Colorado, USA: DigitalGlobe unveiled unique capabilities of its WorldView-3 satellite, slated for launch in mid-2014. The announcement was made at the 28th Annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, USA.
According to the company’s press statement, WorldView-3 will extend the capabilities of DigitalGlobe’s commercial imaging constellation, which today is comprised of QuickBird, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2. This constellation captures over 75 percent of all half-meter resolution commercial imagery worldwide, including the most colour imagery, with an average of twice-daily revisit to any point on the ground globally.
In addition to offering 0.31 meter resolution panchromatic and eight-band multispectral imagery, WorldView-3 has been recently licensed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to collect eight-band short-wave infrared (SWIR) imagery. This will make DigitalGlobe the only company with multi-band SWIR capabilities, greatly expanding the range of customer applications enabled by the DigitalGlobe constellation and the overall value DigitalGlobe can provide to customers.
“The sensor capability enhancements planned for the WorldView-3 satellite are likely to be ‘game changers’. These significant improvements will make many of the capabilities and business models that we could only dream about in the mid-1990s a reality,” said James A. Myer, Ph. D., founder and former CEO of Photon Research Associates, Inc., (now retired). Photon Research Associates was acquired by Raytheon Company in 2004.
WorldView-3 imagery is expected to make it much easier for customers to identify small but critical details within an image that are often indiscernible within the visible spectrum. This increased identification capability is particularly valuable in a growing number of automated geospatial intelligence applications.
WorldView-3 is currently being constructed by Ball Aerospace, which has designed and built all of DigitalGlobe’s operational satellites. The imaging instruments, including the SWIR sensor and optics, were engineered and are being built by ITT Exelis.