Planet prepares to launch hyperspectral satellites known as Tanager

PARIS — Planet is including one other kind of images satellite tv for pc to its product line, the most recent enlargement of the corporate’s data-gathering operations.

The corporate named the brand new satellites Tanager — named after a hen household, like the prevailing strains of Dove and Pelican satellites that it manufactures. However in contrast to these satellites, which have cameras and sensors capturing photographs in the identical vary because the human eye, the Tanager satellites will seize “hyperspectral” imagery, which divides the sunshine spectrum into tons of of bands of sunshine.

Planet co-founder and chief technique officer Robbie Schingler, chatting with CNBC on the 2022 Worldwide Astronautical Congress, stated the corporate will use the hyperspectral satellites initially to detect methane output, saying it is “the bottom hanging fruit” and has implications for enterprise similar to oil and fuel, dairy farms and waste landfills.

Tanager satellites will gather 420 bands of spectrum, Schingler stated, noting that detecting methane requires detecting simply 4 bands.

“We determined to construct a full-range imaging spectrometer,” Schingler stated, with makes use of instances past methane to markets like “protection intelligence, like seeing disturbed earth – issues like burying one thing or digging a tunnel.”

Planet goals to then faucet prospects in sectors like agriculture, mining, and intelligence with the Tanager line, with Schingler saying that “hyperspectral information from house is proscribed” as “the perfect hyperspectral sensors are both tremendous categorized, or they’re in planes.”

The corporate is constructing the Tanager satellites with the identical spacecraft bus – which is the principle physique of a satellite tv for pc – as its Pelican line, to leverage Planet’s vertical method to manufacturing. The primary two Tanager demonstration satellites are set to launch in 2023.

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