Worldview-3 in orbit

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The competition heats up: Worldview-3, launched yesterday, has been successfully activated and can now provide commercial and private customers images of the Earth with resolution comparable to military intelligence satellites.

The sensor package on WorldView-3 will be able to image objects with a ground sample distance of 31 cm (12 in.). “So we can tell you if it’s a truck, SUV or a regular car,” says Kumar Navulur, director of next-generation products at DigitalGlobe. “If there’s a high contrast we can identify features of fine scale,” he adds, giving examples of markings in a parking lot or “a tomato plant in a backyard in Asia.”

Obviously, this has both good and bad possibilities. Nonetheless, its availability increases the value of the space-based industry.


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