The WorldView spacecraft series



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 in October 2001 and still on orbit today); the WorldView-1 satellite, which launched on Sept. 18, 2007; and the WorldView-2 satellite, which launched on Oct. 8, 2009. The company is currently building the WorldView-3 satellite, set to launch in 2014.

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. For higher spacecraft agility, Ball Aerospace provides its advanced Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs), which provide rapid retargeting capability while supplying stability.

The BCP 5000 also easily accommodates future optical, scientific and Synthetic Aperture Radar remote sensing payloads.


The beginnings of a secondary payload focal plane in development for WorldView-3 at Ball Aerospace.


The WorldView-3 spacecraft has the ability to collect eight-band, short-wave infrared (SWIR) imagery. This will allow 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 will offer 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 builds upon the WorldView-2 and WorldView-1 technology by carrying forward the satellite’s advanced CMGs. The CMGs reorient 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 and integrated the remote sensing instrument onto the bus. The company was also responsible for testing 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 due to its CMGs.

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


Landsat Data Continuity Mission

Mast-Mounted Sight

Mk 20 Camera












Suomi NPP



WorldView spacecraft series