Mission and Program
Installing and testing WV-3 solar arrays
WorldView-3 is the fourth Ball-built satellite in the DigitalGlobe® constellation. During its planned seven and a half year life, it will offer the most advanced Earth imagery currently available for commercial applications.
This high spatial resolution, multispectral satellite imagery is used for civil government mapping, land-use planning, disaster relief, exploration, defense and intelligence, and visualization and simulation environments.
Ball Aerospace provided the spacecraft and an atmospheric correction instrument, integrated the remote sensing instrument and tested the entire system.
The Ball Commercial Platform (BCP) 5000 spacecraft bus accommodates next-generation optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing payloads, and is designed to be a flexible, stable, and highly accurate Earth remote sensing platform.
WorldView-3 builds upon WorldView-2 and WorldView-1 technology by carrying forward the satellites’ advanced Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs). CMGs reorient a satellite over a desired collection area in 4-5 seconds, compared to 30-45 seconds needed for traditional reaction wheels.
WorldView-3 also features the first atmospheric sounder DigitalGlobe will fly 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’s direct tasking capability 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.
WorldView-3 successfully launched on August 13, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. PDT from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
The WorldView-3 project builds upon Ball Aerospace’s 16 years-plus of successful on-orbit mission performance. Ball has been a key partner in meeting the increased demand for Earth imaging collection. WorldView-3 is the first multi-payload, super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite for earth observations and advanced geospatial solutions.
Working hand-in-hand with DigitalGlobe since the mid 90s, Ball Aerospace has also supplied DigitalGlobe with the QuickBird satellite (launched in October 2001 and still on orbit today), the WorldView-1 satellite, which launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sept. 18, 2007 and the WorldView-2 satellite, launched October 8, 2009.
Ball Aerospace engineers install an advanced Control Moment Gyroscope into WorldView-3.