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Names GeoEye-2
Mission type Earth observation
Operator DigitalGlobe
Mission duration Planned: 10 to 12 years
Spacecraft properties
Bus LM-900[1]
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Space Systems[1]
Launch mass 2,087 kg (4,601 lb)[1]
Dimensions 7.9 × 5.3 m (26 × 17 ft)[2]
Start of mission
Launch date 15 September 2016 (2016-09-15)[3]
Rocket Atlas V 401, AV-062[3]
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-3E[3]
Contractor United Launch Alliance
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Sun-synchronous[2]
Perigee 617–681 km (383–423 mi)[2][4]
Apogee 617–681 km (383–423 mi)[2][4]
Period 97 minutes[2]
Repeat interval 3 days[4]
Velocity 7.5 km/s (16,800 mph)[4]
Epoch Planned
Main telescope
Name GeoEye Imaging System-2
Diameter 1.1 m (3.6 ft)[5]
Wavelengths Panchromatic: 450-800 nm[2]
Multispectral: 655-920 nm[2]
Resolution Panchromatic: 0.31 m (12.2 in)[2]
Multispectral: 1.24 m (48.8 in)[2]

DigitalGlobe fleet
← WorldView-3

WorldView-4, previously known as GeoEye-2, is a planned third generation commercial Earth observation satellite scheduled to launch in September 2016. The spacecraft will be operated by DigitalGlobe. With a maximum resolution of 31 cm (12 in), WorldView-4 will provide similar imagery as WorldView-3, the highest resolution commercially available at the time of its launch.[6]


Work on GeoEye-2 began in October 2007 when commercial imagery company GeoEye selected ITT Corporation to begin work on long lead-time items for the satellite camera system.[7][8] In March 2010, an initial contract for construction of the spacecraft was awarded to Lockheed Martin Space Systems, which previously built the IKONOS imaging satellite.[9] At the time, GeoEye-2 was planned for launch in late 2012.[10] The spacecraft's preliminary design review was completed in November 2010, while its critical design review was completed in June 2011.[11][12]

Lockheed Martin issued a contract to ITT Corporation in August 2010 to continue work on the camera system.[8] Its critical design review was completed in March 2011.[13] The system was delivered to Lockheed in April 2012,[14] and was mated to the spacecraft bus the following month.[15]

DigitalGlobe agreed to purchase GeoEye in July 2012,[16] and finalized the merger in January 2013.[17] At the time, each company had a satellite being prepared for launch: WorldView-3 and GeoEye-2. Because WorldView-3 offered multiple short-wavelength infrared channels in addition to the standard panchromatic and multiwavelength channels, the company chose to proceed with its launch and to place GeoEye-2 into storage.[18]

In July 2014, DigitalGlobe announced that GeoEye-2 had been renamed to WorldView-4 to better match the company's branding, and that, due to a projected increase in product demand, the spacecraft's launch had been scheduled for mid-2016.[19][20] The total cost of the spacecraft, including insurance and launch, is estimated at US$835 million.[21]


WorldView-4 is scheduled for launch on 15 September 2016 from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex 3E. It will launch aboard an Atlas V rocket in the 401 configuration, serial number AV-062, provided and administered by United Launch Alliance.[3] This is the same rocket that had been scheduled to launch the InSight Mars lander, which was delayed until 2018.[22]


The spacecraft's telescope is called the GeoEye Imaging System-2,[23] designed and built by ITT Corporation.[14] The telescope mirror is 1.1 m (3.6 ft) in diameter.[5] It will be able to provide panchromatic images at a highest resolution of 0.31 meters per pixel (12.2 in/px), and multispectral images at 1.24 meters per pixel (48.8 in/px).[2] Multispectral imagery will be available in red, green, blue and near-infrared channels.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "WorldView 4 (WV 4, GeoEye 2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "WorldView-4" (PDF). DigitalGlobe. November 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 16 March 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d "GeoEye-2 (WorldView-4) Satellite Sensor (0.34m)". Satellite Imaging Corporation. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Primary Mirror Blank Assembly for GeoEye-2". GIM International. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Department of Commerce Relaxes Resolution Restrictions, DigitalGlobe Extends Lead in Image Quality" (Press release). DigitalGlobe. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "GeoEye Initiates Development of its Third Generation Earth-Imaging Satellite" (Press release). GeoEye via PRNewswire. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "ITT awarded contract to build the Imaging System for the GeoEye-2 Earth-Imaging Satellite" (PDF) (Press release). ITT Corporation. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Ferster, Warren (11 March 2010). "Lockheed Martin Selected To Build GeoEye-2 Imaging Satellite". Space News. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Censer, Marjorie (3 May 2010). "GeoEye building satellite, awaits decision on major contract award". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "GeoEye-2 completes design review". United Press International. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "GeoEye-2's Design Phase Finishes Ahead of Schedule". Space News. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  13. ^ "GeoEye-2 Camera Passes Critical Design Review". Space News. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Lockwood, Irene (10 April 2012). "ITT Exelis delivers imaging system for next-generation, high-resolution GeoEye-2 satellite" (Press release). ITT Exelis. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  15. ^ Bergin, Chris (2 May 2012). "Lockheed Martin complete milestones on two upcoming spacecraft". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  16. ^ Tomesco, Frederic; Callan, James (23 July 2012). "DigitalGlobe Agrees to Acquire GeoEye for About $900 Million". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  17. ^ Harden, Mark; Avery, Greg (31 January 2013). "DigitalGlobe completes GeoEye buy". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  18. ^ Ray, Justin (4 February 2013). "One commercial Earth-imager deferred in favor of another". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "DigitalGlobe Announces Second 30-Centimeter Satellite to Launch in Mid-2016" (Press release). DigitalGlobe. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  20. ^ Painter, Kristen Leigh (31 July 2014). "Demand moves DigitalGlobe to speed launch of high-powered satellite". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  21. ^ Smith, Marcia S. (June 23, 2012). "EnhancedView News Not so Rosy for GeoEye". Space Policy Online. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  22. ^ Clark, Stephen (March 5, 2016). "Fate of NASA's InSight Mars mission to be decided soon". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Satellite: WorldView-4". World Meteorological Organization. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.