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OrbView





OrbView-2
OrbView-2
OrbView satellites are 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-meter resolution black and white and 4-meter resolution color images from a 470-kilometer 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 September 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 June 26, 2003. It moves in a circular orbit with an altitude of 470 kilometers and an inclination of 97°.


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   • SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES