Bill Schuster, GeoEye COO, said, "Based upon the data we saw, the satellite is performing properly and ready to begin the next phase towards meeting its mission requirements." GeoEye-1 will now undergo a calibration and check-out period before imagery products will be available for sale. "Later this fall, we will start providing high-resolution color imagery of the Earth from our newest satellite to customers around the globe,” added GeoEye CEO Matthew O'Connell.
GeoEye-1 will simultaneously collect 0.41-meter ground resolution black-and-white (panchromatic) images and 1.65-meter color (multispectral) images. Designed to take digital images of the Earth from 423 miles (681 kilometers) and moving at a speed of about four-and-a-half miles (seven kilometers) per second, the satellite camera can distinguish objects on the Earth's surface as small as 0.41-meter or 16 inches in size. Due to U.S. licensing restrictions, commercial customers will get access to imagery at half-meter ground resolution.
GeoEye provides satellite imagery to Google Maps and other location-based services; however most of the revenue of the company is done through multi-million dollar contracts with the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).