Ball Aerospace Begins Integration of WorldView-2 Imaging Instrument

Ball Aerospace Begins Integration of WorldView-2 Imaging Instrument

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USA – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and DigitalGlobe announced today that Ball has begun the integration of the completed imaging instrument for the next-generation WorldView-2 commercial imaging satellite being built for DigitalGlobe. WorldView-2 will expand DigitalGlobe’s collection capabilities by nearly one million square kilometers per day, enable intra-day revisits to a specific geographic area, and enhance DigitalGlobe’s ability to collect up-to-date imagery for customer needs.

When launched in the third quarter of 2009, WorldView-2 will expand DigitalGlobe’s capabilities and product offerings by increasing collection rates and providing enhanced multi-spectral imagery. WorldView-2 will make DigitalGlobe the only commercial earth imagery provider with 8-band multi-spectral capability, which enables many more spectral applications through a more robust color palette for crisper color imagery products and services and enhanced analysis of the earth’s surface. WorldView-2 will join the highly successful Ball-built predecessors on orbit, WorldView-1, launched in 2007, and QuickBird, in 2001.

“The excellent progress we’re making on the WorldView-2 spacecraft results from our proven record with the BCP product line,” said Ball Aerospace President and CEO, David L. Taylor. “When launched, WorldView-2’s advanced Control Moment Gyros (CMGs), high collection capacity, and rich multispectral capabilities will provide DigitalGlobe’s customers with precise mapping and change detection at unprecedented quantities and spectral qualities.”

“We are pleased with the progress of WorldView-2 and are looking forward to making its impressive capabilities available to our commercial, civil government and defense and intelligence customers late next year,” said Jill Smith, DigitalGlobe’s president and CEO. “We have an existing constellation of sub-meter satellites that already provides almost one million square kilometers per day of collection capacity. The addition of WorldView-2 will significantly enhance our collection capacity, revisit rate and enable more world imagery products and services to more customers.”

Integration of the WorldView-2 telescope, the integrated focal plane, and associated electronics will be followed by system performance and environmental testing. WorldView-2 was recently moved to Ball’s new, state-of-the-art clean room and integration facility to accommodate the height of the integrated Ball Commercial Platform (BCP) 5000 spacecraft bus and WorldView-2 Instrument. The BCP 5000 spacecraft is designed to handle the next-generation optical and synthetic aperture radar remote sensing payloads and is currently meeting or exceeding all performance specifications on the WorldView-1 satellite. The high-performance BCP 5000 has a design life of more than seven years, and provides a platform with increased power, resolution, agility, target selection, flexibility, transmission capability and data storage.

All Ball Aerospace designed and built WorldView-2 flight boxes and engineering development units have been delivered to the program, including a precision temperature control electronics board. WorldView-2’s advanced CMGs, currently demonstrating superb performance for WorldView-1, are also ready for integration. Ball Aerospace is under contract with DigitalGlobe to provide mission system engineering, design and manufacture of the spacecraft bus and integration of the instrument, EMI/EMC and environmental testing of the integrated satellite and on-orbit checkout.