GeoEye Moves Towards Higher Resolution Imaging Satellite


As reported by on June 10, 2008:


DULLES, Va., June 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — GeoEye, Inc. a premier provider of satellite, aerial and geospatial information, announced that the glass mirror blank for its advanced, next-generation Earth imaging satellite has been delivered to ITT Corporation. Last fall, GeoEye announced it had contracted with ITT to begin the phased development of the camera for GeoEye-2, slated for launch in the 2011 timeframe. …

GeoEye-2’s glass blank mirror was completed and delivered to ITT last month. The company’s Rochester, N.Y.-based Space Systems Division will begin grinding and polishing the mirror that measures 1.1 meter in diameter later this summer. The satellite will be of the same general class as GeoEye-1 but will benefit from significant improvements in capability, including enhanced direct tasking, and the potential to collect imagery of the Earth’s surface at 0.25-meter or 9.75-inch ground resolution [underlining added].

Rob Mitrevski, vice president and director of Commercial and Space Science Systems, ITT Space Systems, said, “The telescope and camera assembly for GeoEye-2 will benefit from decades of expertise ITT has amassed on behalf of the U.S. Government and other commercial customers. Once operational, the satellite’s imaging system will provide a resolution and accuracy never achieved before in commercial remote sensing.”

GeoEye believes the market will be ready for another sensor to serve the growing geospatial or location-based market in the U.S. and overseas in the 2011-2012 timeframe. While GeoEye has an operating license from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build and launch a satellite constellation with this extremely high ground resolution of a quarter meter, the final decision regarding GeoEye-2’s resolution has not yet been made. If the satellite is built to achieve this high resolution, under current licensing constraints, only the U.S. Government would be allowed access to imagery at this highest resolution. All other customers would receive imagery at the highest resolution allowed by U.S. regulations, currently 0.5-meter or 19.5-inch ground resolution[underlining added]. In addition, GeoEye’s agreements with foreign customers involving large volumes of imagery generally require approval from NOAA.

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