Launched in 1997, OrbView-2 was the first commercial satellite to provide daily color images of the Earth. Under a unique arrangement with NASA, Orbital designed and built the OrbView-2 satellite, integrating its SeaWiFS sensor. Upon its successful launch, operations of the satellite were handed over to ORBIMAGE (now known as GeoEye) which manages the spacecraft and distributes its data for commercial use. Under a “data buy’” arrangement, NASA procured OrbView-2 SeaWiFS data for scientific research from 1997 through 2004.
The principal OrbView-2 science objective is to acquire data critical for the study of the role of oceans, and the exchange of critical elements and gases between the atmosphere and ocean, and how these exchanges affect production of phytoplankton.
OrbView-2 collects color imagery of the Earth in 2,800 km-wide swaths on a daily basis. Commercial applications include maps used by fishing vessels that include imagery from OrbView-2 for detecting oceanographic conditions favorable for fishing. Scientific applications include research on the world's carbon balance, global warming, and environmental monitoring.
|Orbit: 705 km (438 mi.) sun-synchronous
Launch Mass: 255 kg
Solar Arrays: Fixed GaAs
Mission life: 5 years; 10 year goal
|Decommissioned after over 13 years on orbit.
Launched in 1997, OrbView-2 continues to perform nominally
The first commercial imaging satellite to provide daily color images of the Earth
NASA/Goddard SeaWiFS web site
GeoEye Orbview-2 web site