WorldView-3 successfully launched

By on 19 August, 2014

WorldView-3 launch

WorldView-3, DigitalGlobe’s sixth and most advanced super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite, has been successfully launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

You can watch a video of the launch at

“The successful launch of WorldView-3 extends DigitalGlobe’s commanding technological lead, and will enable us to help our customers see through smoke, peer beneath the ocean’s surface, and determine the mineral and moisture content of the earth below – all with unprecedented clarity,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer of DigitalGlobe.

“We’d like to thank our customers, partners, team members and investors for their support in bringing to the world the new capabilities made possible with this success.”

Thanks to its recent application to the U.S. Department of Commerce, WorldView-3 will collect super-spectral imagery at 0.31m resolution – delivering increased clarity over the previous 0.5m limit set by the US Government. DigitalGlobe also recently announced that a second 30cm resolution satellite would join its fleet in mid 2016.

In addition, WorldView-3 will offer the most spectral diversity available commercially and will be the first to offer multiple shortwave infrared (SWIR) bands, which allow for accurate imaging through haze, fog, dust, smoke and other air-born particulates, since the failure of the ASTER SWIR sensor in 2008.

The satellite is also the only satellite to offer CAVIS – a cloud, aerosol, water vapor, ice and snow atmospheric correction instrument – that monitors the atmosphere and corrects data for increased consistency.

“The unmatched abilities that WorldView-3 brings to our constellation will enable us to provide our customers with information and insight never before possible and advance our efforts to create a living digital inventory of the earth,” said Tarr.

The satellite and CAVIS atmospheric monitoring instrument were built by Ball Aerospace. Exelis built the integrated, super-spectral payload consisting of a telescope, sensor, and shortwave infrared system. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) delivered the satellite in orbit.

You can learn more about WorldView-3 in a feature published in the latest issue of Position Magazine, or by visiting DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 website.

You can also view an animated gif of the WorldView-3 rocket travelling at ~1500 km/h, as captured by WorldView-1, on the DigitalGlobe blog.

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