US: DigitalGlobe has divulged its plans to expedite the launch of WorldView-4 to mid-2016, which was earlier named GeoEye-2. DigitalGlobe’s reason for the decision and its brimming optimism stems from the recent decision by the US Department of Commerce allowing DigitalGlobe to sell imagery with resolution of up to 25 centimetres.
“As a result of the US Government’s decision we’ve seen sufficient demand that justifies the accelerated launch of WorldView-4,” said Jeffrey R Tarr, President and Chief Executive Officer of DigitalGlobe. “This will extend our industry leadership, capture more of our customers’ mapping and monitoring missions, provide an even stronger foundation on which to grow our Geospatial Big Data and analytic capabilities, and uniquely address pressing global challenges. By placing this asset on orbit where it can generate revenue rather than storing it on the ground, we will improve returns and create shareowner value.”
DigitalGlobe now plans to launch WorldView-4 in mid-2016 with an assured access to 30 centimetre resolution imagery. Following the merger of GeoEye and DigitalGlobe, GeoEye-2 satellite sensors were held back and stored to give launch space for DigitalGlobe’s third-generation satellite in the WorldView series.
GeoEye-2 (now WorldView-4) is of the same general class as GeoEye-1 launched on September 6, 2008. The satellite is capable of collecting multispectral imagery at 1.36-meter (4.46 feet) resolution, and panchromatic imagery at 34 centimetres. Together with WorldView-3, which will launch in August, and the rest of DigitalGlobe’s constellation, WorldView-4 will provide DigitalGlobe a near monopoly in the higher resolution commercial imagery market in US.
WorldView-4 would off customers a choice of ordering BASIC (satellite projection), Geo (geometrically corrected), GeoProfessional (terrain corrected or orthorectified), or GeoStereo (stereo pair) products, as well as imagery-derived products, including Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), Digital Surface Models (DSMs), large-area mosaics and feature maps.