Quickbird 2 was successfully launched on 18 Oct 2001

The Quickbird satellites are a series of very high resolution satellites operated by EarthWatch Inc. In September 2001, EarthWatch changed its name to DigitalGlobe. The first of the satellites, Quickbird-1 was launched on 20 Nov 2000, but failed to reach orbit. The second identical satellite, Quickbird-2, is planned to be launched in October 2001. Both satellites were initially planned for 1 m resolution imaging. In December 2000, EarthWatch received a license to operate a 0.5 meter resolution satellite system. The plans for QuickBird 2 are modified to increase the resolution of the satellite imaging system from the originally planned 1-m resolution to 0.61 m by lowering the orbit in which the satellite will be flown. The panchromatic resolution is increased from 1 m to 0.61 m and the multispectral resolution is increased from 4 m to 2.5 m.

The Quickbird-2 satellite will simultanelously collect panchromatic images at 0.61 m resolution and multispectral images at 2.5 m resolution. The multispectral images consist of four bands in the blue, green, red and near-infrared wavelength regions. The multispectral images can be merged with panchromatic images of the same locations to produce "pan-sharpened color" images of 0.61 m resolution. The satellite’s ability to acquire high-resolution imagery will supply users with satellite data at resolutions comparable to aerial photography. Buildings, cars, and even large individual trees can be recognized. Locational information collected by the satellite’s star trackers and onboard global positioning system (GPS) will enable users accurate, large-scale mapping without using ground control points (GCPs).

Quickbird-2 Orbit

Type Sun-Synchronous
Altitude 450 km
Inclination 98 deg
Period 93.4 min.
Off-Nadir Revisit 1 to 3.5 days
Field of Regard 544 km swath

Sensor Characteristics

Viewing Angle Agile spacecraft, in-track and cross-track pointing
+/- 30 deg nominal fore-and-aft and side-to-side,
45 deg maximum
Swath Width 17 km nominal at nadir
Image Strip Length Up to 225 km
Metric Accuracy 23 m circular error (CE), 17 m linear error (LE)
at 90% confidence (without ground control points)
Radiometric Digitization 11 bits

Spectral Band Wavelength (µm) Resolution (at nadir) Resolution (at 30o off nadir)
1 (blue) 0.45 - 0.52 2.5 m 2.9 m
2 (green) 0.52 - 0.60 2.5 m 2.9 m
3 (red) 0.63 - 0.69 2.5 m 2.9 m
4 (NIR) 0.76 - 0.89 2.5 m 2.9 m
Panchromatic 0.45 - 0.90 0.61 m 0.73 m

Link to: DigitalGlobe Web Page (http://www.digitalglobe.com).

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Copyright © CRISP, 2001