Satellite Band Tradeoffs


A band is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum sensed by a satellite.  You can think of it as a color, but often some of the bands will be in the infrared and invisible to the human eye.

To collect a lot of energy, the band must be wide,covering a large range of frequencies or wavelengths and hence a range of colors.  The designers of a satellite consider tradeoffs.

Sentinel-2 satellite

LONG_NAME WAVELENGTH
(nannometrs)
BANDWIDTH
(Nannometers)
RESOLUTION
(meters)
Notes
Band 1 - Coastal aerosol 443 20 60 Narrow bandwidth, Low spatial resolution
Band 2 - Blue 490 65 10 VIS has high energy, good spatial resolution
Band 3 - Green 560 35 10 VIS has high energy, good spatial resolution
Band 4 - Red 665 30 10 VIS has high energy, good spatial resolution
Band 5 - Vegetation Red Edge 705 15 20 Narrow band, moderate spatial resolution
Band 6 - Vegetation Red Edge 740 15 20 Narrow band, moderate spatial resolution
Band 7 - Vegetation Red Edge 783 20 20 Narrow band, moderate spatial resolution
Band 8 - NIR 842 115 10 Lower energy, wide band, good spatial resolution
Band 8A - Narrow NIR 865 20 20 Narrower band, lower spatial resolution
Band 9 - Water vapour 945 20 60
Band 10 - SWIR - Cirrus 1375 20 60
Band 11 - SWIR 1610 90 20
Band 12 - SWIR 2190 180 20 Wide band to get reasonable spatial resolution


Last revision 8/21/2018