The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of certain sensor parameters upon the ability to extract useful information from image data gathered by current and future earth-orbiting satellites. The basic method used was to select representative images; scan and digitize them; process the digital data to simulate the effects of presampling filters, instantaneous field of view (IFOV) size and shape, sampling rates, noise, and word length; record the processed data on film; have the film images evaluated by experienced photointerpreters; and draw conclusions from those evaluations. The study concluded that presampling filters are not required for the suppression of aliasing, and the choice between square and circular IFOV shapes is not important. Increased horizontal and vertical sampling rates produced an increase in apparent resolution. The work with low-contrast targets demonstrated a definite maximum in the tradeoff between IFOV size and signal-to-noise ratio. Image data quantization (linear) to six bits was determined to be sufficient, with lower radiometric resolution producing visible contouring, and higher resolution producing no observable improvement in image quality.