Leading Provider of Visual Earth Information Poised to be the World's Only Source of Half-Meter Resolution Commercial Satellite Imagery
Space Imaging announced today that it has been awarded a license by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to operate a commercial remote sensing spacecraft capable of providing half-meter resolution imagery of the Earth. The license, dated Dec. 6, 2000, enables Space Imaging to offer customers the world's highest resolution commercial satellite imagery. Customers across government and industry will be able to capitalize on the value of this new source of visual information.
"We are pleased with the outcome of the license process. There are many people who have contributed to advancing this remote sensing policy. The policy of granting a half-meter license enables U.S. companies such as Space Imaging to retain the worldwide leadership in providing customers highly accurate Earth imagery and mapping products to use in decision making." said John Copple, Space Imaging's CEO. "Space Imaging has already established a worldwide leadership position selling high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery, and now we will be able to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology for our next generation systems."
Space Imaging's next-generation satellite imaging system will provide half-meter resolution black-and-white (panchromatic) and two-meter resolution color (multispectral) imagery. Half-meter resolution means objects on the ground larger than one-half meter in size - or 19 inches - can be seen. One would be able to see such objects as a line of utility poles, a picnic table, large farm animals, small pipelines, individual trees and bushes, and agriculture fields for precision farming. This higher resolution imagery is ideal for precisely mapping utility and telecommunications networks, planning roads and highways, facilities management, national security and other applications requiring a high level of visual and positional detail and accuracy. It is not accurate enough to recognize or identify people.
Space Imaging is in the process of defining technical specifications for the new satellite. Launch is anticipated in 2004.
In 1992 the Congress passed the Landsat Act that enables U.S. companies to build and launch commercial imaging satellites in order to compete with foreign companies planning similar ventures. In 1994 the president signed a Presidential Decisions Directive that further defined the government's remote sensing policies. Last fall NOAA finalized the actual regulations that govern this industry.
In April 1994, Space Imaging was issued a license to offer one-meter resolution satellite imagery. Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (then Lockheed Missiles and Space Company) built and launched the IKONOS satellite under contract to Space Imaging. Since the IKONOS launch in September 1999, Space Imaging has been selling one-meter resolution black-and-white and four-meter resolution color imagery.
About Space Imaging
Space Imaging is a leading supplier of visual information products derived from space imagery and aerial photography. The company launched the world's first and only one-meter resolution, commercial Earth imaging satellite, IKONOS, on Sept. 24, 1999. Other CARTERRA(tm) products are produced from the Indian Remote Sensing satellites, the U.S. Landsat, Canada's RADARSAT and the European Space Agency's ERS satellites. Space Imaging also delivers aerial-derived imagery products collected by its own Digital Airborne Imaging System (DAIS-1(tm)). For detailed information about Space Imaging, visit http://www.spaceimaging.com.
# # # NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: An image of Coors Field, in downtown Denver, taken from an airplane to illustrate half-meter resolution imagery, and a one-meter resolution image of Coors Field taken by IKONOS is available on the Web for illustration and publishing purposes at http://newswire.spaceimaging.com.