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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 launched from Vandenberg today

August 13th, 2014 by Susan Smith

Today DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colorado, announced the successful launch of WorldView-3, the company’s sixth and highly advanced high-resolution, super-spectral commercial satellite. From Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the satellite launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket at 11:10 PDT.DigitalGlobeflight

“The successful launch of WorldView-3 extends DigitalGlobe’s commanding technological lead and will enable us to help our customers see through smoke, peer beneath the ocean’s surface and determine the mineral and moisture content of the earth below — all with unprecedented clarity,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer of DigitalGlobe. “We’d like to thank our customers, partners, team members and investors for their support in bringing to the world the new capabilities made possible with this success.”


On the Agenda for the webcast today:


–          Dr. Kumar Navulur – Director of Next Generation Products

  • Ball Aerospace

–          Alex Chernushin  – Director of Programs for Operational Space

  • Exelis

–          Rob Mitrevski – Vice President and General Manager, Environmental Intelligence and Integrated Sensing and Information Systems, Geospatial Systems

  • Lockheed Martin

–          Steve Skladanek – Vice President of Business Development

  • United Launch Alliance

–          Vernon Thorpe, NASA and Commercial Payload Program Manager

DigitalGlobe senior scientist, Product Development and Labs, Bill Baugh spoke on “Mineral Mapping Using WorldView Bands” at the recent Esri User Conference 2014.

“We are going to expand panchromatic spatial resolution with this satellite,” said Baugh. “It has native super-spectral imagery at .31 meter resolution, which delivers five times the clarity of any other satellite, 8 SWIR bands + 12 atmospheric correction bands. Its 30-meter pixel sensor retries information from atmosphere, and it makes more normalized, comparable data.”

WorldView-3 offers the most spectral diversity available commercially today and is the first to offer multiple shortwave infrared (SWIR) bands that can image accurately through smoke, fog, haze dust and other air-born particulate matter that can be valuable during climate change events, homeland security type crises and/or forest fires. The satellite is also the only satellite to offer CAVIS, a cloud, aerosol, water vapor, ice and snow atmospheric correction instrument, which monitors the atmosphere and corrects data for an unprecedented level of consistency.


“The bands coming in WorldView-3 will allow you to go after data you might not be able to go after normally,” said Baugh. “You’ll be able to see iron, rocks (short wave infrared) and steel infrastructure.”

An RGB display is indicative of minerals. You will be able to see what spectrum different roofs are in. Altogether, you will have better spectral resolution, atmospheric retrieval sensor, light matter interaction, red blue and green display, and spectral matching. Apps for these displays will include RGB display, mineral indices, and rooftop classification.

“We need to know how much water is in the atmosphere,” said Baugh. “This has been a real problem for SWIR bands.”

The satellite and atmospheric monitoring instrument called CAVIS were built by Ball Aerospace. Exelis built the integrated, super-spectral payload consisting of a telescope, sensor and shortwave infrared system, making WorldView-3 the first commercial satellite to carry such capabilities. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) delivered the satellite in orbit.


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Categories: climate change, cloud, data, DigitalGlobe, Esri, Esri UC 2014, field GIS, geomatics, geospatial, GIS, hardware, laser radar, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile, NASA, photogrammetry, RapidEye, remote sensing, satellite imagery, sensors, spatial data, U.S. Census

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