US: The super-sharp images of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 aren’t for Google and Bing Maps: They are going straight to the military and intelligence agencies, Fast Company reported. The WorldView-3 is scheduled to launch in 2014. Ball Aerospace & Technologies is building the satellite and ITT will be responsible for the WorldView-3’s optical imager.
According to the report, the best images to make it out of the WorldView-3 will have a considerably better resolution than 0.5 meters. Once complete, the satellite will have an image resolution that ranges between 0.3 and 0.46 meters. The US government regulations require images from the WorldView-2 and WorldView-3 to be re-sampled to a lower resolution before being offered to private customers.
While Google is a valuable customer, DigitalGlobe’s gravy train is the provision of satellite imagery to government agencies. In an interview with Fast Company, Scott noted that nearly 60 percent of the firm’s business comes from the US government. That is where the Worldview-3’s super-high resolution kicks in: It’s also where the whole idea of private satellite companies gets really interesting.
Source: Fast Company