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OrbView





OrbView-2
OrbView-2
Satellites designed to provide high-resolution images of Earth from orbit which ORBIMAGE (Orbiting Image Corporation), a company half-owned by Orbital Sciences, sells to civilian, government, and military customers. OrbView-1, launched in 1995 and originally called MicroLab, provides atmospheric imagery; OrbView-2, launched in 1997 and originally called Seastar, supplies images of both ocean and land. OrbView-4 carried a camera able to snap 1-m resolution black & white and 4-m resolution color images from a 470-km orbit. It also carried a hyperspectral imaging instrument for the Air Force Research Laboratory's Warfighter-1 program, which would have made it the first commercial satellite to produce hyperspectral imagery. The United States military is interested in this technique because it has promising uses for detecting chemical or biological weapons, collecting bomb damage assessment for commanders, and finding soldiers and enemy vehicles hidden under foliage. However, OrbView-4 was lost minutes after a faulty launch by its Taurus booster on Sep. 21, 2001. (Also destroyed on the same flight was NASA's QuikTOMS.) OrbView-3 which carries the same camera as its ill-fated sibling, but not the hyperspectral imager, was launched aboard a Pegasus XL from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Jun. 26, 2003. It moves in a circular orbit with an altitude of 470 km and an inclination of 97°.


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   • SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES