London: DigitalGlobe recently launched the most powerful commercial imaging spacecraft WorldView-3 into the space from California, US.
The satellite would return pictures of the Earth’s surface down to a resolution of 31cm and until recently, the company was restricted to selling images sharper than 50cm only to the US government.
There are still some security concerns over releasing such powerful imagery on to the open market. The US Commerce Department, which licenses American commercial satellite imagery providers, says DigitalGlobe must wait six months before putting out any 31cm products. This would give the authorities time to assess any unforeseen issues or sensitivities.
Its pictures would find wide application in areas such as scientific investigations, urban planning, forestry and agricultural monitoring, and in mineral exploration.