Other Names:

None known

Agency/Company Operating the Sensor

Privately owned and operated by Rapideye AG


RapidEye is a constellation of five identical high-resolution (5-meter), multispectral satellites that were launched into orbit in 2008. The advantage to having a constellation of satellites in orbit rather than a single satellite is that it gives RapidEye the ability to acquire imagery daily for any spot on the earth. The fact that all five satellites are equally calibrated and travel along the same orbit means that images taken from different satellites in the constellation can be treated as if they were taken from the same satellite.

In addition to the standard four multispectral bands (i.e., blue, green, red, near infrared), RapidEye also includes a “red edge” band between the red and near infrared bands which is sensitive to differences and changes in vegetation.

Similar Sensors

To date, Rapid Eye is the only sensor that can re-image a spot on the earth every day at high resolution (i.e., 5m resolution or better). The following sensors, however, are close to RapidEye in terms bands and resolution

  • ikonos has similar resolution with it’s multispectral products, but lacks the red-edge band
  • quickbird also has similar resolution for multispectral imagery, but lacks the red-edge band
  • worldview-2 is of higher resolution, includes the red-edge band, and also has a “yellow-edge” band
  • geoeye-1 is of higher resolution, but lacks the red-edge band

Sensor Specifications

RapidEye is a constellation of five identical satellites that image the earth with 5 bands at a resolution of 5 meters.

Spectral Bands/Wavelengths

Band Resolution Wavelength ┬Ám Description
1 5m 0.44-0.51 Blue
2 5m 0.52-0.59 Green
3 5m 0.63-0.685 Red
4 5m 0.69-0.73 Red-edge
5 5m 0.76-0.85 Near Infrared

Image footprint or swath width

The swath width of RapidEye is 77km


The RapidEye satellite was launched in August 2008, and started delivering imagery in October 2008. With a constellation of five satellites, RapidEye can revisit any spot on earth every day.

Cost, Acquisition, Licensing

RapidEye imagery is available as either new acquisitions or from their archive on a per-square-kilometer basis. In the United States, RapidEye imagery is ordered and distributed through authorized resellers. See RapidEye’s ordering page for more information and contacts: http://www.rapideye.com/buy/index.html.

Imagery is available as either the Basic Product (radiometric and sensor corrections applied, but no geometric corrections) or the Ortho Product (radiometric, sensor, and geometric corrections applied to meet 1:25,000 map scale standards).

The current price list for imagery is available at http://www.rapideye.net/about/resources.htm?tab=5#TabbedPanels1

RapidEye is commercial imagery and is subject to the terms of their licensing agreement. The standard license for RapidEye products is a single-user license. Other licensing options are available.

Image format

Images from RapidEye are delivered in either GeoTIFF or NITF format. The standard coordinate system for the Ortho product is UTM WGS84.

Examples of Rangeland Uses

Given how new the RapidEye satellite is, no rangeland applications are yet known.

Software/Hardware Requirements

No special hardware or software requirements are required for using RapidEye imagery.

Additional Information

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