GeoEye-1 (33331, 2008-042-A ) orbit to be raised

From: Allen Thomson (thomsona@flash.net)
Date: Sat Aug 24 2013 - 15:21:19 UTC

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    Perhaps slightly OT, but FYI.
    
    
    http://tinyurl.com/mq7llkj
    
    DigitalGlobe Raising GeoEye-1’s Orbit To Keep up with Commercial Imagery Demand
    By Peter B. de Selding | Aug. 23, 2013
    [EXCERPTS]
    
    
    GeoEye-1, launched in September 2008, has been flying at an altitude of about 681 kilometers and is capable of producing imagery with a ground sampling distance of 41 centimeters, meaning it can detect objects of that diameter or greater.
    
    U.S. government rules prohibit the sale of imagery sharper than 50 centimeters. With the satellite no longer providing imagery under a U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) contract, the satellite has been freed to focus on commercial-only customers, meaning the orbit raise should increase, not decrease, its revenue-generating capability.
    
    GeoEye-1 will be able to deliver imagery at the 50-centimeter limit for commercial customers from its new orbit. The company declined to disclose the new orbit’s altitude.
    
    [Comment: Taking the numbers at their face value, the new altitude should be about 681 * (50/41) = 830 km. It will be interesting to see what it actually turns out to be.]
    
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