Space Imaging granted FCC license for private remote sensing satellite system.
This band frequency is used by most government and commercial remote sensing satellite systems.
In March 1994, the U.S. Department of Commerce began licensing companies to develop satellite technology for the collection of high-resolution earth images and to distribute these products to commercial users. In April 1994, Lockheed Martin, Space Imaging's prime contractor, was one of the first companies to be licensed to operate a private remote sensing space system.
"The issuance of the FCC license to Space Imaging represents another significant step in the direction of making high-resolution earth-based imagery available to commercial users," said John Neer, Space Imaging's president and chief executive officer. "Space Imaging will play a vital role in the development of this commercial space market and in the promotion of the U.S. government's policy of defense burden sharing among its allies," he added.
Space Imaging's global remote-sensing satellite system, which was initiated by Lockheed under the name Commercial Remote Sensing System (CRSS), will collect digital imagery of the earth's surface, transmit data to global ground stations, process data into useable information and distribute the imagery and derived information products to users all over the world. The company's satellite will be capable of providing one-meter panchromatic, four-meter multispectral, and one-meter color-enhanced imagery.
Space Imaging's satellite system has a heritage dating back to Lockheed's Corona program in the early 1960s. Corona, the world's first photo reconnaissance satellite, was able to collect images of the earth with two-meter resolution. Its long focal length camera was provided by Eastman Kodak Co., which is supplying the digital camera technology for Space Imaging's satellite.
A variety of markets will benefit from the ability to use high-resolution earth imagery to gather information about the earth's surface, including utilities, transportation, intelligence, resource management, agriculture and real estate. The current potential market for geographic information has been estimated at $3 billion and is expected to grow to $5 billion by the year 2000.
The FCC is responsible for radio transmitting facilities associated with a satellite's data collection and the frequencies used for these transmissions. The FCC also determines technical requirements and whether satellite operations are electromagnetically compatible with other operations.
In coordination with Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon's E-Systems Inc., Mitsubishi Corp., Eastman Kodak Co. and other partners, Space Imaging will launch its first commercial imaging satellite in late 1997.
CONTACT: Space Imaging, Thornton
Linda Turner, 303/254-2106