Planet Labs unveils more powerful Pelican imagery satellites

Earth imaging and information specialist Planet Labs on Tuesday introduced a brand new line of imagery satellites, referred to as Pelican, as the corporate prepares to go public later this yr.

The Pelican satellites are supposed to improve Planet's present constellation of 21 SkySat satellites in orbit, with launches starting in 2022.

"It's higher resolution, and having more satellites in space means that you actually end up having a higher revisit capability and [Pelican is] being designed for what our users want – which is speed and near-real time understanding about what's happening," Planet co-founder and chief technique officer Robbie Schingler advised CNBC.

An worker builds a satellite tv for pc inside the corporate's manufacturing facility.Planet

Schingler famous that the Pelican satellites will likely be smaller in measurement than the SkySat spacecraft, however "more dense" with a mass between 150 to 200 kilograms every. That makes the Pelican satellites considerably bigger than the about 120 Dove sequence of imagery satellites that Planet additionally has in orbit.

The firm in August signed a multi-year launch settlement with SpaceX, making Elon Musk's enterprise Planet's "go-to-launch provider" for its satellites via 2025. Planet has more than 600 prospects, break up between 4 sectors: civil, agriculture, protection and intelligence, and mapping.

Planet additionally introduced on Tuesday that it’s including artificial aperture radar imagery from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellites to its database, including one other supply of knowledge for its prospects. Synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, is one other more and more aggressive market amongst non-public satellite tv for pc imagery firms – particularly due to its capacity to seize photographs via clouds and at night time.

Notably, Planet is combining with particular objective acquisition firm dMY Technology Group IV, which trades on the NYSE underneath ticker DMYQ. The deal offers the area firm a $2.8 billion fairness valuation and is predicted to shut within the fourth quarter, leading to Planet itemizing on the NYSE underneath ticker PL.

"We are a data subscription business," Schingler mentioned. "Earth observation can play a huge role in getting people on a common operating picture for truth, around what's happening on the planet. We image the whole world every day."

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