WorldView-3 remote sensing spacecraft ready for launch


The Ball Aerospace, DigitalGlobe, Exelis and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services team have successfully moved one step closer to launching the next-generation WorldView-3 commercial remote sensing satellite.

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite was encapsulated within the rocket fairing by engineers on July 25, and the satellite is scheduled to launch on August 13 (11:30 a.m. PST) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.

WorldView-3 is the first multi-payload, super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite for earth observations and advanced geospatial data. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 kilometers, WorldView-3 will collect imagery with 31 centimeter resolution.

The payload fairing assembly has been transported to the launch pad and mated to the 57-meter tall Atlas V launch vehicle provided by Lockheed.

WorldView-3 will carry the Exelis-built 1.1-meter aperture telescope and the primary visible/SWIR sensor, as well as the Ball Aerospace-developed CAVIS instrument, which stands for Clouds, Aerosol, water Vapor, Ice, and Snow, that will monitor the atmosphere and provide correction data when atmospheric conditions obscure objects on Earth. As with previous DigitalGlobe satellites, Ball was also responsible for development, integration and testing of the WorldView-3 satellite.

DigitalGlobe recently received permission from the U.S. Department of Commerce to sell even higher resolution satellite imagery. Once operational, WorldView-3 will provide the commercial market images with significantly greater clarity and spectral depth than anything previously available.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. Government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.