Defense Update News:

GeoEye-1 Imagery Satellite is in Orbit

The new satellite will provide commercial users with 0.5 meter resolution panchromatic, 1.65 m' multispectral imagery

GeoEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEOY) announced the successful launch and deployment of GeoEye-1 Saturday (September 6, 2008). The new satellite is designed to provide the highest resolution products among currently deployed commercial Earth-imaging satellites. (more...) (Current News)

Geoeye 1 satellite. Image: Geoeye
GeoEye-1 will simultaneously collect 0.41-meter ground resolution black-and-white (panchromatic) images and 1.65-meter color (multispectral) images. Designed to take digital images of the Earth from 423 miles (681 kilometers) and moving at a speed of about four-and-a-half miles (seven kilometers) per second, the satellite camera can distinguish objects on the Earth's surface as small as 0.41-meter (16 inches) in size. Due to U.S. licensing restrictions, commercial customers will get access to imagery at half-meter ground resolution. The satellite is designed to collect, process and transmit up to 700,000 square kilometers of imagery per day in the panchromatic mode and 350,000 square kilometers in the multi-spectral mode.

The 4,310 pound (1.955 ton) satellite was launched at 11:50 a.m. PDT on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Approximately 58 minutes after liftoff the satellite entered orbit, its signals were received at GeoEye's ground station in Norway, confirming that the satellite successfully separated from the second stage of the launch vehicle and began automatically initializing its onboard systems.

GeoEye-1 is part of the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) NextView program awarded to GeoEye predecessor company Orbimage back in 2004. The NextView program is designed to ensure that the NGA has access to commercial imagery in support of its mission to provide timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security. GeoEye won its $500-million NextView contract in September 2004 and was able to build and launch GeoEye-1 without any contract cost overruns in less than four years after contract award.

GeoEye-1 was built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Ariz. The imaging system was built by ITT in Rochester, NY. ITT is also building the imaging system for GeoEye-2 slated for launch in 2011.