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Quickbird 1 is on the Ball With Earthwatch Delivery

The QuickBird 1 satellite is shown in a clean room at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.'s Boulder, Colo., facilities. QuickBird 1, built by Ball Aerospace for its customer, EarthWatch, Incorporated of Longmont, Colo., is slated to launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia in November. QuickBird 1 features the Ball Aerospace-built satellite, from the Ball Commercial Platform 2000 spacecraft series, and the Ball Aerospace-built Ball High Resolution Camera 60 (BHRC 60). QuickBird 1 is an Earth remote-sensing satellite whose images have multiple uses for various outlets, including commercial businesses and government agencies. Applications include environmental monitoring, land use and public works, mapping and cartography, resource management, agriculture and forestry, and military target identification.
Boulder - Oct. 20, 2000
Two Colorado companies working together are advancing the remote-sensing market for commercial customers. By the end of October, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., is scheduled to deliver its first of two QuickBird remote-sensing satellites to EarthWatch Incorporated of Longmont, Colo. QuickBird 1 is capable of taking one-meter panchromatic (black and white) and four-meter multispectral (color) digital images of Earth's surface.

Earth remote sensing involves detecting and recording objects or phenomena from a distance by using devices that take measurements of the electromagnetic spectrum to characterize the landscape. In the case of QuickBird 1, the satellite will circle the globe 600 km (about 372 miles) above Earth while the QuickBird sensor (a high-resolution camera) gathers images of the Earth's surface during daylight hours. Satellite remote sensing can provide enormous amounts of data that covers large areas in a cost-effective manner, typically less expensive than comparable aerial photographic images. Additionally, satellite imagery is in a digital format for immediate transfer to computer database systems.

The Ball Aerospace-built QuickBird 1 uses the Ball Global Imaging System 2000 satellite design. This system comprises the Ball Commercial Platform 2000 (BCP 2000) spacecraft bus and a Ball High Resolution Camera (BHRC 60). The BCP 2000 buses are part of Ball Aerospace's product assembly line that includes three additional units: the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) built for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is gaining praise for tracking weather disturbances that aid hurricane forecasters; Goddard's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat); and QuickBird 2.

"QuickBird 1 represents a tremendous achievement for both Ball Aerospace and EarthWatch," said David L. Taylor, vice president of Ball's Commercial Space Operations. "As a team, Ball Aerospace and EarthWatch have worked hard to meet customers' growing needs for world-class images and services. The potential for the commercial remote-sensing market is huge and we aim to develop and maintain a very strong foothold in this developing business. These two QuickBirds are Ball Aerospace's first commercial spacecraft built for a non-government customer from our family of commercial products."

The QuickBird 1 satellite will collect data while in a 66-degree orbit, which allows variable imaging at any time during the day. QuickBird 2 will be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit, providing same time of day passes and consistent revisit scheduling for easy monitoring of long-term trends. Once in operation, the two QuickBirds will provide a constellation with imaging coverage and flexibility unequaled in the remote-sensing industry. In addition to the spacecraft bus and high-resolution camera, Ball Aerospace will provide launch support and on-orbit commissioning support for the two QuickBirds.

Demand for high-resolution satellite imagery near term is estimated to be more than $1 billion annually. QuickBird 1 images have multiple market applications for commercial businesses and government agencies, including environmental monitoring, land use and public works, mapping and cartography, resource management, agriculture and forestry, and military target identification. QuickBird 1 is slated for launch on a Russian Cosmos rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.

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US and Russia Release Arctic Data From Cold War Days
Barrow - Oct. 13, 2000
United States officials today announced the release of an Arctic Meteorological and Climate Atlas, which contains some previously restricted U.S. and Russian data, at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Barrow, Alaska.

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