Planet prepares to release hyperspectral satellites called Tanager

Planet prepares to launch hyperspectral satellites called Tanager

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An artist’s representation of a Tanager satellite in orbit.


PARIS– Planet is including another kind of images satellite to its line of product, the current growth of the business’s data-gathering operations.

The business called the brand-new satellites Tanager– called after a bird household, like the existing lines of Dove and Pelican satellites that it makes. But unlike those satellites, which have video cameras and sensing units catching images in the exact same variety as the human eye, the Tanager satellites will record “hyperspectral” images, which divides the light spectrum into numerous bands of light.

Planet co-founder and chief method officer Robbie Schingler, speaking with CNBC at the 2022 International Astronautical Congress, stated the business will utilize the hyperspectral satellites at first to discover methane output, stating it’s “the lowest hanging fruit” and has ramifications for service such as oil and gas, dairy farms and waste garbage dumps.

Tanager satellites will gather 420 bands of spectrum, Schingler stated, keeping in mind that identifying methane needs identifying simply 4 bands.

“We decided to build a full-range imaging spectrometer,” Schingler stated, with usages cases beyond methane to markets like “defense intelligence, like seeing disturbed earth – things like burying something or digging a tunnel.”

Planet intends to then tap consumers in sectors like farming, mining, and intelligence with the Tanager line, with Schingler stating that “hyperspectral data from space is limited” as “the best hyperspectral sensors are either super classified, or they’re in planes.”

The business is constructing the Tanager satellites with the exact same spacecraft bus– which is the primary body of a satellite– as its Pelican line, to utilize Planet’s vertical method to production. The initially 2 Tanager presentation satellites are set to release in 2023.

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