Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WorldView-1 Launch and what to do with it

The big news today in satellite imaging circles is the launch of WorldView-1. The launch videos are on the Boeing site. The not so cognizant seem surprised that WorldView-1 is a panchromatic only sensor. Panchromatic captures greater energy due to the broad filter and uses it to produce higher resolution. WorldView-1 probably had a MultiSpectral sensor as well which is rumored to have suffered some sort of accident during the build and was not replaced due to time and budget constraints.

The imagery will go on priority basis to NGA , people-friendly colour can easily be obtained via fusion with the high quality MultiSpectral from Quickbird via virtually automated chain in minutes if need be. The only problem will be temporal decorrelation producing artifacts due to:
  • Moving objects (cars,boats,people - they will be clearer at 50cm)
  • Shadows due to different sun angles
  • Cloud position differences
Hollywood was still popular in the black and white days as long as the actors did their job and there was a reasonable plot. I have little doubt about the popularity of WorldView-1, the quality of the colour products will depend on the orbital match with Quickbird and that will become clearer once the TLE's are published and both of the satellites are being tracked.
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