|Mission Type||Earth observation|
|Contractor||Ball Aerospace & Technologies|
|Launch date||October 18, 2001, 18:51 UTC|
|Rocket||Delta 7320-10 D288|
|Launch site||Vandenberg SLC-2W|
|Design life||5 years|
|Mission duration||13 years and 2 months|
|Launch mass||1,100 kg (2,400 lb)|
|Dry mass||951 kg (2,097 lb)|
|Decay date||January 27, 2015|
|Semi-major axis||6,828 kilometers (4,243 mi)|
|Perigee||460 kilometers (290 mi)|
|Apogee||464 kilometers (288 mi)|
|Orbital period||93.8 minutes|
|Visible cameras||61 cm panchromatic
2.4 meter multispectral
QuickBird was a high-resolution commercial Earth observation satellite, owned by DigitalGlobe, launched in 2001 and decayed in 2015. QuickBird used Ball Aerospace's Global Imaging System 2000 (BGIS 2000). The satellite collected panchromatic (black and white) imagery at 61 centimeter resolution and multispectral imagery at 2.44- (at 450 km) to 1.63-meter (at 300 km) resolution, as orbit altitude is lowered during the end of mission life.
At this resolution, detail such as buildings and other infrastructure are easily visible. However, this resolution is insufficient for working with smaller objects such as a license plate on a car. The imagery can be imported into remote sensing image processing software, as well as into GIS packages for analysis.
Contractors included Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Kodak and Fokker Space. Original plans called for a constellation of three QuickBird satellites scheduled to be in orbit by 2008. In the end, two QuickBird satellites, QuickBird I and II, made it to launch pad. However, only QuickBird II made it successfully into orbit (QuickBird I suffered launch failure). Thus QuickBird II satellite is usually referred to simply as QuickBird, and by the name QuickBird is usually meant the satellite QuickBird II.
The first QuickBird, QuickBird I (or QuickBird 1, QB 1, COSPAR 2000-074A) was launched 20 November 2000, by EarthWatch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia by a Kosmos-3M rocket. QB-1 failed to reach planned orbit due to launch vehicle failure and was declared a failure. The satellite re-entered next day still attached to the upper stage of the rocket. The QB-1 satellite was in construction similar to QuickBird 2 satellite (described above and below in this article), which became later known simply as QuickBird.
QuickBird II (also QuickBird-2 or Quickbird 2, QB-2, COSPAR 2001-047A) or as it was later known, simply QuickBird, was launched for DigitalGlobe October 18, 2001 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The satellite was initially expected to collect at 1 meter resolution but after a license was granted in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Commerce / NASA, DigitalGlobe was able launch the QuickBird II with 0.61 meter panchromatic and 2.4 meter multispectral (previously planned 4 meter) resolution.
In April 2011, the Quickbird satellite was raised from an orbit of 450 km (280 mi) to 482 km (300 mi). The process, started in March 2011, extended the satellite's life. Before the operation the useful life of Quickbird was expected to drop off around mid-2012 but after the successful mission, the new orbit prolonged the satellite life into early 2015.
The last picture was acquired on December 17, 2014. On January 27, 2015 QuickBird re-entered Earth's atmosphere.
Swath width and area size