In today’s digital world, satellite imagery provides valuable insights for tasks ranging from mapping and material identification, to environmental monitoring, to disaster preparedness and response.

Our world revolves around digital technologies. We connect with our families, friends, coworkers, and the World Wide Web in seconds using devices that fit in our pockets, in our briefcases, and on our wrists. We can explore the world and the universe—even make astounding discoveries—at any hour from personal computers, without ever leaving the comfort of our desk chairs.

Among the wide variety of digital technologies now commercially available, satellite imagery has emerged as one of the most important tools for helping organizations make critical business and mission decisions.

“The appetite for satellite imagery seems to know no bounds,” states Rob Mitrevski, vice president and general manager of Harris’ Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) business. "When DigitalGlobe added the WorldView-3 commercial imaging satellite into its constellation, it extended the state of-the-art in commercial imaging capabilities by launching our most advanced imaging system to date. This Harris imaging system not only provides the most advanced, highest resolution visible imaging capability ever seen commercially, but it also adds short wave infrared capability onboard. This was a strategic shift in additional capability for many government and commercial customers, and represents further evidence of the market`s increasing appetite for differentiated information and actionable intelligence."

Fast and with Accurate Satellite Data with Unprecedented Detail

Two hundred years ago, it took Lewis and Clark and their team two and a half years to travel approximately 8,000 miles in order to explore and map the United States’ newly acquired western territory. “Today, from a vantage point 617 kilometers above the earth, the WorldView-3 satellite imaging instrument could retrace their journey from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean in just a few days,” says Janet Nickloy, Harris vice president of Strategic Initiatives.

And that imagery has the highest resolution commercially available. It’s so good, in fact, that you can use it to effectively monitor events, detect change, and identify different objects and materials. “Not only that,” she adds, “because WorldView-3 can circle the earth and revisit that exact same spot in less than one day, customers can better track and monitor frequent changes in the area of interest. This is amazing when compared with capabilities in the not-so-distant past.”

The intelligence WorldView-3 brings to users is also enhanced by the instrument’s spectral capability. Different materials reflect light differently, and WorldView-3’s eight visible and eight shortwave infrared (SWIR) spectral bands help customers see things that aren’t visible to the human eye. This means the commercial agriculture industry can use WorldView-3 information to better discern plant types, health status, and diversity and to determine the best localized crop treatment. And first responders have the ability to see through smoke to locate hotspots and extinguish fires quickly.

Improving how people see the world since 1999

DigitalGlobe’s combination of visible and SWIR imagery continues to transform the way people are informed, allowing users to more precisely monitor, observe, and analyze the world around them and enabling informed decisions and actions for agricultural, civil, and government missions.

“Since 1999, Harris technology has played a part in all six of the satellites within the DigitalGlobe constellation. We are excited that the upcoming WorldView-4 satellite will also have our imaging technology on board,” says Nickloy. When launched, WorldView-4 will further enhance DigitalGlobe’s commercial collection capacity and revisit rates. “We can only imagine what the next decade will bring,” Nickloy says.