GeoEye’s next-generation satellite reaches major milestone

GeoEye’s next-generation satellite reaches major milestone

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Dulles, USA, 19 January 2007 – GeoEye, the commercial satellite imaging company, has announced the delivery of the camera for its next-generation commercial imaging satellite to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Arizona for integration into the GeoEye-1 satellite. When operational, GeoEye-1 will be the world’s highest resolution commercial imaging satellite.

ITT (Rochester, New York) built the sensor, optical telescope assembly, detectors and focal plane assembly, and the high-speed digital processing electronics. The sensor is the single most important component of GeoEye-1 and it is considered a major milestone when the sensor is delivered to the prime contractor. The sensor was delivered to General Dynamics earlier this month.

GeoEye-1 is anticipated to collect more than 700,000 square kilometers — billions of bytes — of high-resolution imagery every day. The major components have now been delivered and the process of integration and testing has begun in preparation for launch. However, GeoEye believes it is possible that integration and testing may not be concluded in time to support a launch this spring for which it is currently scheduled. As a result of this and the busy Delta II launch schedule, GeoEye is working towards a launch from Vandenberg AFB, California during the third quarter of 2007.

GeoEye-1 will be lifted into a near-polar orbit by a Delta II launch vehicle procured by Boeing Launch Services (Huntington Beach, California) from United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colorado. This launch vehicle is the most reliable launch vehicle in its class.

“Getting the major components in house and in good condition is a critical achievement toward the successful completion of the program,” said Bill Schuster, GeoEye’s Chief Operating Officer. “The effort now is to bring these pieces together and to thoroughly test the fully integrated system prior to launch to ensure that GeoEye-1 will meet all program performance objectives when it is placed into service. Our goal is 100 percent mission success.”

– About GeoEye
Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, USA, GeoEye is the world’s largest commercial satellite imagery company. GeoEye was formed as a result of ORBIMAGE’s acquisition of Space Imaging in January 2006. The company is the premier provider of geospatial data, information and value-added products for the national security community, strategic partners, resellers and commercial customers. The company maintains a comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS) and has achieved corporate-wide ISO accreditation. For more information, visit www.geoeye.com.