WorldView-3: Launched and Operational

WorldView-3: Launched and Operational

WorldView-3: Launched and Operational

DigitalGlobe’s newest member of their high resolution satellite constellation, WorldView-3 (WV-3), is in orbit and photographing the world. After the sensor’s mid-August launch, WV-3 has reached its orbiting altitude of 617km where it is expected to spend the next 10-12 years. With the sensors ability to complete its designated orbit in just over an hour and a half, and revisit times expected to be less than one day, WV-3 will be able to capture around 680,000sqkm of new imagery every day, adding to DigitalGlobe’s already extensive archive of over 5 billion square kilometers of imagery from around the globe.

WorldView-3, designed by Ball Aerospace and equipped with imaging sensors from ITT Exelis, will be a big step forward for, not only DigitalGlobe but, the geospatial community as a whole.  One major component in this is the 8 bands of short-wave infrared (SWIR) the sensor will be able to capture. Since the Japanese sensor ASTER malfunctioned in 2007 and eventually had to be turned off in April of 2008, the geospatial community has not had access to this technology. Now, with WV-3 able to utilize SWIR, we will be able to monitor the temperature of volcanoes, derive the chemistry of the soil being photographed, and not see just a forest, but specific types of trees in a forest.

A second element, specific to WV-3, is its 12 bands of CAVIS. CAVIS (cloud, aerosol, vapor, ice, and snow) will provide data to correct imagery that is captured through, therefore distorted by, haze, fog, dust, smoke and other air-born particles. This is the first time this technology will be available to the commercial sector with any sensor now capturing imagery.

The successful launch and calibration of WV-3, will open new doors for everyone in the geospatial world. The ability to order WV-3 imagery is just around the corner, and with it, will come opportunities to increase our knowledge of our planet in ways never before imagined. eMap International is excited to bring our customers closer to their project needs with every step that our partners take.