Planet Launches 48 More Satellites

On July 14, 2017, satellite imaging company Planet launched another 48 of their small, low resolution, satellites they call ‘Doves’ into orbit. They were launched on a Soyuz rocket together with a number of other satellites. This follows a record launch of 88 Doves back in February. In addition, earlier this year they acquired Google’s Terra Bella and Rapid Eye in 2015. If our count is correct they now have 192 Doves, 5 Rapid Eye satellites and 7 SkySat satellites for a total of 204.

Planet’s large fleet means they have very good coverage, being able to image most parts of the world multiple times per day. However, the small size of the satellites means the resolutions they offer are not as good as some of the other players in the imaging business. See this post for a summary of satellite resolutions. Also keep in mind that Google Earth features aerial imagery in some locations which is higher resolution than any satellite can provide.

The Terra Bella sale announcement states that Google will purchase imagery from Planet in a multiyear contract. Whether we will see any Planet imagery in Google Earth, however, remains to be seen. It would certainly be nice to see the global mosaic used when zoomed out updated to a higher resolution and clearer image (less cloud and ice cover).

The post Planet Launches 48 More Satellites appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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