Home / Technology and Science / Inside Planet Labs’ new satellite manufacturing site – TechCrunch

Inside Planet Labs’ new satellite manufacturing site – TechCrunch

Satellite imaging and analytics corporate Planet is taking the wraps off its new manufacturing area in San Francisco. Founded by way of ex-NASA workers, Planet is leveraging probably the most $183 million in investment it’s accrued to enlarge. In the basement of a nondescript place of work development in the midst of Harrison boulevard in San Francisco, Planet is difficult at paintings development low-orbit satellites that take pictures of our converting planet, and now the aerospace imaging corporate more space to take action, claiming that the new facility is probably the most prolific satellite manufacturing spot on the earth. 

Inside the new 27,000 sq. foot manufacturing site are satellite development stations the place Planet engineers piece in combination “doves,” because the machines are known as internally. The new site is six instances the dimensions in their outdated manufacturing unit, and with that new area Planet claims its engineers will produce as much as 40 satellites/week. Fluorescent panels light up the commercial paintings stations, and the small satellites sit down plugged into their “dove nests.”

Planet says their satellites may also be constructed the usage of best 10 gear

The means Planet builds satellites isn’t like how NASA or Lockheed Martin does. Planet operates off the concept as a substitute of establishing huge, bulky machines that sit down in area taking pictures with old-fashioned generation and outdated sensors, many smaller satellites with a 1-Three yr lifespan can get the process achieved sooner and supply higher pictures of the Earth’s floor. With the new site, Planet will convey all sides of spacecraft manufacturing – from R&D to manufacturing to trying out – underneath one roof.

So what precisely do those satellites do? Each satellite can take 2 pictures in step with 2d, and Planet’s techniques then paintings to classify pictures as water, coral, rivers, roads, infrastructure and forests. 

Doves within the dove nest

Planet’s philosophy is that “you can’t fix what you can’t see.” Partners within the protection, humanities and agriculture sectors are the usage of knowledge from Planet’s satellite fleet for initiatives like classifying deforestation in Brazil and detecting city trade in Tanzania. The satellites derive pictures from lesser traveled portions of the planet. The imaging techniques have amassed knowledge at the destruction of roads in Syria, or even lately detected the unexpected look of a chemical lab in North Korea. One spouse is the usage of Planet knowledge to measure coral reef destruction in Australia. 

In the previous, Planet has labored with release companions like SpaceX. However this primary fleet of satellites manufactured within the new facility shall be shipped out to India for launch on the PSLV rocket next month. In 4 years, Planet has introduced 298 satellites, 150 of which can be lately in orbit gathering over 300M sq. kilometers of images day-to-day. 

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