|Mission Type||Earth observation|
|Contractor||Ball Aerospace & Technologies|
|Launch||October 18, 2001 on a Delta 7320-10 D288|
|Launch site||Vandenberg Air Force Base SLC-2W|
|Design life||5 years|
|Mass||1100 kg (launch)
951 kg (dry)
|Semi-major axis||6828 km|
|Orbital Period||93.4 minutes|
|Visible cameras||61 cm panchromatic
2.4 meter multispectral
QuickBird is a high-resolution commercial earth observation satellite, owned by DigitalGlobe and launched in 2001 as the first satellite in a constellation of three scheduled to be in orbit by 2008. QuickBird uses Ball Aerospace's Global Imaging System 2000 (BGIS 2000) that collects the fourth highest resolution commercial imagery of Earth after WorldView-1, WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 and boasts the largest image size and the greatest on-board storage capacity of any satellite. The satellite collects panchromatic (black and white) imagery at 61 centimeter resolution and multispectral imagery at 2.44- (at 450 km) to 1.63-meter (at 300km) resolution, as orbit altitude is lowered during the end of mission life.
At this resolution, detail such as buildings and other infrastructure are easily visible. However, this resolution is insufficient for working with smaller objects such as a license plate on a car. The imagery can be imported into remote sensing image processing software, as well as into GIS packages for analysis. The imagery can also be used as a backdrop for mapping applications, such as Google Earth and Google Maps.
The first QuickBird was launched in November 2000, by EarthWatch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. QB-1 failed to reach planned orbit and was declared a failure. Prior to QuickBird I and II, DigitalGlobe launched the EarlyBird 1 successfully in 1997 but the satellite lost communications after only four days in orbit due to power system failure.
QuickBird II (also QuickBird-2 or Quickbird 2), was launched October 18, 2001 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The satellite was initially expected to collect at 1 meter resolution but after a license was granted in 2000 by the Department of Commerce/NASA, DigitalGlobe was able launch the QuickBird II with 0.61 meter panchromatic and 2.4 meter multispectral (previously planned 4 meter) resolution.
In April 2011, the Quickbird satellite was raised from an orbit of 450 km to 482 km. The process, started in March 2011, will extend the satellite's life. Before the operation the useful life of Quickbird was expected to drop off around mid-2012 but after the successful mission, DigitalGlobe operators expect the new orbit to prolong the satellite life into early 2014.
- 60 cm (24 in) (1.37 μrad) panchromatic at nadir
- 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) (5.47 μrad) multispectral at nadir
- MS Channels: blue (450-520 nm), green (520-600 nm), red (630-690 nm), near-IR (760-890 nm)
Swath width and area size
- Nominal swath width: 18 km at nadir
- Accessible ground swath: 544 km centered on the satellite ground track (to 30° off nadir)
- Area of interest
- Single area: 18 km by 18 km
- Strip: 18 km by 360 km
- Altitude (original): 450 km – 97.2 degree sun synchronous circular orbit
- Altitude (post-orbit modification): 482 km – 98 degree sun synchronous inclination
- Revisit frequency: 1 to 3.5 days depending on latitude at 60 cm resolution
- Viewing angle: Agile spacecraft, in-track and cross-track pointing
- Period 94.2 minutes
- 128 Gigabit capacity (approximately 57 single area images)
- Fueled for 7 years
- 2100 lb (950 kg), 3.04 m (10 ft) in length
- Launch Date: October 18, 2001
- Launch Window: 1851-1906 GMT (1451-1506 EDT)
- Launch Vehicle: Delta II
- Launch Site: SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
- USAF Designation: Quickbird 2.
- Ball Aerospace: QuickBird
- "QuickBird-2". EOPortal.org. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Digitalglobe: QuickBird
- "DigitalGlobe Data Sheet: Quickbird". DigitalGlobe.com. DigitalGlobe. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- DigitalGlode History - QuickBird I
- "DigitalGlobe Completes Quickbird Satellite Orbit Raise". DigitalGlobe News Room. April 18, 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
- "QuickBird 2 was successfully launched on 18 Oct 2001". Center for Remote Imaging, Sensing & Processing. 2001. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Mehuron, Tamar A., Assoc. Editor (August 2008). "2008 USAF Space Almanac - Major Civilian Satellites in Military Use". Air Force Magazine (Pub: Air Force Association) 91 (8): pp.49–50.