Radiometric processing levels

Learn about basic, TOA, surface reflectance, and display radiometric processing levels.


Overview

Processing is essential for transforming raw geospatial data into meaningful imagery. Processing levels act as a framework for understanding the level of transformation and manipulation the data has undergone. To select the right data for your use case, it is important to understand the processing levels offered.

Types of levels

Optical imagery falls into four radiometric processing levels: basic, top-of-atmosphere (TOA), surface reflectance, and display.

Basic

Basic imagery is provided without any radiometric processing. The raw pixel values or digital numbers (DN) won’t be radiometrically calibrated but will undergo sensor correction to be consistent and comparable across the image.

Basic imagery is sensor corrected to minimize sensor-to-sensor variation and sensor defects.

Basic imagery isn't radiometrically calibrated, and won't provide radiance or reflectance values.

Basic imagery provides close-to-raw values that are suited for advanced users to perform preliminary analysis and further processing.

Pléiades, Pléiades Neo, and SPOT basic imagery provides radiometric calibration coefficients to allow users to perform their own radiometric calibration. BlackSky imagery undergoes dynamic range adjustment, and the resulting basic imagery with scaled DN values isn’t suited for further radiometric calibration.

TOA

TOA imagery is radiometrically calibrated. The pixel values represent the radiance or reflectance at the height of the sensor which may include atmospheric effects and inconsistent illumination.

TOA imagery is radiometrically calibrated and sensor corrected.

TOA imagery isn't atmospherically corrected, and will contain atmospheric effects like scattering and absorption.

TOA imagery is more standardized and can be compared with TOA imagery from other sources. It is suited for most geospatial analysis use cases.

Surface reflectance

Surface reflectance or bottom-of-atmosphere (BOA) imagery is atmospherically corrected. The pixel values represent the reflectance values from the Earth’s surface without systemic effects of the atmosphere and variations in solar illumination.

In addition to being radiometrically calibrated, surface reflectance imagery is sensor and atmospherically corrected.

Surface reflectance imagery will still contain clouds, pollution, and other atmospheric aerosols.

Surface reflectance imagery can be directly compared with data across different dates and sources. It is suited for change detection, landcover classification, and vegetative analysis.

Display

Display imagery is color-corrected to provide natural or true colors as seen by the human eye.

In addition to being radiometrically calibrated, display imagery is sensor, atmospherically, and color corrected.

Display imagery can't be converted back to the other radiometric processing levels.

Display imagery is visually appealing and can be immediately used for visualization. It is suited for visual analysis and communication purposes.

Availability

Tasking collections

CollectionBasicTOASurface reflectanceDisplay
AxelGlobeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1C
Supported inline-icon-large
Level 2A
Not supported inline-icon-large
Beijing-3ANot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1
Level 2
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
Beijing-3NNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1
Level 2
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
BlackSkySupported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
EROS-BNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1A
Level 1B
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
EROS-CNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1A
Level 1B
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
KOMPSAT-3Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1R
Level 1O
Level 1G
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
KOMPSAT-3ANot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1R
Level 1O
Level 1G
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
Near Space LabsNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
PléiadesSupported inline-icon-large
Basic
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Reflectance
Supported inline-icon-large
Display
Pléiades NeoSupported inline-icon-large
Basic
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Reflectance
Supported inline-icon-large
Display
SatellogicNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
L1 Analytics
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
L3 Visual
SPOTSupported inline-icon-large
Basic
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Reflectance
Supported inline-icon-large
Display
TripleSatNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1
Level 2
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
Vision-1Supported inline-icon-large
Basic
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large

Catalog collections

At least one radiometric processing level per collection is always available on the console, but the availability of other levels may differ depending on the collection. Some levels are only available upon request.

CollectionBasicTOASurface reflectanceDisplay
Beijing-3ANot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 1
Level 2A (upon request)
Level 4 (upon request)
Level 4A (upon request)
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
EROS-BSupported inline-icon-large
Level 0A
Supported inline-icon-large
Level 1A
Level 1B
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
EROS-CSupported inline-icon-large
Level 0A
Supported inline-icon-large
Level 1A
Level 1B
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
HexagonNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Landsat 8Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level-2SP
Not supported inline-icon-large
Near Space LabsNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
PléiadesSupported inline-icon-large
Basic
(upon request)
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Reflectance
Supported inline-icon-large
Display
Pléiades NeoSupported inline-icon-large
Basic
(upon request)
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Reflectance
Supported inline-icon-large
Display
Sentinel-2Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level-2A
Not supported inline-icon-large
SPOTSupported inline-icon-large
Basic
(upon request)
Not supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Reflectance
Supported inline-icon-large
Display
TripleSatNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Level 2
Not supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-large
Vexcel AerialNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeNot supported inline-icon-largeSupported inline-icon-large
Oblique
Ortho
True Ortho