(4 February 2013) DigitalGlobe today announced that its previously planned satellite construction program related to its third WorldView-class satellite remains on track.
DigitalGlobe can now confirm that it plans to complete WorldView-3 on its original schedule to be ready for launch in mid-2014 in order to meet the requirements of its EnhancedView contract with the U.S. government. That contract calls for completion and launch of WorldView-3, which will offer the most spectral diversity available commercially and be the first to offer multiple Short-Wave Infrared bands that allow for accurate imaging through haze, fog, dust, smoke and other air-born particulates. DigitalGlobe’s largest customer, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), has confirmed the requirements of DigitalGlobe’s EnhancedView contract remain unchanged.
Accordingly, following its just completed combination with GeoEye, DigitalGlobe intends to complete the construction of GeoEye-2 in 2013 and to preserve it as a ground spare to meet customer demand or as a replacement for other on-orbit satellites. Previously, GeoEye had expected to launch GeoEye-2 in 2013.
“After careful consideration and discussions with our largest customer and others, we have determined that launching WorldView-3 and preserving GeoEye-2 as a ground spare will best meet the collective needs of customers and shareowners alike,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This plan reduces our risk profile and capital footprint, while giving our customers access to the most advanced earth observation capabilities available commercially. Furthermore, as we move forward, if demand exceeds our expectations, we will be well positioned to quickly expand our constellation. GeoEye-2 and WorldView-3 are extraordinary satellites, and I want to thank all of our team members and partners for their continued efforts toward their completion.”
Since completing its combination with GeoEye, DigitalGlobe now provides customers with access to a constellation of five earth observation satellites and a broad suite of high-value geospatial production and analytic services. Customers will benefit from a larger constellation with optimized orbits, and coordinated scheduling will collect imagery faster, increase persistence and enhance resilience.
DigitalGlobe intends to provide full-year 2013 financial guidance and an updated capital expenditure forecast when it announces fourth quarter 2012 and full year 2012 earnings on February 26, 2013.
WorldView-3 is expected to be the first super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 km, WorldView-3 will provide 31 cm panchromatic resolution, 1.24 m multispectral resolution in 8 spectral bands, and 3.7 m Short-Wave Infrared resolution in an additional 8 spectral bands. WorldView-3 will be capable of collecting up to 680,000 km2 per day, bringing the collection capacity of the DigitalGlobe constellation to over 4.2 million km2 per day. Launching in 2014, the WorldView-3 system will allow DigitalGlobe to further expand its imagery product offerings.
DigitalGlobe is a leading provider of commercial high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions that help decision makers better understand our changing planet in order to save lives, resources and time. Sourced from the world’s leading constellation, our imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet our customers’ most demanding mission requirements. Each day customers in defense and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, navigation technology, and providers of location-based services depend on DigitalGlobe data, information, technology and expertise to gain actionable insight.
In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become one DigitalGlobe, creating a company capable of providing greater value to customers through an integrated constellation and a broader set of products and services.