What does it mean when a satellite has these bands[1]:

  • Panchromatic: 450-800 nm

  • 8 Multispectral (red, red edge, coastal, blue, green, yellow, near-IR1 and near-IR2): 400 nm-1,040 nm

  • 8 SWIR: 1,195 nm-2,365 nm

  • 12 CAVIS Bands (desert clouds, aerosol-1, aerosol-2, aerosol-3, green, water-1, water- 2, water-3, NDVI-SWIR, cirrus, snow): 405 nm - 2,245 nm

Does it have 4 bands or does it have 29 bands? What does a band physically look like?

[1] https://www.satimagingcorp.com/satellite-sensors/worldview-3/

  • $\begingroup$ See also Earth Science where Earth Observation questions may be on-topic. $\endgroup$ – gerrit Jul 19 '18 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ The excellent, clear, accepted answer demonstrates that this question is neither "too broad" nor "unclear". The current close votes for those reasons seem unjustified. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 19 '18 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ without commenting on this question, just because someone guessed what the asker meant doesn't mean the question wasn't unclear, @uhoh, just because the answer satisfied the asker doesn't mean it covered the question in the breadth it needed to be done justice. $\endgroup$ – JCRM Jul 19 '18 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM "could be worded better" can be addressed by editing or by helpful comments rather than the silent insta-close. In low question-rate sites like this, I think that the "close early, close often" attitude is unnecessary, and unnecessarily discouraging to new users. See Be welcoming - a new Space Exploration Stack Exchange for example. In the case of this question though, I think the intent of the question is really quite clear, and there's nothing "too broad" about it whatsoever. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 19 '18 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM With two close votes in the first five hours already, and the occasional reflexive close-voters piling on, the question might end up closed and then take time to reopen, thereby preventing other people from posting answers in the mean time. The reason I leave counter-arguments to the silent close votes is to give potential reflexive close-voters an opportunity to pause and see that other people do understand the question. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 19 '18 at 23:41

The 'bands' described here are regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. A band doesn't physically look like anything since it's just a range of wavelengths. However, different wavelengths are good for imaging different physical phenomena.

So WorldView-3 has sensors for 4 groups of bands, but 29 bands in total.

The page you linked includes this image which illustrates the bands in which WorldView-3's sensors operate:

enter image description here

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