DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 satellite was successfully launched today from Vandenberg Air Force Base by Boeing aboard a Delta II rocket. The launch was delayed ten minutes due to a faulty reading from a backup battery, but the launch and separation from the launch vehicle went smoothly. The whole sequence was broadcast live via a webcast from the Boeing Launch Services website.
WorldView-2 will provide the highest resolution commercial satellite imagery available at 46 cm panchromatic. The satellite will also offer the most spectral bands from a commercial satellite with four standard colors (red, blue, green, near-IR) and four additional colors (red edge, coastal, yellow, near-IR2). The satellite also includes high-precision attitude sensors and GPS for what is billed as the highest geolocation accuracy yet available with predicted performance in the range of 4.6 to 10.7 meters.
The satellite has a collection swath of 16.4 kilometers with bi-directional scanning and rapid targeting. It will also be capable of collecting stereoscopic imagery in areas with a single pass. The higher altitude orbit than its predecessor WorldView-1 (771 vs. 450 km) means that the craft will have the capability to revisit the same spot on the Earth within a day’s time.