3 more weeks of SPOT5 (Take5) data added to distribution server


Three more weeks of data (L1C) have been added to the SPOT5 (Take5) distribution server. The corresponding L2A data should appear very soon, but the dtata transfer takes a long time. The data acquired until the 24th of July are now available here : https://spot-take5.org.

  • The file format for both Level 1C and Level 2A is described here.
  • Some explanations on how the the distribution server works are available here.

We are now starting to see very nice time series, such as this one near Valencia, Spain, where rice is grown and on which we can see the watering of the fields early may, which is done progressively, area per area, and the start of vegetation growth in June.


Release of SPOT (Take5) L1C data

The SPOT5 (Take5) L1C data acquired before the 3rd of June have just been uploaded to


If you are interested in atmospherically corrected data, with a good cloud mask, please wait for a few more days, as the level 2A production of the same data is also ready and being prepared for upload to the server too.


The file format for both Level 1C and Level 2A is available here.

Some explanations on how the the distribution server works is available here.

This achievement is the result of the hard work of many at CNES, CESBIO, ESA, whom I already quoted in this blog, but this last stage was done by the MUSCATE TEAM at CNES, among which I would like to thank Karl Rodriguez and Patrick di Giovanni (both from Steria company) for their great work.

Level 1 : 1 mn, Level 2 : 2 mn


These figures are the overall rhythm of production for SPOT5 (Take5) for Level 1C and level 2A production, in the MUSCATE factory within the CNES computing center. But it is a pity that conditioning the data to upload them on the distribution center (https://spot-take5.org) is in fact much longer (several minutes per product). It is interesting to see that in the present implementation of our ground segment prototype, the processing time is negligible compared to the preparation and upload times. We now know where to invest in the near future.


As a result, all the SPOT5 (Take5) data acquired until end of may have been processed, and they should appear soon on the distribution server, but they are not yet there. We still have to ask for some more patience.


To help you wait, here are a few Level2A images acquired over Litchfield site in Australia. If you click on the images, you will see that dark zones progressively appear, which are not cloud shadows, but probably due to bush fires. On the 28th of April, smoke is visible (its shadow is not detected, we still need to enhance our method).




Niveau 1 : 1 minute, Niveau 2 : 2 minutes


Ce sont les cadences de production de chaque donnée SPOT5 (Take5), au N1C, puis au N2A, dans l'usine MUSCATE implantée au centre informatique du CNES. Ce qui est dommage, c'est que finalement, le temps de préparation des données pour les mettre sur le serveur de distribution (https://spot-take5.org), et les temps de transfert des fichiers par réseau sont en fait beaucoup plus longs (plusieurs minutes par produit). Il est intéressant de savoir que dans la configuration actuelle de notre centre de traitement prototype, le temps de traitement est quasiment négligeable devant le temps de transfert vers l'atelier de distribution. Nous savons maintenant où mettre des moyens dans un proche avenir.


Bref, tout cela pour vous dire que tous les produits SPOT5 (Take5) de niveau 1C  acquis jusqu'au 3 juin ont tous été traités, qu'ils seront très bientôt sur le serveur, et que nous en sommes à 575 produits de N2A traités sur 1226 N1C en entrée. Celà va demander encore un peu de patience, mais nous y sommes presque !


Pour vous faire patienter, quelques images intéressantes de Niveau 2A, sur le site de Litchfield en Australie. En cliquant sur les images, vous remarquerez l'apparition progressive de zones sombres, qui ne sont pas des ombres, mais probablement le résultat de feux de brousse. On note d'ailleurs la présence d'un voile de fumée sur l'image du 28 avril (dont l'ombre n'est pas détectée, contrairement aux autres dates. Il nous reste encore quelques marges d'améliorations !)





Sentinel-2 is launched tonight
Sentinel-2 est lancé ce soir

Patience is not my best quality. For instance, regarding the availability of Sentinel-2 data,  I even had the orbit of two satellites changed to obtain time series quicker :) . So you cannot imagine how happy I will be to watch Sentinel-2's launch  tonight, and how even my alarm at 2:30 am will sound as a nice music. Here are two nice links from ESA's Website, and from THEIA's :



La patience n'est pas mon point fort. Par exemple, plutôt que d' attendre la disponibilité des données Sentinel-2, j'ai fait détourner deux satellites de leur orbite ;) . Aussi vous ne pouvez pas imaginer comme je serai heureux, ce soir, d'assister au lancement de Sentinel-2A. Même la sonnerie stridente de mon réveil à 2h30 la nuit prochaine me fera l'effet d'une douce musique. Si vous voulez participer vous aussi, voici quelques liens issus des sites de l'ESA et de THEIA :



SPOT (Take5) distribution server is open



ESA and CNES are glad to announce they just opened the new distribution site for SPOT4 (Take5) and SPOT5 (Take5) with a brand new look and feel compared to the previous SPOT4 (Take5) site. All the SPOT4 (Take5) data are available and may be downloaded, but the SPOT5 (Take5) site is almost empty (except for two sites : "France : Pornic" and "SouthAfrica : Mooreesburg"). The SPOT5 (Take5) part will hopefully start to be filled next week.


