Image Processing and Analysis: Temporal Resolution, Part 1


If the time difference between images covering the same geographical area is too great, the possibility exists that some phenomena may be "missed."

The temporal resolution of a satellite like Landsat is 16 days, while for a NOAA satellite it is four hours. So the NOAA satellite has a higher temporal resolution than Landsat, but a lower spatial resolution (1.1 km versus 30 meters).

This relationship is generally the case - there is a tradeoff between having high spatial resolution for an instrument versus having high temporal resolution. There are exceptions - for example, geosynchronous satellites are sometimes put in Rapid Scan Mode, where instead of imaging a large geographic area infrequently, they image a small geographic area at a much higher temporal resolution (possibly every minute). One reason for doing this might be to more closely monitor an unusually intense storm.

Step through the two images to the right, where the same geographical area was sensed by a single satellite at a 15 minute interval.

On the next page, you'll see what was "missed" by viewing the same area sensed at 1 minute intervals.

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This tool examines remote sensor temporal resolution.

To continue, click the forward arrow below  

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