Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's Highest-resolution Commercial Satellite

Date:
May 27, 2009
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
Since the early 1960s, super powerful spy satellites have been the stuff of the military and intelligence communities. Now two U.S. companies have launched commercial imaging satellites that offer the same sort of space-based images of the Earth to the public. One of these companies recently launched the highest-resolution commercial imaging satellite in the world.

Since the early 1960s, super powerful spy satellites have been the stuff of the military and intelligence communities. Now two U.S. companies have launched commercial imaging satellites that offer the same sort of space-based images of the Earth to the public. One of these companies, GeoEye of Dulles, Va., launched a multi-million dollar satellite last year, and it's the highest-resolution commercial imaging satellite in the world.

Related Articles


From its vantage point of 425 miles in space, the 4,300-pound GeoEye-1 satellite orbits the Earth and focuses its powerful lens on the surface below, snapping electronic images that can resolve objects on the ground as small as 41 cm across (16 inches). That's approximately the size of home plate on a baseball diamond. These images are typically processed and sold to the military for mapping and to companies like Google, which makes them available to the public through its platform Google Earth. (Because of federal regulations, the publicly-available images are slightly lower resolution -- approximately 50 cm).

In Baltimore at next week's CLEO/IQEC, GeoEye's Systems Engineering Director Michael Madden will describe some of the satellite's key features, such as the fact that it's the first commercial satellite with military-grade star trackers, which along with GPS makes the imagery from the satellite very accurate -- an important aspect for making precise maps. He will also preview the satellite GeoEye-2, which is expected to be launched around 2012 and would have a ground resolution twice as fine as GeoEye-1.

These powerful public eyes in the sky have already had an impact. Madden says for instance, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego is using satellite imagery to search for the tomb of Genghis Khan in Mongolia. A few months ago, one of the enduring photos taken during U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration was the image captured by GeoEye-1 of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which showed throngs of people crowded together. In March 2009, the GeoEye-1 satellite captured a close-up image of a North Korean missile sitting on the launch pad just 25 minutes before launch. GeoEye-1 also provided a look at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington, D.C. From the space photo, details were clear enough to resolve individual trees, ripples on the Potomac River, and people and cars crowded along the Tidal Basin, the area in downtown Washington, D.C. where the festival takes place.

This research is scheduled to be presented during the 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC) May 31 to June 5 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "World's Highest-resolution Commercial Satellite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526183858.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2009, May 27). World's Highest-resolution Commercial Satellite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526183858.htm
Optical Society of America. "World's Highest-resolution Commercial Satellite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526183858.htm (accessed April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hubble Telescope: 25 Years Of Revealing The Universe

Hubble Telescope: 25 Years Of Revealing The Universe

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2015) Despite a blurry start to its service, the Hubble Space Telescope is still serving as one of the best visual science tools on or off the planet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hubble Telescope Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 25th Anniversary

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) NASA&apos;s Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 25th anniversary of being placed into orbit. NASA unveiled the official Hubble anniversary image to mark the occasion. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hubble Turns 25

The Hubble Turns 25

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 22, 2015) The Hubble telescope turns 25, marking a milestone in the history of space exploration. As Pavithra George reports, NASA is celebrating the technology, saying Hubble has "rewritten the text books." Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teens Compete, Help Shape Future of NASA

Teens Compete, Help Shape Future of NASA

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) This week, 17,000 students from 30 countries are competing in the 20th FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis, including a team from Houston that, a few years ago, helped influence the design of a NASA rover. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins