DEFENSE IT

New remote-sensing satellite to offer expanded services

WorldView-2 packs next-generation technologies for enhanced mapping and intelligence gathering

A new high-resolution, remote-sensing satellite successfully launched into orbit Oct. 8 is expected to boost data collection capacity and offer expanded services to government, defense and commercial customers, according to DigitalGlobe, the company that launched the craft.

The satellite provides the most up-to-date, high-resolution imagery commercially available and includes the capability to scan any point on Earth once a day, company officials said.

Some of the applications for the satellite’s images include spectral analysis, mapping and monitoring applications, land-use planning, disaster relief, exploration, defense and intelligence, and visualization and simulation environments.

The new WorldView-2 satellite, which was launched aboard a Boeing Delta II 7920 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, in Santa Barbara County, Calif., packs a variety of next-generation equipment.

The satellite provides panchromatic imagery — visual images rendered in black and white — at resolutions of 0.46 meters. It is also capable of producing multi-spectral images at 1.8-meter resolution The eight spectral bands include four standard colors (red, green, blue and near-infrared 1) and four new bands (coastal, yellow, red edge and near-infrared 2). The additional bands enable broader ranges of classifications, such as for enhanced vegetation and coastal analysis. They also help identify more features and track coastal changes and infractions, company officials said.

The satellite is undergoing a calibration and check-out period and is expected to be commercially available in about 90 days. It has an expected mission life of more than seven years.

The new satellite will double the company’s collection capacity, provide at a minimum annually updated coverage of the world as well as intra-day revisit capabilities, said Jill Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of DigitalGlobe.

The satellite was built by Ball Aerospace and the imaging sensor was provided by ITT’s Space Systems Division. DigitalGlobe’s customers include the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Google and Microsoft.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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