Crew Earth Observations Facility

Band #, Range: 

3-band handheld digital camera (currently Nikon D5) images;


~ 0.4-0.7 microns (RGB); resolution variable with look angle, lens used, and ISS altitude; typically between 10-50 m/pixels

Swath / Extent: 

Highly variable with look angle and lens used, can range from <100 km (frame width/height) to 1000s of km for panoramic oblique images

Revisit Time: 

Similar illumination conditions over given area of Earth surface every 3-4 days, but ~ 2-3 months before revisit with similar illumination conditions due to precessing inclined, non sun-sychronous equatorial orbit of ISS

Data Download: 




RGB handheld digital camera imagery collected by the ISS crew, subject to operation constraints (including crew work/sleep schedule, other ISS tasks, and planned ISS manuevers) and crew responsiveness to targeting callouts (considered a best-effort activity). In general, spectral quality is low due to COTS camera design but spatial information content can be high with longer lens images (= higher ground spatial resolution). Unprocessed imagery typically available 24 hours after acquisition and downlink; post-processing to fully georeference images typically adds 24+ hours depending on number of frames and difficulty matching ground features.