Aircraft detection

An algorithm that detects and classifies aircraft in Pléiades imagery.


The algorithm uses object detection in Pléiades display imagery to detect and classify multiple types of aircraft. The result is a GeoJSON file with vertically oriented polygons drawn around detected aircraft.

This process detects and classifies multiple types of aircraft:

  • Carrier aircraft
  • Fighter aircraft
  • Helicopters
  • Small aircraft
  • Other

Aircraft detection can be used for aircraft management, airport monitoring, and environmental modeling.

See more on the marketplace.

Training data and accuracy

The algorithm has been developed using 2,500 satellite images across 350 air bases in 50 countries spanning 6 continents. The algorithm counted 54,000 aircraft to create a historical baseline of activity and detect ongoing changes.

For optimal results, the algorithm should be applied to imagery captured over airport areas. You can apply it to similar areas, but the same level of performance isn’t guaranteed.

Scenarios represented in the training data:

  • Different times of day
  • Different times of year
  • Different terrains
  • Different object configurations

Requirements for input imagery

Checkmark inline-icon The STAC item should be a Pléiades image of the display radiometric processing level.

Checkmark inline-icon The STAC item should be CNAM-compatible. Check that the STAC item has been added to storage in 2023 or later.

Input parameters

Required parameters

Input imagery

You need to specify the STAC items you want to apply the process to.

Output title

You need to specify the title of the output objects. This title will be assigned to the resulting STAC item and STAC collection.

API input

A sample input payload for the process


      "title": "Aircraft detection over Dubai airport",
      "item": ""

inputs.titleobject / required
The title of the output objects: STAC item and STAC collection.
inputs.itemobject / required
The STAC item link in the following format:{collection-id}/items/{item-id}