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Archive for September, 2007

WorldView-1 Satellite Sensor Launch Successful!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S.A – The WorldView-1 satellite launched successfully on Tuesday September 18, 2007, the satellite built for DigitalGlobe was lofted into space aboard a Delta II rocket. The satellite separated from the rocket about an hour after liftoff to reach an orbit of 496 Km or 308 miles above the Earth.


To view Launch of WorldView-1 on Video Click Here

Shortly after the launch, a DigitalGlobe ground station received a downlink signal confirming that the satellite successfully separated from its launch vehicle and had automatically initialized its onboard processors. WorldView-1 is currently undergoing a calibration and check-out period and will deliver imagery soon after. First panchromatic imagery from WorldView-1 at a resolution 0.5 at Nadir is expected to be available prior to October 18th, 2007, the six-year anniversary of the launch of QuickBird, DigitalGlobe’s current satellite.

For WorldView-1 Satellite Sensor specifications Click Here

WorldView-1 is part of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) NextView program, and was partially financed through an agreement with the NGA. The majority of the imagery captured by WorldView-1 for the NGA will also be available for distribution through DigitalGlobe’s Image Library. Additionally, WorldView-1 immediately frees capacity on DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird to meet the growing commercial demand for multi-spectral geospatial imagery.

WorldView-1 is expected to be in operation for about seven years, it is the first of two advanced remote sensing satellites that DigitalGlobe plans to launch. DigitalGlobe has said its sister satellite WorldView-2 will be launched late next year.

DigitalGlobe also manages the QuickBird commercial satellite launched in 2001. WorldView-1 panchromatic Image data has a resolution of 0.5 meters at Nadir what is slightly higher than QuickBird, the new probe can store more images because it has a larger onboard system.

WorldView-1 Satellite Sensor Launch Live on the Internet

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

The WorldView-1 satellite is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 11:35 a.m (Pacific Daylight Time) live on the internet from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. WorldView-1 is the first of two new next-generation satellites from DigitalGlobe, WorldView-1 will be the most agile satellite ever flown commercially. The high-capacity, panchromatic imaging system features half-meter resolution imagery. Operating at an altitude of 496 kilometers, WorldView-1 will have an average revisit time of 1.7 days and will be capable of collecting up to 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles) per day of half-meter imagery. The satellite will also be equipped with state-of-the-art geo-location accuracy capabilities and will exhibit stunning agility with rapid targeting and efficient in-track stereo collection.

WorldView-1 Satellite Sensor

WorldView-1 Satellite Sensor Characteristics

Scheduled Launch Date September 18, 2007
Launch Vehicle Boeing Delta 7920 (9-strap-ons)
Launch Location Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA
Orbit Altitude 496 Km
Orbit Inclination sun-synchronous
Spacecraft Size, Mass & Power 3.6 meters (12 feet) tall x 2.5 meters (8 feet) across,
7.1 meters (23 feet) across the deployed solar arrays
2500 kilograms (5500 pounds)
3.2 kW solar array, 100 Ahr battery
Equator Crossing Time 10:30 AM (descending node)
Revisit Time 1.7 days at 1 meter GSD or less
5.9 days at 20° off-nadir or less (0.51 meter GSD)
Swath Width 17.6 Km at nadir
Orbit Time 94.6 minutes
Dynamic Range 11 bits per pixel
Resolution 0.50 meters GSD at nadir0.55 meters GSD at 20° off-nadir
Sensor Bands Panchromatic
Metric Accuracy Accuracy: <500 meters at image start and stop
Knowledge: Supports geolocation accuracy below
Geolocation Accuracy
(CE 90%)
Specification of 12.2 m CE90, with predicted performance in the range of 3.0 to 7.6 meters (10 to 25 feet) CE90, excluding terrain and off-nadir effects-With registration to GCPs in image: 2.0 meters (6.6 feet)
Retargeting Ability Acceleration: 2.5 deg/s/s
Rate: 4.5 deg/s
Time to slew 300 kilometers: 9 seconds
Attitude Determination and Control 3-axis stabilized
Actuators: Control Moment Gyros (CMGs)
Sensors: Star trackers, solid state IRU, GPS
Onboard Storage 2199 gigabits solid state with EDAC
Communications Image and Ancillary Data: 800 Mbps X-band
Housekeeping: 4, 16 or 32 kbps real-time, 524 kbps stored, X-band
Command: 2 or 64 kbps S-band
Max Viewing Angle /
Accessible Ground Swath
60 x 110 km mono
30 x 110 km stereo

Stereo IKONOS Satellite Image Data Utilized to Support 3D Terrain Visualization for Mt. Ararat Anomaly in Turkey

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Satellite Imaging Corporation has created a 3D Terrain Model of the Mt. Ararat Anomaly from Stereo IKONOS Satellite Image Data, a mysterious 980 foot long feature located in remote northeastern Turkey, which some researchers believe could be the remains of Noah’s Ark.

In cooperation with GeoEye and INTA Space Turk, Satellite Imaging Corporation has created a 3D representation of the mysterious Mt. Ararat anomaly, located in northeastern Turkey. The creation of the 3D Flythrough movie was made possible with the use of Stereo IKONOS Satellite image data and 5m DEM extracted from the image data.

“This new 3D terrain model will provide researchers with an engaging new perspective, which could help to resolve an intense geopolitical and religious debate as to whether or not the anomaly could prove to be the remains of Noah’s Ark.”


The anomaly itself, which lies surrounded by rugged strato-volcanic rock at the northwestern corner of Mt. Ararat’s western plateau, is over 980 feet long, and sits mostly buried underneath a permanent glacier. It first drew attention due to its relatively smooth surface texture, as well as its unusual physical composition. The site occupied by the anomaly, which is located at 15,300 feet above sea level, remains unexplored.

The application of satellite images and aerial photographs for the identification and analysis of historical and archaeological sites, which made this research possible, was first recognized during the early days of aviation. According to David Buehner, production manager at Satellite Imaging Corporation, ‘Satellite and aerial imagery is now available from an array of aircraft and high resolution satellite borne sensors to provide even greater potential for research and investigation of historical discoveries.’

Consequently, remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) have become critical tools for researchers and archaeologists, as these systems link information to precisely calibrated physical locations and integrate information drawn from multiple sources in a rapid, accurate, and quantified manner.

Porcher L. Taylor III, an associate professor at the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies, who has been at the vanguard of using satellites to expose the Ararat Anomaly for researchers provided the following quotes:

‘Thanks to the world-class technology and expertise of GeoEye and Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), with this ground-breaking 3D (stereoscopic) Fly through movie, we are witnessing a quantum leap in making the Ararat Anomaly even more transparent for Ararat researchers and the public. Taylor’s research on the Mt. Ararat Anomaly has been featured in a National Geographic Channel documentary.

To the best of my knowledge, to date, only 2D satellite missions had been flown over the Anomaly, not stereo missions. I’m deeply indebted to Leo J. Romeijn, President and CEO of SIC, for making me aware four months ago that INTA Space Turk had August 2004 stereo imagery of the Anomaly site in its archives. Mr. Romeijn graciously accepted my request to create a 3D movie from this imagery, by engaging his stellar SIC team of GIS experts. Likewise, I’m deeply indebted to GeoEye (especially V.P. for Communications and Marketing, Mark E. Brender) for making this stereo project possible. Indeed, GeoEye’s satellite continues to faithfully serve as a space-based Indiana Jones over the Anomaly, and will make the Anomaly almost twice as visible when GeoEye-1 is launched early next year, with 0.4-meter-resolution.’

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