Since the 27th EARSeL symposium 2007 in Bolzano with WorldView-1 Cartosat-2A two more very high resolution optical satellites of a new group have been launched. Images with a ground sampling distance (GSD) of 0.45 m, which will be distributed with 0.5 m GSD, are operational available. In August 2008 GeoEye-1 shall be launched, having even 0.42 m GSD. With CBERS 2B an additional high resolution is in space. The system of 5 RapidEye satellites shall follow. The high number of new satellites gives a strong push to the 3D-Remote sensing. The wide spread of the stereo systems Cartosat-1 and ALOS/PRISM has improved the possibility of generating detailed and accurate digital elevation models based on space images. An overview of the new optical systems, but also a short information about new radar satellites and in near future planned missions together with the influence to the practical application is given. Only systems available for civilian use are respected in this overview.
As new trend in aerial application we have with mid format digital aerial cameras and the combination of vertical and oblique images like from Pictometry and Multivision. The digital mid format are now completed by combinations of cameras, closing the gap to the large format digital cameras.
Digital height models can be generated by interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) or by automatic image matching. The images used for image matching should be taken within a short time interval to avoid changes of the object and different shadows. Stereo systems generating stereo combinations in general have some advantages.
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