The WorldView spacecraft series

WorldView-3 in fairing

WorldView-3 in environmental testing


With its trio of WorldView satellites built for DigitalGlobe, Ball Aerospace offers the best high-resolution imagery data gathering capability available today.

Working hand-in-hand with DigitalGlobe since the mid 90s, Ball Aerospace has provided a fleet of remote-sensing satellites used for commercial earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions, including the QuickBird satellite (launched October 2001, retired January 2015); the WorldView-1 satellite, which launched on Sept. 18, 2007; and the WorldView-2 satellite, which launched on Oct. 8, 2009. WorldView-3 launched August 13, 2014 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The high-spatial-resolution, multispectral satellite imagery from the WorldView satellites is used for civil government mapping, land-use planning, disaster relief, exploration, defense and intelligence, visualization and simulation environments, and navigation technology such as Google Maps.

An Innovative Foundation

Ball Aerospace provided its Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) 5000 spacecraft bus for the WorldView series under firm, fixed-price contracts.

The powerful BCP 5000 spacecraft is able to handle next-generation optical and synthetic aperture radar remote-sensing payloads. The BCP 5000 also easily accommodates future optical, scientific and Synthetic Aperture Radar remote sensing payloads.


WorldView-3 CAVIS instrument


The WorldView-3 spacecraft has collects eight-band, short-wave infrared (SWIR) imagery. This allows the satellite to sense not only the visible spectrum but deeper into the infrared spectrum, providing a rich dataset for precisely identifying manmade and natural materials. WorldView-3 offers 31-centimeter resolution panchromatic and 1.24-meter resolution eight-band multispectral imagery in addition to the 3.72-meter resolution SWIR imagery.

WorldView-3 also features the first atmospheric sounder DigitalGlobe has flown in space. The Ball-built Cloud, Aerosol, Water Vapor, Ice, Snow (CAVIS) atmospheric instrument will enable WorldView-3 to collect scientific data based on ground reflection by correcting images for atmospheric interference.

Ball was able to provide the CAVIS instrument at substantial cost savings by using the electronics design, focal plane detectors and spectral filter manufacturing methods developed for its Operational Land Imager (OLI) instrument on NASA’s Landsat 8 mission. The Ball team was also able to reuse OLI’s ground support equipment for the CAVIS instrument.

WorldView-3 builds upon the WorldView-2 and WorldView-1 technology by carrying forward advanced technology that reorients a satellite over a desired collection area in four to five seconds, compared to 30 to 45 seconds needed for traditional reaction wheels.




During its planned eight-year mission, WorldView-2 is providing unparalleled aerial and space images.

This spacecraft provides eight-band multispectral images at resolutions as sharp as 1.8 meters and panchromatic at half-meter.

Ball Aerospace provided its efficient, low-risk BCP 5000 spacecraft bus for WorldView-2, integrated the remote sensing instrument onto the bus and tested the entire system.

In addition, Ball Aerospace’s inventive engineers equipped WV-2 with an instrument vibration isolation system for controlling jitter induced by the spacecraft. WorldVew-2 has the ability for direct tasking, which allows select DigitalGlobe customers around the world to load imaging profiles directly up to the spacecraft and execute delivery of the data directly down to their own ground stations.


This WorldView-1 image shows downtown Houston, Texas.


WorldView-1 represented a new commercial standard in rapid targeting, image resolution and data handling that has improved with each WorldView satellite since. WorldView-1 images demonstrate the spacecraft’s precise geo-location capabilities and extreme stability.

Ball Aerospace provided its BCP 5000 spacecraft bus and the WorldView 60 camera for the WolrdView-1. WorldView-1 collects up to 500,000 square kilometers (200,000 sq. mi.) of half-meter imagery per day.

WorldView-1 supports DigitalGlobe’s NextView contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and commercial customers around the world.


Ball Aerospace engineers install an advanced Control Moment Gyroscope into WorldView-3.

Continuous Improvement

On the cutting edge of technology innovation, Ball Aerospace is constantly enhancing its products. Utilizing the customizable BCP spacecraft platform, the company makes incremental upgrades to the WorldView design while minimizing risk, resulting in cost savings, risk reduction and faster delivery to customers.

Ball Aerospace has been a key partner in meeting the increased demand for Earth imaging collection and is continually enhancing its contributions to the geospatial information market.





EPOXI/Deep Impact





Green Propellant Infusion Mission


Hubble Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope


F-35/Lightning II


Operational Land Imager

New Horizons/Ralph



Replicated Diffractive Optics/MOIRE









Suomi NPP



WorldView spacecraft series