The Ball Aerospace Global Imaging System 2000 provides one-meter class panchromatic and four-meter class multispectral imagery over a broad area.
Launched in October 2001, Ball Aerospace’s QuickBird remote imaging satellite retired from the DigitalGlobe Remote Sensing Constellation in January 2015. The satellite, which far exceeded its five-year design life, de-orbited successfully after making 70,000 trips around the Earth during its more than 13 years on orbit.
Quickbird was designed and built by Ball Aerospace for DigitalGlobe and provided the highest resolution Earth imagery that was commercially available at the time it launched.
QuickBird was Ball’s first venture into the commercial spacecraft market, and became the basis for the development and maturation of the company’s highly successful Commercial Space Operations business unit. QuickBird demonstrates the longevity and reliability of spacecraft and instruments built by Ball for the fixed-price market.
Ball Aerospace designed, fabricated, integrated and tested the total space segment consisting of a spacecraft bus and 61-centimeter imaging instrument aboard the pioneering satellite. QuickBird was able to identify images as small as 2 feet.
Built on a firm, fixed-price contract, QuickBird used the Ball Commercial Platform 2000 to capture 61 centimeter (black and white) and 2.4 meter multispectral (color) digital images of Earth’s surface. QuickBird circled the globe 450 km (about 280 miles) above Earth while the Ball high-resolution camera gathered images of the Earth’s surface during daylight hours. The world-class images have contributed significantly to mapping, agricultural and urban planning, weather research and military surveillance.
Ball and DigitalGlobe have continued to team on three additional remote sensing satellites with advanced capabilities: WorldView-1, WorldView-2 and WorldView-3.
Ball Aerospace's High-resolution Camera 60 is an Earth-imaging system that is capable of imaging a strip of the Earth's surface between 14 and 34 kilometers wide.
The satellite operates in a 450-km 98-degree sun-synchronous orbit, with each orbit taking 93.4 minutes.