Lockheed Martin announced May 1 that it has successfully mated the spacecraft bus and the imaging payload for GeoEye’s next-generation, high-resolution imaging satellite, known as GeoEye-2.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is developing GeoEye-2 under a fixed-price contract with GeoEye.
Once operational, GeoEye-2 will be the world’s highest resolution commercial satellite, providing highly accurate imagery to intelligence analysts, war fighters, and decisions makers across the globe. Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services will launch GeoEye-2 aboard an Atlas V rocket in 2013.
The GeoEye-2 bus is the structural foundation of the satellite. It includes an integrated propulsion system as well as other critical subsystems for communications, attitude control, thermal control, command and data handling.
The imaging payload for GeoEye-2 includes a telescope, sensor subsystem and outer barrel assembly. It has the potential to capture panchromatic ground sample distance imagery of the Earth’s surface at 0.34-meter, or 13.38-inch, ground resolution from an altitude of 681 km.
“This key milestone paves the way for the team to begin system level environmental and acceptance testing in preparation for on-orbit operations in 2013,” said Allen Anderson, GeoEye-2 program director for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We are on track to complete the remaining integration and test work on-schedule and look forward to the ultimate deployment of this cutting-edge satellite.”
Carl Alleyne, GeoEye’s vice president of Engineering, commented, “We have already met an array of important milestones for our GeoEye-2 satellite this year. We continue to forge ahead on our aggressive schedule while staying on time and on budget. GeoEye-2, with .34-meter resolution, will fully support all mission requirements and meet the U.S. government’s exacting standards when operational in 2013.”
The GeoEye-2 satellite will feature enhanced tasking capabilities, superior image quality and the ability to collect more imagery at a faster rate with a new ITT Exelis imaging system. When GeoEye-2 is completed, it will have the highest resolution and be the most accurate commercial satellite available in the global marketplace.