 meters while retaining the 45 kilometer swath. The MSU-SK is
   again included on the RESURS- 02 with no improvement from the 01
   version. The Synthetic Aperture Radar "Travers-1T" and Micro Wave
   radiometer "Delta-2" operate at a radiation wave length of 23cm. The
   Travers-1T has a ground resolve of 200 x 200 meters and a swath width
   of 100 kilometers. The Delta-2 has a ground resolve of 17,000 x 90,000
   meters and a swath width of 1,000 kilometers.
   The RESURS-F consists of the F1, F2 and F3 series.
   The RESURS-F1 is the oldest and has on-board 2 camera types; the
   KATE-200 and KFA-1000. The KATE-200 is a frame camera with a ground
   resolution of 15 to 30 meters and covers a ground area of 240 x 240
   kilometers. The camera system has three separate film bands covering
   500 to 850 nanometers. The KFA- 1000 is an excellent higher resolution
   color spectrazonal film camera and coverage of 80 x 80 kilometers. The
   resolution advertised is 6 to 8 meters but is more around 8 to 10
   meters. The color spectrazonal film covers the 570 to 680 nanometer
   and 680 to 810 nanometer band ranges.
   The RESURS-F2 is a more sophisiticated topographic camera system. The
   MK-4 is a true multi-spectral camera system with data recorded on
   three separate black and white film bases. There are 6 available bands
   (460 to 900 nanometers) from which 3 can be selected for imaging. The
   resolution of the MK-4 is about 6 to 8 meters and advertised to be
   excellent for cartographic, environmental and geological surveys. The
   coverage of the MK-4 is 150 x 150 kilometers. The RESURS-F2 has
   on-board 2 stellar cameras to augment orientation accuracy information
   but in almost all cases the cameras are not operated. Because of this
   the cartographic capabilties are limited without ground control. The
   excellent features of the camera are in the resolution and separate
   band characteristics.
   The RESURS-F3 is the most recent system and the most impressive. The
   panchromatic frame camera covers 30 x 30 kilometers with at least 2
   meter resolution. The 1:70,000 to 1:90,000 scale of the imagery
   provides excellent ground definition.
    What are the characteristics of the Okean?
   The Okean-O is also a digital data return system and known to operate
   for ocean monitoring. This satellite has on-board 6 sensor systems;
   the MSU-V, MSU-SK, MSU-M, SLR, Scanning MW-radiometer "Delta-2", Track
   MW-radiometer R- 600 and the Track VW-radiometer. The MSU-V is a eight
   channel system, the spectral range is unknown. This sensor has a
   resolution of 50 meters in the first 4 channels, 100 meters in the 6th
   channel and 275 meters in the 7th and 8th channels and covers a 180 to
   200 kilometer swath The MSU-SK has 5 distinct channels covering the
   540 to 11,800 nanometer band range. This sensor has a resolution of
   160 meters for the first 4 channels and 600 meters for the 5th channel
   and covers a 600 kilometer swath. The MSU-M is a four channel system,
   the spectral range is unknown. The sensor has a resolution of 1,600 to
   2,000 meters and covers a 1,900 kilometer swath. The Side Looking
   Radar operates at a radiation wavelength of 3.1cm at a ground
   resolution of 800 to 1,500 meters and a swath width of 450 kilometers.
   The Scanning Microwave radiometer "Delta-2" can operate at a
   wavelength of 0.,8, 1.35, 2.2 or 4.5cm. The resolution is from 20,000
   to 100,000 meters and covers a 800 kilometer swathwidth. The Track
   Microwave radiometer R-600 operates at a wavelength of 6cm and has a
   resolution of 130 meters (swath width unknown). The Track
   VW-radiometer operates at a wavelength of 2.25 cm and also has a
   resolution of 130 meters (swath width unknown).
    What about all of the problems concerning Russian sources?
   Numerous problems have been encountered with purchasing satellite
   source from Russia. Most of the problems stemmed from the unauthorized
   source distributors. Most distributors had access to the archives and
   conducted a 1 or 2 time sale before they got caught. The Russian Space
   Agency is now controling this distribution activity and has eliminated
   this problem. Several other problems still exist and will not be
   resolved in the near future. Access to coverage in a timely manner is
   one. The archives of the KOSMOS system are not catalogued in a digital
   form and acquiring coverage information is extensive and timely.
   Information on coverage is typically provided in a week (depending on
   the extent of coverage requested). The cloud cover information
   provided with the coverage plots are very accurate but does not
   satisfy all users. Several distributors of the TK-350 are preparing
   digitization and browsing of the archived image files. Core Software
   is considered to be the furthest along in this venture. A digital
   database of the RESURS-F exists and provides extensive information
   relating to coverage and collection detail. DBA Systems has a copy of
   this database in their Melbourne, Florida office and can provide quick
   turn-around information. The time to acquire the imagery has been
   another problem area. This is much improved and is dependent on the
   amount of coverage requested. A single image request, once selected
   from the coverage plot, will take approximately 5 to 7 work days. Part
   of this delay is due to the shipping services (DHL is 3 days from
   Moscow). Film quality has also been questioned and although the
   processing has significantly improved, many of the archived images are
   scratched and were poorly processed during original production.
    Can the film sources be provided in digital form?
   Several distributors now provide the film sources in digital form.
   EOSAT and DBA Systems both can perform digitization of the KVR-1000
   down to the 45m range but only DBA can provide a continuous scan of
   the entire TK-350 image down to the 45m spot size if desired (125m is
   recommended). The precise scanning of their custom build scanner
   retains the metric accuracy of the frame image. Any of the RESURS-F
   films can also be scanned by the DBA scanner and JEBCO has also
   provided digital product from the RESURS-F archives but we are unsure
   whether the JEBCO source is still available. The color spectrazonal
   film of the KFA-1000 cannot currently be captured by the DBA scanner
   and other providers of color scanning of the KFA-1000 are unknown.
    How can I purchase Russian Imagery?
   There are several suppliers of Russian imagery and value-added
   products created from the various Russian satellite systems. EOSAT,
   through authorized Russian distributor Kieberso, provides digital
   KVR-1000; Core Software through authorized Russian distributor
   SOVINFORMSPUTNIK, provides hardcopy and digital KVR-1000 and TK-350;
   DBA Systems through multiple authorized Russian distributors of
   KOSMOS, RESURS and ALMAZ, provides the majority of Russian satellite
   sources in both hardcopy and digital form.
    Are the Russian planning any future commercial satellite systems?
   Yes, the RESURS-F1M and RESURS-F2M will be upgrades to the existing
   film return systems and a newer system referred to as Nika-Kuban will
   be added to the RESURS satellite family. The Nika-Kuban will operate 3
   camera systems and 1 forward looking digital return system to assist
   in eliminating collection of cloud covered imagery. The Nika-Kuban
   will offer panchromatic and multispectral collection in the 3 to 6
   meter resolution range. Also planned as a major player in the
   commercial remote sensing industry will be the ALMAZ-1B and ALMAZ-1C.
   Both systems are currently awaiting financing to complete development
   but will house the most sophisticated array of remote sensing systems
   available in the commercial market. The ALMAZ-1B will offer a unique,
   complex, multi-sensor payload providing for the first time, a
   capability for simultaneous, multi-sensor, high resolution imagery,
   including single-pass stereo coverage in the optical and multispectral
   bandwidths; and high resolution, two-pass, all weather stereo in
   microwave bandwidths.

Russian Imagery section by
W. Steven Sklaris
DBA Systems, Inc.
1200 South Woody Burke Rd.
Melbourne, Florida 32901
ph:  1-800-622-8554
fax: (407) 727-7019

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