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Posted on May 2nd, 2012

DigitalGlobe Unveils Plans for its Next Revolutionary High Resolution Satellite, WorldView-3

At our most recent reseller conference in late April, DigitalGlobe unveiled plans about their next revolutionary high resolution satellite, WorldView-3. Expected to launch in 2014, WorldView-3 will feature 8 multispectral bands matching those already offered on WorldView-2 as well as 8 additional short-wave infrared (SWIR) bands. The 17 spectral bands offered by WorldView-3 will make it the most technologically advanced commercial satellite without question.

With the launch of WV3, DigitalGlobe’s constellation of satellites will grow to four, each with resolution at or exceeding 60 centimeters (cm). The four constellation satellite will be able to collect more than 3 million square kilometers (sq km) of high resolution imagery per day. The commercial success of both WV1 and WV2 as well as this recent announcement suggests that DigitalGlobe is poised to continue its dominance in the high resolution imagery industry.

Below are highlights of the pending WV3 system that will interest our readers the most. There is discussion that WV3 will obtain imagery in afternoon in order to have complimentary 8-band multispectral data available for up to twice a day over each location – WV2 currently collects 8-band imagery in the morning hours.

  • 8-band multispectral (RGB+NIR adding in a coastal, yellow, red edge and extra NIR band) with 1.24-meter resolution
  • 8-band SWIR with 3.7-meter resolution
  • Co-registered panchromatic band with 31-cm resolution
  • An average revisit time of less than 1 day by maximizing high-off nadir collections
  • 617 km orbital height
  • Can collect up to 676,000 sq km per day
  • A swath width of 13.2-km at nadir
  • An expected horizontal accuracy of less than 3 meters Circular Error 90% (CE90)
  • Assuming a 30 degree off-nadir, single pass maximum area collections
    • ~7,700 sq km in mono mode
    • ~3,100 sq km in stereo mode

Simulated maximum collection geometries for WorldView-3 assuming a maximum off-nadir of 30 degrees.


For more information on the pending launch of WorldView-3, you can reach an Apollo Mapping representative at (303) 993-3863 or

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