2019 Jan - WorldView 4 Satellite lost "axis of stability" - 2 yr old can't make pictures!


Quoted from DigitalGlobe Facebook account, with image:

[19 hrs]

Space is hard. We know that, and we are now reminded of how heartbreaking it can be. This morning we announced that our WorldView-4 satellite can no longer collect imagery. http://investor.maxar.com/…/Maxar-Technologies…/default.aspx

No photo description available.

### Maxar Technologies Reports Failure of its WorldView-4 Imaging Satellite
January 07, 2019
From the Forum Sept 2016 # Meet our new WorldView-4 satellite


These images were part of the excitement prior to launch:

After launch delays, this was the “baby” waiting to be “born”-
@AKE235 and @Pastor_Ruth would both be very sad to hear that WV4 “lost functionality”. Nice CubeSat ‘kite’ flying around earth now. Let’s hope the Engineers can figure out how to restore its axis of stability (whatever that means).


It means it has rotated or is rotating and they can’t get it to point where they need it to be pointing. Bummer!


Some man was taken off life support because drs thought he was dead. The man woke up, and has complete “functionality”. Maybe DG will tap something or WV4 will feel a jostle, and “wake up” with it’s axis back. WV4 is a toddler–anything is possible!


Sad news if the satellite is, indeed, dead.

If it can’t be revived, I wonder what will happen to it? I presume that there are few, if any, of us who would be in favour of leaving it in orbit as “space junk”. Aside from anything else it would then be taking up orbital space which could not be used by any other satellite. I hope DG will be able to tell us in due course what arrangements there are for recovering the satellite.


The investor link I posted says, “Efforts are ongoing in conjunction with its suppliers in an attempt to restore satellite functionality, but thus far these efforts have been unsuccessful. At this time, Maxar believes that WorldView-4 will likely not be recoverable and will no longer produce usable imagery. Maxar operations has put the WorldView-4 satellite in a safe configuration and will continue to monitor the satellite’s location and health. The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin and the CMGs were provided by Honeywell.”


Maybe?.. the loss of function of this satellite explains why we have two campaigns running?

2019 Present and Future? Campaigns

This information certainly might explain a lot of the TN situation … no images, not much to do…

Fortunately, they usually design those ‘birds’ with multiple redundancy protections… losing all at once would be very rare.

Edit: Ah… I thought @cageycat was psychic… at first… since she was replying when I started typing mine…
Just coincidence… but thanks for the additional information… I still hope it gets resolved… and remember that they have thought the same about other satellites that are now operational currently, and those were newer than WV4.


WV4 failure has nothing to do with the current campaigns in Tomnod.

The bigger issue for Maxar / DigitalGlobe is collecting imagery that is under contract to gov, companies, and any other entities. DG still has the family of satellites, but WV4 was to be the Queen of image collection.


I’m not sure why this was moved to here, considering it was a discussion on current campaigns…?


Yes, I’m the Resident Psychic Cat or RPC.

DG has other satellites, but WV4 was supposed to be the highest techno wonder in satellite imagining. Maxar has it insured, but still. So many were excited over WV4 and its capabilities.


The failure of WV4 has nothing to do with us getting campaigns.


just wondering …why couldn’t we talk about the possibilities?


I don’t understand your question. Can you reword it and I’ll try to answer. I’m still sick, so my brain might be muddled today.

The thing about WV4 is it was always intended to deliver on time-sensitive, high-security, and multi-million dollar contracts, because of that satellite’s capabilities. So it has nearly nothing to do with Tomnod, unless Tn staff pulled recent-old WV4 imagery for “old” or “prior” comparisons…

# Colorado aerospace firm doesn’t expect to recover failed satellite that generated $85M in 2018

DG has all the other satellites which would more likely be used for Tn projects, like has always been the case… List satellites


They used to use WV1, WV2, or WV3 for Tn projects, but even that changed in the last couple years, to more of archival images, depending on what entity requested the campaign and what type of images the entity required. Example: edu for seals



I just wondered why it was not left in the discussion about Present and Future Campaigns rather than moved to the World View 4 Satellite lost…my post was about a discussion. You had already posted about the loss of the satellite.


Already answered. WV4 has nothing to do with our campaigns.


Actually Terri, I think we had more campaigns running before WorldView4 was launched.

We even had WV-3 watching the wildfire during the launch of WV-4 :smiley:

Come to think of it, campaigns started to diminish after that too :thinking: and as did members on the forum :disappointed_relieved:


This was a interesting read on the history of DG satellites and the Worldview 4.



The above article shows where the WV-4 was built. Now I know what that huge empty warehouse about 2 miles (3.2 km) from my home was working on! I already knew that a Lockheed Martin warehouse was nearby, but couldn’t figure out what was going on there. The facility is huge, maybe big enough to hold several planes. It is surround by a low fence with concertina wire. Half the windows on the building are broken, few cars are in the lot, and there are piles of rusting scrap metal lying about. It looks like it’s abandoned except for the concertina fencing. Every time I drove by, I liked to imagine what was going on there (x-files type projects?), nope, just the WV-4 :grin:.


Amazing that was so close to you! … It would have to be huge to hold the WV-4. Right now it does not sound like it will be recoverable.