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Breaking New Ground with WorldView-3

by Santosh Singh

DigitalGlobe is going to add WorldView-3 to its satellite constellation in support of the NGA’s EnhancedView program.  ITT Exelis is currelntly building the imaging system, which will include a sensor subsystem and an optical telescope unit, for DigitalGlobe’s latest earth-imaging satellite. WorldView-3 is slated for launch in 2014, and will expand DigitalGlobe’s fleet to four remote-sensing satellites. Notwithstanding the impending acquisition of competitor GeoEye which will add GeoEye-1, Ikonos and GeoEye-2 to it burgeoning portfolio of satellites.


Artist’s impression of WorldView-3 sensor. Courtesy: DigitalGlobe

WorldView-3 Bands

WorldView-3 will be the world’s first multi-payload, super-spectral, High resolution commercial satellite ever to be launched. The sensor capability enhancements planned for the WorldView-3 satellite are likely to be ‘game changers’ if industry experts are to be believed.

Below is the  a preview of the extensive spectral coverage that WorldView-3 promises to provide.

 

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 will have 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

 

These advanced features are likely to help in enhanced Mapping, Land Classifications, Disaster Preparedness/Response, Feature Extraction/Change Detection, Soil/Vegetative Analysis, Geology: Oil & Gas, Mining, Environmental Monitoring, Bathymetry/Coastal Applications, Identification of Man-made Materials, Superior Haze PenetrationThese new ground breaking features are likely to benefit a lot of markets.


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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