Rochester, USA: ITT Exelis developed and delivered GeoEye’s next-generation commercial imaging system for the GeoEye-2 satellite to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale, USA. When operational in 2013, GeoEye-2 will deliver the highest resolution and most accurate colour imagery to GeoEye’s commercial, government and international customers.
The Exelis-built imaging payload for GeoEye-2 includes a telescope, sensor subsystem and outer barrel assembly and has the potential to capture panchromatic ground sample distance imagery of the Earth’s surface at 0.34-meter, or 13.38-inch, ground resolution.
“Exelis was instrumental in helping Lockheed Martin revolutionise the commercial remote sensing market by designing and manufacturing the imaging system for GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite, launched in 1999. More than a decade later, Exelis is proud to deliver the imaging system for GeoEye’s next-generation satellite,” said Rob Mitrevski, Vice President and General Manager, Environmental Intelligence and Integrated Geospatial Sensing Systems at Exelis Geospatial Systems. “Exelis has long relationships with Lockheed Martin and GeoEye, and together, we look forward to the next phase of integrating the Exelis-built imaging system into the GeoEye-2 spacecraft.”
GeoEye-2 will have significant improvements in capability compared with current systems, including enhanced tasking; longer focal length, which enables better resolution; advancements to the sensor subsystem, which improves image quality; and the ability to collect more imagery at a faster rate. The GeoEye-2 satellite will provide cost-effective, increased coverage and easier access to high-resolution satellite imagery for intelligence analysts, warfighters, map producers and commercial customers.
Bill Schuster, GeoEye’s chief operating officer, said, “We commend Exelis for completing this next milestone of our GeoEye-2 programme with a superbly performing camera and an on-time delivery of the imaging system to Lockheed Martin. Commercial satellite imagery plays a fundamental and essential role in our country’s national security, disaster response and humanitarian efforts. Soldiers depend on it on the battlefield every day for the most up-to-date situational awareness and to meet many of their operational mission requirements. Commercial imagery is unclassified, and as such, is easily shared with coalition forces.”
The GeoEye-2 satellite bus is being assembled at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale. Its propulsion system has been installed and many of the subsystems are completed and being integrated into the spacecraft.
“Delivery of the imaging payload is a major milestone for the team and another critical step forward in our objective to deploy this cutting-edge satellite in a timely fashion,” said Allen Anderson, GeoEye-2 programme director for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We look forward to integrating the payload with the GeoEye-2 space vehicle and achieving mission success for our customer.”
GeoEye-2 will surpass the performance of the GeoEye-1 satellite, launched in 2008, in resolution, capacity and agility. GeoEye-1 currently is the world’s highest resolution imagery satellite. GeoEye selected Exelis to begin work on the GeoEye-2 imaging system in October 2007.
Source: ITT Exelis