Swath width refers to the horizontal distance covered by a satellite sensor as it captures images of the Earth's surface. The width of the swath can vary depending on the sensor and the orbit of the satellite, but it is typically several kilometers wide.
The swath width is important because it determines the area that can be imaged by the satellite in a single pass. For example, a satellite with a swath width of 10 km can capture an area of 10 km x 100 km (assuming a 10:1 length-to-width ratio) in a single pass.
The swath width can also affect the spatial resolution of the satellite image. For example, a sensor with a resolution of 1 meter per pixel will produce a higher resolution image over a narrower swath width than over a wider swath width.
Swath width can also affect the frequency with which a satellite captures images of a particular area. Satellites with wider swath widths may capture images less frequently than those with narrower swath widths, but they may cover a larger area overall.
The choice of swath width depends on the specific needs of the application. For example, a satellite used for monitoring crops may require a wider swath width to cover a larger area, while a satellite used for urban planning may require a narrower swath width to capture more detail in densely populated areas.
In summary, swath width is an important characteristic of satellite sensors that determines the area imaged in a single pass and can affect the spatial resolution and frequency of image capture.