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QuickBird is a high-resolution commercial earth observation satellite, owned by DigitalGlobe and launched in 2001 as the first satellite in a constellation of three scheduled to be in orbit by 2008. QuickBird uses Ball Aerospace's Global Imaging System 2000 (BGIS 2000) that collects the fourth highest resolution commercial imagery of Earth after WorldView-1, WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 and boasts the largest image size and the greatest on-board storage capacity of any satellite.
The satellite collects panchromatic (black & white) imagery at 60-70 centimeter resolution and multispectral imagery at 2.4- and 2.8-meter resolutions. At this resolution, detail such as buildings and other infrastructure are easily visible. However, this resolution is insufficient for working with smaller objects such as a license plate on a car.
The imagery can be imported into remote sensing image processing software, as well as into GIS packages for analysis. The imagery can also be used as a backdrop for mapping applications, such as Google Earth and Google Maps. The first QuickBird was launched in November 2000, by EarthWatch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. QB-1 failed to reach planned orbit and was declared a failure.
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