Timeline for Delivery

To produce an elevation survey, we collect stereo satellite photos and then process them. Each phase is influenced by different factors.

Phase 1: Satellite Photos

In this phase, there are two options. We can either collect new satellite photos or use photos from the satellite archive.

Archived satellite photos

These photos have already been collected. If they cover the target area, we may be able to use them without collecting new satellite photos.

New satellite photos

In areas of sparse vegetation, like Northern Mexico, collecting new photos may take a few days. Factors influencing the length of time to collect new photos include:

  • Size of area: For large survey targets, it may take several satellite passes to cover the entire area. A satellite can capture photos over huge areas in a single pass on a clear day.
  • Colour orthophotos: To produce these, we need more photos as compared to greyscale.
  • Persistent cloud cover: Some parts of the world have local weather patterns that make collecting clear satellite photos difficult. Areas like Northeastern Brazil can go weeks without a cloud-free day.
  • Available satellites: In conflict zones, government orders take priority over commercial requests. It may take longer to obtain satellite photos over these areas.

Over cloud-free areas that are outside conflict zones, new photo collection usually takes a couple weeks. Collection times may vary.

Phase 2: Data Processing

Once we have satellite photos, different factors influence the final processing time:

  • Terrain: In terrain with low grade slopes, there often are more points with the same elevation. This increases the file size and takes longer to process.
  • Area: The time required for data processing is directly linked to the area of the survey.
  • Above ground features: PhotoSat starts with unprocessed satellite photos and removes above-ground features (e.g. trees and buildings) to produce a bare ground elevation survey. In forested or urban areas, it takes longer to remove all the above-ground features.

To get an estimate on processing times, contact us. Data processing times may vary.