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Tracking the health of the planet in real time with satellites.

© Marie Fontaine -

Planet Labs is an observation satellite company based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 2010, it has quickly emerged as a leading provider of Earth observation data.

It announced in 2021 the launch of Pelican, its new observation satellites constellation, with a fleet of thirty-two satellites.

They will provide real-time and more accurate monitoring of weather events and natural disasters on a global scale.

Credit: Planet Labs

The company has already deployed more than 200 satellites in orbit, providing high-resolution images of the Earth's surface to customers around the world.

Their new satellite constellation will offer even higher resolution and greater coverage capacity than their current "Doves" satellites.

They are equipped with high-performance sensors and can collect color, infrared and radar images, allowing them to provide a complete view of the Earth from all angles.

Lago San Martín, Santa Cruz, Argentina - Credit: Planet Labs
Lago San Martín, Santa Cruz, Argentina - Credit: Planet Labs

The launch of Pelican marks an important step in Planet Labs' mission to more effectively monitor the ongoing effects of climate change and natural disasters. This includes the development of its online data platform called Orbital Insight, which allows users to view and analyze images collected by its satellites.

The fleet's satellites will monitor coastal areas, forest regions and areas at risk of drought, as well as extreme weather events such as storms and floods. The data collected by the satellites can then be used to help governments, NGOs and businesses make informed decisions and manage crisis responses.

Ambae Volcano, Vanuatu - Credit: Planet Labs
Ambae Volcano, Vanuatu - Credit: Planet Labs

Planet Labs co-founder Will Marshall said, "Our goal is to provide superior Earth monitoring to help understand environmental challenges and the effects of climate change. The Pelican constellation is an important step forward in achieving this goal by enabling more accurate and frequent monitoring of the Earth."

Full launch of Pelican is scheduled for 2023.

With the increased accuracy and frequency of real-time data on environmental conditions, Planet Labs hopes to help advance understanding of environmental challenges and support efforts to address them.


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