Transparency as we have never known—giving us the power to see reliably and make decisions based on more rigorous, more complete information—is within our reach.

Maxar’s soon-to-launch WorldView Legion satellites represent the next stage in increasing transparency on a global scale, using the near real-time information that we can access from space. When integrated with other data sources, including ground-based intelligence or pattern recognition driven by machine learning, space-based imagery produces Earth Intelligence—actionable insight about our changing planet.

Reliable Earth Intelligence provides leaders in government, business, global health and other arenas ways to understand and navigate complex questions using an evolving portfolio of imagery products, mapping tools and analytic capabilities. One critical input for increased transparency and Earth Intelligence is timely, accurate satellite imagery. For decades, governments, large commercial enterprises and major location-based services or mapping applications have relied on Maxar for satellite imagery and derived intelligence.

It starts where satellites are made

Maxar’s expertise starts on the clean room floor in its factories, where Maxar has built spacecraft and robotics for more than 60 years. The missions of the 90-plus Maxar-built spacecraft currently on orbit range from communications for companies such as SiriusXM and DirecTV to Earth observation satellites for gathering information about environmental and human activity around the globe.

Maxar’s newest deployment is WorldView Legion, a fleet of next-generation imaging satellites set to launch this year. WorldView Legion will dramatically increase the volume of rich data over critical areas around the world, enabling more accurate, comprehensive and timely analysis of on-ground conditions.

Slated to include six satellites initially, WorldView Legion will image the Earth’s most active areas more frequently and with greater clarity and accuracy than ever before. Combined with Maxar’s existing satellites, WorldView Legion will give customers the ability to see some areas up to 15 times a day. Each Legion satellite will collect imagery covering approximately 700,000 square kilometers—about the size of Texas—every day.

The images captured by WorldView Legion’s satellites will show an object’s true location on the ground within 5 meters, compared with the 25 or 100 meters other satellite image sources can guarantee. This positional accuracy is essential for applications like self-driving vehicles, for which 1 meter accuracy is necessary to localize the position of a car within a lane of a road.

The image resolution possible with WorldView Legion will show a level of detail that has not been possible before. For instance, users looking at an image of a parking lot will be able to distinguish among a sedan, an SUV, a motorcycle and a truck.

WorldView Legion will provide coverage from sunup to sundown and reduce the windows between collects, allowing for more persistent monitoring. For Maxar customers, this coverage offers more frequent monitoring to support emergency response, maritime surveillance, infrastructure and other remote monitoring needs over critical areas. The right balance of currency (how recently the image was taken), resolution (the level of detail the image holds) and coverage (the amount of area the satellite collects) enables organizations to make critical, time-sensitive decisions that are based in fact.

Building the future of Earth Intelligence

Improvements in size, weight and power give WorldView Legion maximum cost efficiency when compared with other satellites currently in use. WorldView Legion is cheaper to build and more powerful, leading to better data and a higher ROI for those using the data. The initial capital outlay is also lower, with WorldView Legion’s six satellites costing $600 million in total, compared with the $800 million price tag to build and launch Maxar’s most recent single satellite.

The WorldView Legion satellites are built on a proprietary platform that allows flexible design and customizable components suited to various missions.

Comprehensive real-time information and frequent monitoring over key areas provide significantly more reliable change detection. This better understanding of ground conditions enhances support for critical applications, such as emergency response, mission planning and infrastructure monitoring. The higher the quality and timeliness of satellite data input, the more reliable and relevant the output created by sophisticated, computer-generated object identification or pattern recognition algorithms.

For example, computer vision algorithms and machine learning can detect new construction within an image, automate the production of maps and identify all the roads, buildings and points of interest quickly and accurately. By leveraging WorldView Legion in addition to its existing constellation and capabilities, Maxar enhances customers’ abilities to evaluate, prioritize and respond faster than ever.

Maxar has decades of experience providing mission partners with indispensable geospatial intelligence created with cutting-edging technologies. WorldView Legion will shape the next evolution of gathering reliable intelligence about Earth using innovative infrastructure in space.

Learn more about how Maxar and WorldView Legion are furthering humanity’s pursuit of greater understanding at maxar.com/worldview-legion.