8_14 Remote-Sensing Broadcast (WorldView-3 Launch, NASA Satellites and More)

Hello, and welcome this remote-sensing themed GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Trimble Geospatial Division.

Today’s Top Story is WorldView-3, DigitalGlobe’s sixth and most-advanced satellite, which was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on August 13th. A coalition of aerospace companies worked together to put this latest satellite in orbit, including DigitalGlobe, Ball Aerospace, Exelis and United Launch Alliance.

Weighing about three tons and costing $650 million dollars, WorldView-3 features multiple sensor payloads and unprecedented clarity. It will orbit Earth at 617 kilometers above the surface and is capable of collecting 1.2 million square kilometers of data each day. That’s about half of the contiguous United States in area.

Data resolution is expected to be 31 centimeters in the panchromatic bandwidth, with 1.24-meter multispectral resolution. Additional infrared bands will be able to collect imagery through smoke and fire, and near-infrared bands can discern moisture content on Earth as well as vegetation health.

For a complete understanding of the new satellite’s capabilities and its impact on the geospatial technology industry, read this comprehensive article on the Sensors & Systems Web site:


That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this brief message.

In other satellite news, NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 spacecraft, which is dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, recently maneuvered into its final operating orbit and produced its first science data, confirming the health of its science instrument.

Showing the mainstream status of remote sensing these days, an article in Popular Mechanics describes how NASA’s polar-orbiting satellites proved vital in recent weather events such as Superstorm Sandy. But these instruments are working past their intended use, and a replacement isn’t expected until 2018. The article notes that if we don’t have sufficient weather forecasting available, storm damages could increase by trillions of dollars and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives.

And National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia A. Long received the Knowlton Award for intelligence excellence. The award is given by the Military Intelligence Corps Association and honors individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army military intelligence.

In industry headlines, Esri released an interactive story map on Ebola outbreaks from 1976 to today, ranging from the first known contact in the Democratic Republic of Congo to current crises in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

And CartoDB introduced CartoDB Enterprise, a cloud solution that combines a consumer Web service with a secure and scalable environment for collaboration.

I’ll close out this broadcast with a video from Tomorrow Today. It covers an urgent and important use of satellite technology: scientists at the Center for Satellite-Based Crisis Information helping with disaster aid.

That’s it for this broadcast, I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.