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31cm WorldView-3 Sends First Crisp Images

by Santosh Singh

As we said in a last year’s post and another post about WorldView-3 replacing the GeoEye-2 sensor in launch priority, the new sensor is all about breaking new ground.  The current WorldView-3 sensor launched on August 31st, 2014, is a massive technological achievement as evident from following sample images released by DigitalGlobe. Please note that these images were acquired at 30 cm GSD but had to to be resampled to 40cm due to legal restriction. Customer can enjoy the details of full 30cm resolution after 21 Feb, 2015(note at the end of the post gives more clarification).

So, let us have a look at pre-calibration imagery released by DigitalGlobe:

40 cm resolution images from WorldView-3 Sensor. Courtesy: DigitalGlobe

Below is how imagery looks at optimum 40cm resolution:

WorldView-2 sensor imagery showing stunning details even though it is 40cm image. 30 cm images will be available from February 2015.
Image Courtesy: DigitalGlobe

You can also browse the large scene of the Madrid imagery below. 

We recommend using the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

 

As shown in our WorldView-3 samples, customers can more easily determine the type of vehicle (cars, trucks, sedans, mini vans) and its speed and direction, which is valuable for a range of industry vertical customers. With 30 cm super-spectral imagery, quantitative assessments of the state of highway networks — including surface wear — can provide valuable maintenance planning information to national, state, and local governments.

 Below is a recap of sensor specifications:

Panchromatic Panchromatic: 450 – 800 nm
Multispectral (8 Bands) Coastal : 400 – 450 nm
Blue : 450 – 510 nm
Green : 510 – 580 nm
Yellow : 585 – 625 nm
Red : 630 – 690 nm
Red Edge : 705 – 745 nm
Near-IR1 : 770 – 895 nm
Near-IR2 : 860 – 1040 nm
SWIR Bands (8 Bands) SWIR-1 : 1195 – 1225 nm
SWIR-2 : 1550 – 1590 nm
SWIR-3 : 1640 – 1680 nm
SWIR-4 : 1710 – 1750 nm
SWIR-5 : 2145 – 2185 nm
SWIR-6 : 2185 – 2225 nm
SWIR-7 : 2235 – 2285 nm
SWIR-8 : 2295 – 2365 nm
CAVIS* Bands(12 Bands)
*Clouds, Aerosol, Vapor, Ice, Snow
Desert Clouds : 405 – 420 nm
Aerosol-1 : 459 – 509 nm
Green : 525 – 585 nm
Aerosol-2 : 620 – 670 nm
Water-1 : 845 – 885 nm
Water-2 : 897 – 927 nm
Water-3 : 930 – 965 nm
NDVI-SWIR : 1220 – 1252 nm
Cirrus : 1350 – 1410 nm
Snow : 2105 – 2245 nm
Aerosol-3 : 1620 – 1680 nm
Aerosol-3 : 2105 – 2245 nm

 

WorldView-3 has following other Design and Specification features. Particularly interesting are highest Pan resolution of 0.31m, 30m CAVIS bands and a locational accuracy of 3.5m CE90 comparable to the GeoEye-1

 

Orbit Altitude: 617 km
Type: SunSync, 1:30 pm descending Node
Period: 97 min.
Life Spec Mission Life: 7.25 years
Estimated Service Life: 10 to 12 years
Sensor Resolution
(or GSD, Ground Sample Distance;
off-nadir is geometric mean)
Pan Nadir: 0.31 m(20° Off-Nadir: 0.34 m)
Multispectral Nadir: 1.24 m(20° Off-Nadir: 1.38 m)
SWIR Nadir: 3.70 m(20° Off-Nadir: 4.10 m)
CAVIS Nadir: 30.00 m
Dynamic Range 11-bits per pixel Pan and MS
14-bits per pixel SWIR
Swath Width At nadir: 13.1 km
Attitude Determination
and Control
Type: 3-axis Stabilized
Actuators: Control Moment Gyros (CMGs)
Sensors: Star trackers, precision IRU, GPS
Pointing Accuracy
and Knowledge
Accuracy: <500 m at image start/stop
Knowledge: Supports geolocation accuracy given below
Retargeting Agility Time to Slew 200 km: 12 sec
Max Contiguous Area Collected
in a Single Pass
(30° off-nadir angle)
Mono: 66.5 km x 112 km (5 strips)
Stereo: 26.6 km x 112 km (2 pairs)
Revisit Frequency
(at 40°N Latitude)
1 m GSD: <1.0 day
4.5 days at 20° off-nadir or less
Geolocation Accuracy
(CE90)
Predicted <3.5 m CE90 without ground control
Capacity 680,000 km2 per day

Above specifications notwithstanding, following is an important note fro DigitalGobe:

“Note: DigitalGlobe formally notified the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of WorldView-3’s IOC, which means that beginning on February 21, 2015, we will able to deliver 30 cm imagery to all of our customers. In the meantime, we will make 40 cm panchromatic and 1.6 m multispectral data available to our customers when WorldView-3 completes its validation and testing. Data from the satellite’s new shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensor will also be available to customers, however the resolution of this data will be restricted to 7.5 m while NOAA is conducting a six-month study of the capability.”

This post will be continued…


SATPALDA is a privately owned company and a leading provider of satellite imagery and GeoSpatial services to the user community. Established in 2002, SATPALDA has successfully completed wide range of photogrammetric and Remote Sensing Projects.

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