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Posted on December 1st, 2020

30-cm Color WorldView-3/4 Image of the Month – SpaceX Launch Day


SpaceX is a well-known space exploration company who currently launches their Falcon9 rockets from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. On December 5, 2019 at 17:29 UTC, SpaceX launched CRS-19 from SLC40 which was a resupply mission for the International Space Station. The WorldView-3 image featured here was collected on this date at 16:02 UTC, just about an hour and a half before launch time so the Falcon9 rocket can be seen connected to the launch infrastructure still. Also pictured here is SLC41 which is currently used by United Launch Alliance for Atlas V rockets – many of which have carried NASA probes into space. These WorldView-3 samples have been processed by Apollo Mapping for improved clarity and colors – and as a side note, this image was collected at a high off-nadir or tilt making the native resolution about 49-cm. (Satellite Imagery © 2020 Maxar Technologies)

Every time we look at WorldView-3 and WorldView-4 (WV3/4) imagery, we are blown away. And we hope you are equally impressed with the data! Last month we were in a historic Italian city which is also home to a star fort, and for the final 30-cm Color WorldView-3/4 Image of the Month of the year we travel to the USA with a look at a SpaceX launch day in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

WorldView-3 launched in late 2014 and WorldView-4 launched in late 2016; taken together they are the most advanced satellite constellation the commercial marketplace has ever had access to. Here are a few of the features that really set these satellites apart from the competition:

  • Improved Resolution
    • Higher resolution means you can see more detail in WV3/4 imagery.
    • Data collected at nadir will have 31-centimeter (cm) panchromatic, 1.24-meter (m) visible and near infrared, 3.7-m SWIR (WV3 only) and 30-m CAVIS (WV3 only) bands.
    • At 20 degrees off-nadir, the resolution is 34-cm panchromatic, 1.38-m visible and near infrared and 4.1-m shortwave infrared.
  • Additional Spectral Bands
    • If spectral analysis is part of your project, then no other satellite can match WV3 with its: 8 bands of visible and near-infrared data; and 8 shortwave infrared bands which are crucial for geological studies.
  • Better Positional Accuracy
    • With accuracies of 3.5-m CE90% or better (without ground control even!), WV3/4 has no rivals for its enhanced positional accuracy.
  • Daily Revisits
    • At 40 degrees latitude, WV3 is able to image every location daily with 1-meter or better resolution and then every 4.5 days at 34-cm resolution or better.
    • WV4 is no longer collecting new imagery.
  • Increased Collection Capacity
    • WV3/4 feature 13.1-km swath widths (at nadir) with the ability to collect up to 680,000 square kilometer (sq km) of high-resolution data per day per satellite (though WV4 is dead now).
    • Improved control movement gyros translate into larger maximum contiguous collection areas per pass, with up to ~7,500 sq km of mono imagery and ~3,000 sq km of stereo possible.

If you are interested in WorldView-3 and/or WorldView-4 imagery for your next project, please let us know by phone, 303-993-3863, or by email, sales@apollomapping.com.

You can also find more WV3 samples and technical information on our website here and then WV4 samples and information can be found here.

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