BlackSky will add night vision to Earth-watching satellites

Satellite factory
One of BlackSky’s Global satellites sits on a stand that’s visible at the center of this view of the LeoStella satellite factory floor in Tukwila, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

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 images of the ground that cut through obscuring smoke and haze.

BlackSky CEO Brian O’Toole told GeekWire that

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