Solving environmental challenges with satellite imagery
Responsible and ethical earth imaging can help track and quickly implement solutions to some of the more distressing problems our planet faces. Satellite imaging can help assess natural disasters, provide emergency relief, and monitor social problems on the global scale.
Data Planet Labs calls their array of 28 satellites Flock 1, and this flock of Doves constitutes the world s largest collection of earth-imaging satellites. The concept behind Planet Labs Doves is to deliver information on the ever-changing world to organizations that need the updated imagery, especially those that can use it to lead change and make a difference. Governing the use of a constant stream of data is Planet Labs Code of Ethics.
Commercial customers use the Doves’ output through a range of tools, taking advantage of Planet Labs’ automatic data pipeline of regularly refreshed imagery. These images work to a resolution of 3–5 metres, and are produced by satellites that are no larger than a shoebox. The Doves are 95% cheaper than traditional satellites, and Planet Labs is currently enhancing its capabilities with a number of corporate acquisitions, like RapidEye, through which it has acquired an archive of six years of global imagery. Governing the use of a constant stream of data is Planet Labs’ Code of Ethics. The company maintains that imagery it produces will be used responsibly, by itself and its clients, and – in a very forward-looking statement – that the Doves will not hasten the problem of space debris. The company also operates an Artist In Residence programme, to incorporate original art within its satellites.