Planet Labs, a San Francisco based company has developed shoebox satellites which are designed for tracking and reading the weather patterns from distant space.
These satellites are designed to work in fleets or swarms and works by constantly clicking photos and recording different statistics as they fly through a point just outside the atmosphere. Daily Beast reported that they use their onboard camera to track each and every cloud passing nearby.
The company recently launched their batch of Shoebox Satellites, on Halloween. Mike Safyan one of the founders of Planet Labs, who also serves as the launch director stated: “They are named Dove Satellites as we wanted the message to have equal importance just like the product has”.
The satellites are categorized as CubeSats due to their small size. They are equipped with only one telescope and camera, which is why they are basic devices.
These CubeSats are not equipped with any self-propulsion system which results in a relatively earlier decay of the satellites. These satellites have seen many launches every year as they burn out while re-entering the atmosphere.
A report claimed, Doves will enable the company to expand their coverage of industrial strategy and disaster response.
The dove rotates around the North Pole and the South Pole in a period of every 90 minutes and captures the report. This enables a wide coverage of many ecological risk-prone areas. Alex Bakir, the vice president of product and marketing said: “The product has hit a record on the planet’s most vulnerable and exotic places”.
Researchers use the data from Doves to study the glacial flow, their movement pattern, and speed. It also helps in identification of the cracks on the ice, according to the report.
This data is not only useful for the research of weather and climate but it also helpful for logistics companies. The shipping companies always look out for the best report of their shipping channels.
The satellites also have remote sensing which enables them to get the accurate estimation and measurement of earthly objects. Some of the uses are the measurement of crop fields to estimate the output and mapping of disaster areas. The company also uses Crowd AI, which enables them to make precise and updated maps which can be helpful in marking usable roads in a flood area, this is one of the many benefits the satellite provides.
The report stated: Doves was upgraded during the Halloween launch and was renamed as SkySats, which were equipped with higher resolution cameras. Earlier this year, the firm formed the biggest swarm ever by launching 88 satellites into the orbit. The launch had 10 shoebox satellites.