30 August 2016 Published in World news

WorldView-4: A new satellite and much more

Next month, DigitalGlobe will be launching a new satellite into space. It’s called WorldView-4, from a tech standpoint, WorldView-4 does a lot of things for us. It more than doubles our 30cm collection capacity, which is far and away the best in the industry. It takes some of the load off of WorldView-3, since we’ll now have two very similar versions of the industry’s best satellite for tasking instead of just one. In short, it helps us do everything we do even better than we do it today.

There’s the ground system that allows us to command, operate and downlink information from our entire constellation. There are global teams of people that program commands and maneuver the satellites, and the software and platforms that enable us to distribute and interpret the data.


But the most important result from the launch is our increased ability to help solve global problems every single day. DigitalGlobe sends satellites into space so we can make observations of the entire planet, not just my neighborhood. We see every continent, every country, every border, every coastline and all the oceans in between. And our end users take those observations and use them to solve very real, very human problems every day. Here are just a few:

  • Helping people see the whole world by improving user experience in the world’s largest mapping platforms, mapping settlements and road networks in OpenStreetMap, and improving turn-by-turn directions for navigation and ride sharing.
  • Enabling communications improvements like building out 5G networks to support smart cities and connected cars.
  • Documenting environmental issues like monitoring invasive species, tracking and documenting illegal fishing and poaching, and detecting deforestation and monitoring forests on a tree-by-tree basis.
  • Visualizing economic concerns like counting and measuring change in global economic indicators and detecting illegal tapping into pipelines and utilities.
  • Supporting global security by keeping our nation (and other nations) safe, and working with NGOs on sociopolitical issues like slavery and human trafficking that impact thousands of lives.

The addition of WorldView-4 to our constellation and the improvements we’re making to our associated systems, platforms, software and teams will enable our end users to solve even more problems with more accuracy and more confidence.

If you want to follow the launch, check out this microsite.

Baie du Hillsborough, captured by WorldView-3 on March 26, 2016