Planet Satellite Imagery
Updated: Aug 28
As of July 2023, Planet Labs operated a diverse constellation of satellites designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date Earth observation capabilities. Their satellite fleet consisted of three main types of satellites: Dove satellites, SkySat satellites, and RapidEye satellites. The upcoming Pelican constellation boasts a next-generation technology that can capture images with a resolution of up to 30 cm. This constellation is designed to have an increased revisit rate, offering customers 12 opportunities to capture images per day across most of the Earth and up to 30 opportunities in mid-latitudes.
Pelican Satellite Constellation
The Pelican satellite constellation was unveiled during a conference on October 12, 2021, by Planet Labs. The Pelican satellites, a next-generation flock of satellites providing high-resolution satellite imagery with a spatial resolution of 30cm will begin launching by 2023, and be fully operational by 2025 with 32 Satellite sensors. The Pelican satellites will be produced in-house and will be designed and upgraded similarly to the SkySat satellite constellation which contains 21 satellites. They will provide a Fusion product including SAR data to support a variety of mapping applications for agriculture, humanitarian, and environmental monitoring for deforestation, urban development, and natural disaster relief.
Dove Satellites Constellation
Dove satellites are small CubeSats, each weighing around 4 kilograms and with dimensions of approximately 10 x 10 x 30 centimeters. They are equipped with high-resolution imaging sensors capable of capturing images in visible and near-infrared spectral bands. The large number of Dove satellites in the constellation enables rapid revisits to the same location on Earth, allowing for daily monitoring capabilities.
Dove satellites had a resolution of approximately 3-4 meters per pixel in the panchromatic band and 10 meters per pixel in the multispectral bands.
SkySat Satellites Constellation
SkySat satellites are larger and more capable than Dove satellites, with each satellite weighing around 120 kilograms. They are equipped with high-resolution optical imaging sensors, providing sub-meter resolution imagery. SkySat satellites are known for their ability to capture high-definition video footage, making them suitable for real-time monitoring applications.
SkySat satellites are capable of sub-meter resolution, with the exact resolution varying between 50 centimeters to 80 centimeters per pixel in the panchromatic band and around 2 meters per pixel in the multispectral bands.
RapidEye Satellites Constellation
Planet Labs acquired the RapidEye satellite constellation from BlackBridge (formerly RapidEye AG) in 2015. RapidEye satellites were medium-sized Earth observation satellites equipped with multispectral sensors. These satellites were designed for agricultural monitoring, land-use classification, and environmental applications.
RapidEye satellites had a resolution of about 5 meters per pixel in the panchromatic band and 20 meters per pixel in the multispectral bands.
Planet Satellite Imagery Use-cases
Planet's satellite imagery is used in a wide range of industries and fields, including:
Agriculture: Monitoring crop health, detecting pests, and optimizing irrigation.
Forestry: Assessing deforestation, tracking forest health, and planning sustainable forestry practices.
Environmental Monitoring: Tracking changes in land use, monitoring natural disasters (e.g., wildfires, floods, and hurricanes), and studying environmental impacts.
Urban Planning: Mapping urban growth, infrastructure development, and monitoring city expansion.
Disaster Response: Providing up-to-date imagery for assessing and responding to natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
Infrastructure Monitoring: Inspecting critical infrastructure like roads, bridges, and pipelines for maintenance and damage assessment.
Maritime Monitoring: Tracking vessels, monitoring maritime activity, and detecting illegal fishing.
One of the key advantages of Planet's satellite imagery is its frequent revisit rate, meaning that their satellites pass over the same location on Earth multiple times per day. This allows for near real-time monitoring and quick response to dynamic events and changes on the ground
For more information about high-resolution satellite imagery, please feel free to reach us at:
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