Monday, 6 July 2009

WorldView-2 to launch on October 6

Longmont, CO: DigitalGlobe announced that its WorldView-2 high-resolution 8-band multi-spectral satellite is scheduled to launch on October 6th, 2009 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The planned launch of WorldView-2, DigitalGlobe’s second next-generation class high-resolution satellite, is expected to nearly double DigitalGlobe's collection capabilities to approximately two million square kilometers per day, enable intra-day revisits to specific geographic areas, and enhance the company's ability to collect up-to-date imagery.

The additional capacity and more frequent revisit rate are expected to provide DigitalGlobe’s customers with up-to-date and comprehensive high-resolution satellite imagery products and services.

WorldView-2 is expected to be able to collect imagery at 0.46 meter resolution. Due to NOAA operating license restrictions, all imagery will be re-sampled to 0.50 meter resolution unless the U.S. Government has granted a customer-specific waiver of the restriction.

DigitalGlobe expects images and products from WorldView-2 to be available approximately 90 days following a successful launch.

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GOES-O satellite launched

Washington: The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-O, was launched successfully from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The GOES-O spacecraft lifted off at 6:51 p.m. EDT on a Delta IV rocket. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-O satellite will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world. The satellite is the second to be launched in the GOES N series of geostationary environmental weather satellites.

Approximately 4 hours and 21 minutes after launch, the spacecraft separated from the launch vehicle. The Universal Space Network Western Australia tracking site in Dongara monitored the spacecraft separation.

On July 7, GOES-O will be placed in its final orbit and renamed GOES-14. Approximately 24 days after launch, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems will turn engineering control over to NASA. About five months later, NASA will transfer operational control of GOES-14 to NOAA.

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Oceansat-2 launch in August

India: India's indigenous Oceansat-2 satellite will be launched next month from Sriharikota spaceport on the east coast and will also carry a set of six nano satellites, all of European origin.

Besides Rubin 9.1 and Rubin 9.2 nano satellites from Germany, the four cubesats lined up for the mission on board India's workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle are: Beesat, built by Technical University Berlin, UWE-2 (University of Wuerzburg Germany), ITU-pSat (Istanbul Technical University Turkey) and SwissCube-1 (Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne, Switzerland).

Oceansat-2 weighing around 970 kg, is an in-orbit replacement to Oceansat-1, which has completed 10 years of service, ISRO Spokesperson S Satish said.

"It (Oceansat-2) will carry an OCM (Ocean Colour Monitor) and a Ku-band pencil beam Scatterometer. In addition, it will carry Radio Occultation Sounder for Atomospheric studies (ROSA), developed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI)," he said.

Oceansat-2 would help identify potential fishing zones, assist in coastal zone studies and significantly enhance expertise in understanding surface temperature and winds.

"Earlier, we had launched Oceansat (Oceansat-1) which essentially could look at (only) the colour of the ocean. Now, colour alone is not sufficient, we should look at the temperature and surface winds and so on," ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said.

"This Oceansat (Oceansat-2) will have such space for looking at the surface winds and temperature and all those things. It will be a very comprehensive system," Nair said.

ISRO officials said the Scatterometer is an active microwave radar operating at 13.515 GHz in Ku-band with a ground resolution cell of 50 KM x 50 KM. It is expected to provide the wind vector range of four to 24 metres/second with better than 20 per cent accuracy in speed and 20 deg. in wind direction.

The OCM payload with 360 metres spatial resolution and a swath of 1420 KM, with eight narrow spectral bands is similar to Oceansat-1 OCM, but with appropriate spectral bandwidth modifications based on the experience gained. The Spectral bands are modified for Band-6 and Band-7 to improve the reflectance from suspended sediments and to avoid Oxygen absorption. OCM provides a two day repetitivity coverage of the world.

Considering that Oceansat-2 is a continuity mission to the earlier Oceansat-1, the same polar sun-synchronous orbit of 720 KM has been retained.

ROSA payload is a dual channel GPS receiver with two antennas and a receiver package. The Radio-Occultation antenna looking along the satellite velocity vector receives signals from the 'rising' GPS satellites near the earth horizon. These signals get refracted by the atmosphere and from the bending angle, the temperature and humidity profiles are derived, ISRO officials said.

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