BlackSky’s satellites are already producing frequently updated, high-resolution views of planet Earth — but now the company says its next-generation spacecraft will kick things up a notch.
There’ll even be night vision.
BlackSky, a subsidiary of Spaceflight Industries with offices in Seattle and Herndon, Va., announced today that its Gen-3 Global satellites will provide pictures with 50-centimeter spatial resolution, as well as short-wave infrared sensor readings.
That level of resolution for visual imagery will be twice as sharp as the current Gen-2 satellites’ 1-meter resolution. And the short-wave infrared imaging system should be able to deliver night-vision views as well as imagery that cuts through obscuring smoke and haze.
BlackSky CEO Brian O’Toole told me the upgrades will continue as his company builds out its satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. “This isn’t like the old days, when you have to have some big announcement every five years,” he said. “This is just going to be expected. Customers will expect that behind Gen-3 is going to be Gen-4.”
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