These devices, called Doves, will flock with already-orbiting instruments to capture pictures of the Earth. They’re tiny, weighing less than 11 pounds. But with their powers combined, they can track much more of the Earth than massive satellites from military-industrial juggernauts like DigitalGlobe. Even more, Planet just this month purchased another mini-sat company, Terra Bella, from Google, to amp up its space surveillance. And that means it can sell more data—data perhaps about where you live or work or play—for more money.
Planet will launch 88 satellites, which will be the largest fleet of satellites to be launched in history. The Dove satellites, collectively known as Flock 3p, will ride aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. They will head to a morning crossing time, sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) at an approximate altitude of 500 kilometres (310 mi).
Doves form a satellite constellation that provides a complete image of Earth at 3-5 meter optical resolution and open data access.