Our Constellation

Soaring Through Space and Time

Planet embodies the philosophy of agile aerospace, a concept that advocates for the use of low-cost, lean electronics to innovate more rapidly in the fields of aerospace and aviation.

In six years, Planet has successfully deployed 351 satellites—10 times that of any competitor. Planet has over 100 satellites in orbit collecting over 250 million square kilometers of imagery daily, with an unprecedented dataset of on average 1,200 images of every location on Earth’s landmass.

Take a journey through our constellation of satellites, all of which are constantly improving in capability—and giving humanity a new way to look at our Earth with each new day.

The globe below shows our satellites—represented by the white circles—continuously rotating around the Earth.

Loading...

To date, Planet has flown on 26 successful launches and deployed over 351 satellites. While the number of satellites in orbit changes because we are continuously launching newer, improved satellites and deorbiting previous models, we have roughly 100+ satellites in orbit today— the largest constellation of Earth imaging satellites in history.

Constellations

Planet currently operates two constellations. The satellites that comprise each constellation have unique spatial, temporal, and radiometric resolutions, allowing us to capture Earth’s activities from multiple perspectives and dimensions. Our Dove satellites are small—only 10x10x30 centimeters in size—which allow us to launch for less cost, more often.

Planet acquired the RapidEye constellation in 2015, giving us one of the largest archives of 5 meter resolution imagery and access to a global customer base. After operating for 11 years, outperforming its design life, the RapidEye constellation will be retired in March 2020.

When taken together, this “symphony” of data streams gives Planet an unprecedented global data set

Planet has three distinct constellations of satellites: Doves, SkySats, and RapidEye.

Doves are about the size of a shoebox and weigh approximately five kilograms, which is many orders of magnitude smaller than traditional satellites.

Doves are typically launched into space in large batches, what we call “flocks.” The oldest Doves that are still imaging the Earth were launched into space in December 2015 aboard the Atlas V.

San Francisco, California • September 11, 2019
Amity Point, Queensland, Australia • August 21, 2019
Antelope Valley, California • April 13, 2019

The RapidEye constellation was launched into space in 2008 – seven years before the first Dove flock went up. Each RapidEye satellite is about the size and weight of a mini refrigerator, and like the Doves, captures imagery in a line-scanner fashion.

Over their lifetime, the RapidEye satellites amassed one of the largest archives of 5-meter resolution imagery ever. The constellation will be retired in March 2020.

Richat Structure, Mauritania • January 20, 2019
Alviso Salt Ponds, San Jose, California • June 28, 2014
Wildfire Burn Scar, Toledo, Spain • July 1, 2019

The SkySat constellation is comprised of 15 satellites. SkySats can be tasked to image any point on Earth in high resolution (.72 centimeters) and at sub-daily frequency. They can also capture stereo imagery and video footage for up to 90 seconds.

SkySats, unlike Doves, have a propulsion system that allows Planet to maintain them at a desired altitude and optimize global coverage. Take a look at this example of Monte Fitz Roy in Patagonia.

Black Rock City, Nevada • August 25, 2019
Porto, Portugal • May 26, 2019
Troll Research Station, Antarctica • February 26, 2018

The fleet of Doves line-scan the Earth, with individual scenes sized at ~24 x 7 kilometers. Next-Generation Planetscope imagery has ~2x the footprint. The ground footprint of each SkySat image covers around 70 square kilometers.

In a single scene, a Dove can image an entire city.

Simultaneously, SkySats can be tasked to focus on the areas of greatest interest.

Together, Planet Constellations work to increase our understanding of the world and improve life on Earth.

Together, Planet Constellations work to increase our understanding of the world and improve life on Earth.


Acknowledgments

Writing and Editing: Jenna Mukuno, Krissy Eliot

Data Visualization: Nadieh Bremer, Leanne Abraham, Orestis Herodotou