Dulles, USA, October 18, 2007: GeoEye, Inc., producer of satellite and aerial imagery and geospatial information, announced it has contracted with ITT Corporation to begin work on the camera for GeoEye’s next satellite, GeoEye-2. This is the first step in a phased development process for an advanced, third-generation satellite capable of discerning objects on the Earth’s surface as small as 0.25-meter (9.75 inch) in size. The company expects to contract with a satellite builder in 2008 and launch the satellite approximately three years after work begins under that contract.
While GeoEye has an operating license from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build and launch a satellite constellation with this extremely high ground resolution, the final decision regarding GeoEye-2’s resolution will be made in response to how best to serve customer requirements, as well as consideration of the current regulatory environment. Under current licensing constraints, only U.S. Government customers and specifically designated allies have access to imagery at this highest resolution while commercial customers receive imagery at the highest resolution allowed by U.S. regulations, currently 0.5-meter or 19.5 inch ground resolution.
GeoEye is nearing the launch of its next-generation commercial satellite imaging system, GeoEye-1, slated for late first quarter or early second quarter 2008 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The satellite will be able to discern objects on the ground 0.41-meter or 16 inches in size or larger. More importantly, GeoEye-1 will be able to locate an object that size to within about nine feet of its true location on the surface of the globe without ground control points. Imagery from GeoEye-1 can be supplied in color or, if the customer prefers, in black and white.