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DigitalGlobe Expands Download Capacity with Addition of Remote Ground Terminals

Sunday, September 23rd 2012
By Joe Francica

Over the last two years, DigitalGlobe set out to expand the company’s ability to download imagery quicker and cover more of the earth’s surface within a shorter window of time. The result is a much shorter period of time between data collection to product delivery. I sat down with Jeff Culwell, DigitalGlobe's director of Satellite Control Systems, at his office in Longmont, Colorado, for a better understanding of how the improvements were accomplished.

DigitalGlobe’s Remote Ground Terminal (RGT) expansion project began in 2010. (See figure at right: Norwegian Polar Institute – Antarctic Research Station & Kongsberg Satellite Services TrollSat Ground Station)

The first phase of the operation added four new ground terminals in Asia that allowed DigitalGlobe to capture 50% new capacity and improve latency by 34%.  The last terminal in this phase was added in late 2011.

The second phase adds three terminals in North America. In all, the new RGT’s cover about 45% of earth’s land mass and 90% of earth’s surface within 20 minutes. Phase two has been completed in August 2012. (Figure below: Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) – TrollSat Ground station antenna Looking North)

Images courtesy of DigitalGlobe

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