Friday, June 28, 2013

Planet Labs Plans Fleet of LEO Imaging Satellites

Planet Labs, a start-up based in San Francisco, unveiled plans to launch a large fleet of Earth imaging satellites.  The company's mission is to provide imaging services on relatively short notice at an optical resolution of 3 to 5 meters, which should be clear enough for agricultural and forestry applications while not compromising personal privacy.

Planet Labs' constellation of low Earth satellites will act in unison to provide a better view of desired targets. The first two demonstration satellites, named Dove 1 and Dove 2, were launched in April 2013 and are already delivering imagery. Further launches are planned for 2014.

"Planet Labs will create an entirely new data set, with both humanitarian and commercial value,” said Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. “We've become used to having imagery of the entire Earth. What we haven't yet understood is how transformative it will be when that imagery is regularly and frequently updated."

Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV), Capricorn Investment Group, Founders Fund Angel, Data Collective, First Round Capital, and Innovation Endeavors.

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