Commercial Imaging Payloads

Harris provides the highest resolution imaging capability commercially available.

Over 50 Years of Space Imaging Systems Experience

With more than 50 years of experience in providing some of the most relied upon imaging systems in space, Harris continues to design and manufacture imaging payloads for the world’s most sophisticated Earth-imaging commercial satellites. Our commercial imaging payload products have been an integral part of past and current commercial imagery satellites starting from IKONOS in 1999 to the most recent WorldView platforms.

Delivering Superior Image Quality

Harris imaging technology is the most advanced in the world. With diverse sensor capabilities and a broad spectral range, the Harris line of SpaceView™ imaging payloads can be tailored to support different missions including forestry, agriculture, mapping, mining, oil and gas, and urban planning. These imaging solutions offer a full spectral range of choices—from visible through infrared and up to 8-band multispectral sensing. Some SpaceView™ payloads can be tailored to support two onboard camera configurations, growing system coverage dramatically to enable an expanded area of interest for tracking or analysis, or support multiple missions with two different camera modalities in the same payload.

For example, our payload for DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3, which launched in 2014, is the first multi-payload super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite sensor operating at an altitude of 617 km. WorldView-3 provides the highest resolution ground sample distance (GSD) and the fastest scanning capability available commercially:

  • 0.31 meter panchromatic resolution from an altitude of 617 kilometers
  • 1.24 meter multispectral resolution
  • 3.70 meter short-wave infrared resolution

The high-resolution of DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 payload, designed and built by Harris, enables it to capture data points on the ground that are approximately 14 inches apart.  For perspective, if the imaging system was located at the Hollywood sign in Southern California, users could count all of the people on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Scanning at 20,000 lines per second for panchromatic, the Harris imaging payloads can provide a continuous image that spans from New York City to Washington D.C. in just 45 seconds.  This feature is key to users who need to understand what is happening over a long distance as soon as possible.