The Pelican Earth-imaging constellation is shown by Planet

Planet debuted Pelican Earth-imaging satellites with “extremely high resolution” and aims to integrate SAR (synthetic-aperture radar) into the Planet Fusion Monitoring data stream. The announcements were made on October 12 at the opening of Planet Explore 2021, an event for Planet’s clients, partners, developers, as well as data product end consumers. Officials from the company refused to respond to the resolution of the Pelican satellites, that are set to launch in 2022.

Pelicans may be improved indefinitely since they are “planned, created, and made” by Planet, just as Dove cubesats, that are also manufactured in-house, according to Robbie Schingler, Planet’s chief strategy officer. Doves have been generated by the planet for 18 generations. Maxar Technologies, on the other hand, built Planet SkySats, which have a 50-centimeter-per-pixel resolution and a daily revisit rate of up to ten times. In 2020, Planet will have completed its constellation of exactly 21 SkySats.

“Pelican considerably enhances Planet’s product line by providing the best temporal resolution and revisit durations that we have ever given, while dramatically shortening the time between tasking and picture receipt,” said James Mason, who works as the Planet’s senior vice president in charge of the space systems, in a statement. “In an increasingly fast-changing and uncertain environment, this kind of precise information on demand is going to be a game-changer for our clients who must make immediate, crucial decisions on a daily basis.”

The extent of the projected Pelican constellation is being kept a secret by Planet executives, who believe it will be primarily determined by the market demand. “We can put additional satellites in space if and when the industry is there, and we possess the ground stations and ground-processing capability to handle more and more data,” Schingler added.

Planet Fusion Monitoring is a cloud-free data source that combines imagery from the flock of exactly 180 Doves with the imagery from European Copernicus Sentinel 2, NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, as well as the United States Geological Survey-NASA Landsat.

Sentinel 1 SAR data, that is obtainable at night as well as through clouds, will now be included in Planet Fusion Monitoring. Kevin Weil, Planet President stated in a statement, “By including SAR into the daily Fusion monitoring solution, we ensure direct readings regardless of cloud cover, offering more insights to our clients to dependably power their decisions.”

Planet is putting together an “analytics-ready data pipeline,” according to Schingler. “We’re combining the best pixels available to provide customers with the precise information they require.” Planet engineers have been working on two new sensors for the past two years. One example is the hyperspectral sensor used by Carbon Mapper satellites to locate, quantify, and monitor carbon dioxide and methane sources. The second sensor is Pelican’s.

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