DECEMBER 18--The QuickBird satellite, built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (Broomfield, CO; www.ball.com), is providing the highest-resolution, commercially available imagery of Earth. The imagery, made public on December 17 by Ball Aerospace's customer DigitalGlobe, owner and operator of QuickBird, features 2-ft (61-cm) panchromatic and 2.5-m multispectral resolutions.
QuickBird is a Ball Global Imaging System 2000 product consisting of a Ball high-resolution camera 60 integrated with a Ball Commercial Platform 2000 bus. The QuickBird bus is the fourth such bus completed by Ball Aerospace in as many years. QuickBird circles the Earth at a 450-km 98° Sun-synchronous orbit, which provides consistent revisit time year-round.
The Ball-built camera rapidly retargets and captures regions requested by customers, which makes this spacecraft particularly suitable in the commercial marketplace. It takes approximately 4 s to capture a 16.5 x 16.5-km image.
QuickBird was launched today from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, on a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle.