Press Release

ORBIMAGE Awarded $6 Million Hyperspectral Imagery Contract by NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2001
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ORBIMAGE announced today a multi-year
agreement with NASA’s Stennis Space Center to supply up to $6 million in
imagery from the 200-band hyperspectral camera to be carried on the company’s
OrbView-4 satellite.
As the world’s first commercial hyperspectral imagery
from space, NASA will use the OrbView-4 hyperspectral data to develop
environmental monitoring applications for managing the Earth’s water and land
resources.

“We view NASA as a leader in Earth imaging research,” said Mr. Gilbert D.
Rye, ORBIMAGE’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Through this
agreement, we have more than another customer for our hyperspectral imagery,
we have a development partner who will expand the uses of this leading edge
technology.”

All natural and man-made materials on the surface of the Earth have a
unique signature of reflected light from the sun.
This signature is more
detailed than can be captured by a conventional camera or the human eye.
However, the OrbView-4 hyperspectral camera will be able to measure this
signature and actually identify materials from space that include plant
species, mineral types and inland and coastal water features.
ORBIMAGE will
distribute OrbView-4 hyperspectral imagery for applications that range from
mineral, oil and gas exploration, to national security activities, to
forestry, farming and environmental monitoring applications.

Under this new agreement with ORBIMAGE, NASA will use the OrbView-4
hyperspectral imagery to develop environmental monitoring applications as part
of its Earth Observations Commercial Applications Program (EOCAP).
Environmental monitoring applications for hyperspectral data focus on the
ability to efficiently measure, map and monitor natural resources on a global
basis. A few examples of current environmental-related uses for hyperspectral
imagery include identifying sources of heavy metal contamination from
abandoned mines, examining the health of desert vegetation, performing climate
change studies, tracking grizzly bear habitats and monitoring the health of
coral reef eco-systems.

ORBIMAGE’s OrbView-4 imaging satellite is planned for launch in August
aboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus rocket.
In addition to the 8-
meter spatial resolution hyperspectral camera, the satellite will have a one-
meter resolution panchromatic (black and white) and a four- meter resolution
multispectral (color) capabilities, that will provide imagery to customers
worldwide.
In terms of hyperspectral imagery, the new OrbView-4 imagery will
complement the current aerial sources of this data, such as NASA’s AVIRIS
instrument, as well as the only other space-based hyperspectral camera, NASA’s
Hyperion instrument.

About ORBIMAGE:

ORBIMAGE is a leading global provider of Earth imagery products and
services, with a planned constellation of five digital remote sensing
satellites. The company currently operates the OrbView-1 atmospheric imaging
satellite (launched in 1995), the OrbView-2 ocean and land multispectral
imaging satellite (launched in 1997), and a worldwide integrated image
receiving, processing and distribution network. Currently under development,
ORBIMAGE’s OrbView-3 satellite will offer one-meter panchromatic and four-
meter multispectral digital imagery, and is planned for launch in 2002.
ORBIMAGE is also the U.S. distributor of imagery from the Canadian RADARSAT-2
satellite.

ORBIMAGE currently offers one-meter high-resolution panchromatic (black
and white) imagery of major U.S. and international urban areas through its
OrbView Cities catalog, available at http://www.orbimage.com . In addition,
ORBIMAGE distributes imagery from SPOT Image, Canada’s RADARSAT-1 satellite
and Russia’s SPIN-2 satellite. ORBIMAGE also offers the SeaStar Pro Fisheries
Information Service, which provides fish finding maps derived from OrbView-2
satellite imagery of the world’s oceans to fishing customers worldwide.

More information about ORBIMAGE can be found at http://www.orbimage.com .

SpaceRef staff editor.