JULY 1 2011 19:13h

GeoEye-2 completes design review


SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. high-resolution Earth-imaging satellite known as GeoEye-2 has completed a Space System Critical Design Review ahead of schedule.

The review validated the detailed design of the spacecraft and command-and-control portion of the ground system to ensure it meets all program requirements for GeoEye's commercial and government users.

It also marked the program's transition to production.

Once operational in 2013, GeoEye-2 will be the world's highest resolution commercial satellite, providing highly accurate images to intelligence analysts, war fighters, and decisions makers across the globe.

The two-day space system CDR, conducted by Lockheed Martin and GeoEye at Lockheed Martin's Sunnyvale, Calif., facility, was completed seven months after the program's Preliminary Design Review in November 2010. The CDR phase included a series of detailed examinations of the satellite's technical design as well as the command-and-control element of the ground system.

The incremental reviews leading up to the final CDR verified that each aspect of the system would meet mission requirements.

"We are very pleased with our GeoEye-2 program's progress and timely completion of this milestone," said Bill Schuster, GeoEye's chief operating officer. "GeoEye-2 will fulfill the increasing demands on our constellation and provide additional capacity for the U.S. government and our global partners."

Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services will launch GeoEye-2 aboard an Atlas V rocket. GeoEye-2 will feature significant improvements to its predecessors, including enhanced tasking and the ability to collect more imagery at a faster rate with a new ITT camera.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. is developing GeoEye-2 under a fixed-price contract with GeoEye. GeoEye-2 is based on the latest generation of the LMx configure-to-order low Earth orbit bus product line initiated with the Lockheed Martin-built IKONOS satellite.

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