Here is the address :




To download data, you will need to register only once ("sign up" button), and then to log on ( "sign in"  button). Then you may either download each product or add it to the cart and use the cart to download batches of products. I'll try to better describe how it works in the next days, but meanwhile I am quite sure you will be able to manage on your own. There are only two things you need to know :

  • on the left part of the page (see the image below), there is a very convenient button to add all Level1A or all level 1C to the cart for a given site.
  • you will have to add the downthemall plugin to your firefox browser in order to download the cart. There are similar plugins for the other browsers, such as Metalink downloader for Chrome (which I did not test).



CNES THEIA distribution site is back on line



The CNES THEIA distribution site was closed for 3 weeks for renovation works. It just reopened with a new address :


It is possible again to downloat the L2A LANDSAT data over France. Besides anan enhanced look and feel, there are two new possibilities :

  • A Single Sign On authentification for all THEIA servers has been implemented (also valid for :
    • you only have to register once ("Sign up" button), and this registration is valid for all THEIA servers, included GeoSud, IGN, and SPOT (Take 5) web site.
    • for each visit, you only need to sign in with your THEIA account and password ("Sign in" button)
  • A shopping cart is now available. You can fill it with the products you are interested in, and you can download all these products at once. To download the cart content, the authors of the site recommend to install the downthemall plugin to your firefox browser. (for Chrome, you may try Metalink downloader, but I did not test it). When you click on "order" button, the browser provides a .meta4 file which contains the links to the files you want to download. downthemall understands this file, so select on "dta one click" et downthemall handles all the downloads very quickly
  • you still can download each product without installing any plugin



  • The Theia site understands queries such as " Toulouse LANDSAT8 2014".  For more query examples, refer to this page.


As it is a new version, you might have suggestions, so please contact the following address : exploitation.theia-land@cnes.fr .


This site relies on the opensource resto application and on the rocket web service, which were both developped by Jérôme Gaspéri (http://github.com/jjrom/resto). The site integration was implemented by par Rémi Mourembles from CAP GEMINI, for CNES. Many interventions from CNES couting center teams (DSI) were necessary, and all this work was managed by Philippe Pacholczyk for THEIA project at CNES. The datasets are produced par the MUSCATE team at CNES.


SPOT5 (Take5) operational production is starting

Everything is set to start SPOT5 (Take 5) operational production of L1C products today (L1C products are ortho rectified images expressed in Top of Atmosphere reflectance). The Level 2A production will start a couple of days later, when all the L1C of April and May are produced (L2A products provide surface reflectances and cloud and cloud shadows masks). Karl Rodriguez and Patrick di Giovanni from Steria, and Eric Faucher from ME/PRM team at CNES are handling this production at the MUSCATE center in CNES (which is part of THEIA Land data center)


All the parameters are tuned, and the last ones we obtained are those for the most Northern sites, for which the SRTM digital elevation model (DEM) is not available. Thankfully, we had access to the planetDEM DEM, which was already purchased by ESA in the framework of Sentinel-2. Planet DEM combines SRTM DEM for mid latitudes, and National DEMs above 60 degrees North. For this, we would like to thank ESA and the French  company "Planet Observer".


The geometrical performance for all the SPOT5 (Take5) images acquired in April was also checked by Gilles Doyon (Magellium), and it is good ! We only found a few scenes with a geo-location maximal error (for 90% of pixels) just a little greater than 1, but they usually correspond to very cloudy scenes, or sites where the LANDSAT reference images contain a large amount of clouds. 85% of the images have registration errors for the 67 best pixels below 0.5.








A new logo for SPOT (Take5)


I had sometimes used the following home made logo for SPOT (Take5) experiments : the Paul Desmond standard is indeed based on a 5 beat rhythm, which is symbolized by the "5" on the time signature of the music score. The number 4 means that the beat corresponds to quarter notes. But the 4 and 5 can also remind of SPOT4 and SPOT5. However, the logo was very basic and not professional.


The communication services started from my logo to define the new official logo of the SPOT (Take5) experiments. Looking at it closely, you can see the music score, and it is much nicer and professional looking ! Thanks ESA !