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Cubesats Allow High Spatiotemporal Estimates of Satellite-Derived Bathymetry

Published: 31 May 2019
 by  MDPI AG
Remote Sensing , Volume 11; doi:10.3390/rs11111299

Abstract: High spatial and temporal resolution satellite remote sensing estimates are the silver bullet for monitoring of coastal marine areas globally. From 2000, when the first commercial satellite platforms appeared, offering high spatial resolution data, the mapping of coastal habitats and the extraction of bathymetric information have been possible at local scales. Since then, several platforms have offered such data, although not at high temporal resolution, making the selection of suitable images challenging, especially in areas with high cloud coverage. PlanetScope CubeSats appear to cover this gap by providing their relevant imagery. The current study is the first that examines the suitability of them for the calculation of the Satellite-derived Bathymetry. The availability of daily data allows the selection of the most qualitatively suitable images within the desired timeframe. The application of an empirical method of spaceborne bathymetry estimation provides promising results, with depth errors that fit to the requirements of the International Hydrographic Organization at the Category Zone of Confidence for the inclusion of these data in navigation maps. While this is a pilot study in a small area, more studies in areas with diverse water types are required for solid conclusions on the requirements and limitations of such approaches in coastal bathymetry estimations.
Keywords: PlanetScope / hypertemporal / zones of confidence / hydrography / CubeSats / satellite-derived bathymetry

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