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UPDATE: Earth Observation Satellite Features Atmospheric Sensing

Aug. 28, 2014
The WorldView-3 satellite will use remote-sensing payloads to help create a digital inventory of the Earth’s surface.

UPDATE: The WorldView-3 satellite successfully launched aboard an Atlas V 401 on August 13th, 2014. It marked the 118th consecutive succesful Atlas launch to date. The next satellite in the system, WorldView-4, is expected to launch in 2016.

PREVIOUSLY: Delivering high spatial resolution, multispectral satellite imagery for earth observations and advanced geospatial solutions, the WorldView-3 satellite employs advanced remote sensing that includes CAVIS, a new cloud, aerosol, water vapor, ice, and snow atmospheric sensing instrument.

WorldView-3, developed by Ball Aerospace for DigitalGlobe, is built on the Ball Configurable Platform BCP 5000 spacecraft designed for next-generation optical and synthetic aperture radar remote sensing payloads. The new CAVIS instrument will monitor the atmosphere and provide correction data to improve the satellite’s imagery through haze, soot, dust, and other obstacles.

The new satellite and its integrated sensors successfully completed thermal vacuum, acoustic, vibration, and pyro-separation testing to confirm design integrity. Electromagnetic-interference and electromagnetic-compatibility testing will soon follow.

At an expected operational altitude of 617 km, WorldView-3 collects imagery with 31-cm panchromatic resolution, 1.24-m multispectral resolution, 3.7-m short-wave infrared (SWIR) resolution, and 30-m CAVIS resolution. This is made possible by a 1.1-m aperture Exelis-built telescope carried by the satellite. Extensive viewing into both the visible spectrum and the infrared spectrum extends the range of the satellite’s customer applications. Specifically, it will help accelerate DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data program, which serves as a living digital inventory of the Earth’s surface.

On August 13, Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) will launch WorldView-3 aboard an Atlas V. LMCLS is the exclusive provider of Atlas rockets to all non-U.S. government customers. 

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