Thursday, January 16, 2014

Miniature imaging constellations - everyone's eyes in the sky

Planet Labs' breakthrough invention - a global constellation of imaging satellites the size of bread loaves - is almost in operation.  The 28 "Flock 1" Dove satellites are on board the International Space Station (ISS) and ready to be kicked overboard. With a revisit time of a few hours, the satellites will deliver on-demand imagery with a resolution of 3 to 5 meters: the kind of capability once restricted to billion-dollar intelligence satellites, now available to everyone worldwide.  That's a little dizzying.  SkyBox Imaging will soon follow with a constellation of larger microsatellites that will bring the imagery commercially available on a similar basis down under 1 meter. (In other words, you can't read the license plate, but you could target the car.)  It also offers video on demand: in fact, its site has posted the first such privately-taken video. 
Skybox "First HD Video from Space": awesome.


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