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Ball Aerospace Completes Series Of Environmental Testing For WorldView-3 Remote Sensing Spacecraft

BOULDER, Colo., April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed a series of environmental tests on WorldView-3, the next generation commercial remote-sensing satellite built for DigitalGlobe, a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions.

Ball Aerospace technicians inspect a WorldView-3 solar array following completion of environmental tests for the DigitalGlobe commercial remote-sensing satellite scheduled to launch in August from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The satellite and its integrated sensors and electronics successfully completed thermal vacuum, acoustic, vibration, and pyro-separation testing to confirm the design integrity of the spacecraft.  Electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility will complete on April 23.

"Successful completion of the major environmental testing is the latest example of Ball's reputation for providing DigitalGlobe with the most agile, advanced platforms for remote-sensing," said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball's Operational Space business unit.

New to WorldView-3 is a Ball Aerospace-built atmospheric instrument called CAVIS, which stands for Cloud, Aerosol, water Vapor, Ice, Snow. CAVIS will monitor the atmosphere and provide correction data to improve WorldView-3's imagery when it images earth objects through haze, soot, dust or other obscurants. CAVIS has also been integrated with the spacecraft.

"The addition of a new Ball-built sensing instrument to WorldView-3 will enable the satellite to significantly improve the quality of some of the world's most accurate images following the anticipated mid-August launch," said Ludtke.

WorldView-3 is the first multi-payload, super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite for earth observations and advanced geospatial solutions. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 km, WorldView-3 collects imagery with 31 cm panchromatic resolution, 1.24 m multispectral resolution, 3.7 m short-wave infrared (SWIR) resolution, and 30 m CAVIS resolution. This level of resolution performance would be fundamentally impossible without the 1.1 m aperture telescope built by Exelis and carried by WorldView-3, which allows for a breadth of applications unmatched by smaller, lower-performance satellites. Currently, U.S. government restrictions require commercial satellite imagery provided to non-U.S. government customers be limited to no less than 50 cm panchromatic, 2.0 m multispectral, or 7.5 meter SWIR.

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