Feb.24, 2015 — The QuickBird satellite designed and built by Ball Aerospace for DigitalGlobe de-orbited successfully last month after making 70,000 trips around the Earth during its more than 13 years on orbit.
QuickBird, which far exceeded its five-year design life, provided the highest resolution Earth imagery that was commercially available when it launched in October 2001. Ball Aerospace designed, fabricated, integrated and tested the total space segment consisting of a spacecraft bus and 61-centimeter imaging instrument aboard the pioneering satellite. Ball and DigitalGlobe have continued to team on three additional remote sensing satellites with advanced capabilities: WorldView-1, WorldView-2 and WorldView-3.
“QuickBird was our first venture into the commercial spacecraft market, and became the basis for the development and maturation of a string of highly successful Ball commercial spacecraft and instruments,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Operational Space business unit. “QuickBird demonstrates the longevity and reliability of spacecraft and instruments built by Ball in the fixed-price market.”
A firm, fixed-price spacecraft, QuickBird used the Ball Commercial Platform 2000 to capture 61 centimeter (black and white) and 2.4 meter multispectral (color) digital images of Earth's surface. QuickBird circled the globe 450 km (about 280 miles) above Earth while the Ball high-resolution camera gathered images of the Earth's surface during daylight hours. The world-class images have contributed significantly to mapping, agricultural and urban planning, weather research and military surveillance.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. Ball continues to invest and innovate in affordable, high resolution imaging systems, contributing to the needs of civil, military and commercial customers. For more information, visit http://www.ballaerospace.com/.
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2014 sales of $8.6 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.