Planet - Technical References

A technical reference of papers, presentations and documents from the remote-sensing satellite company Planet.



Planet (formerly Planet Labs) is a commercial Earth imaging company based out of San Francisco. Formed in 2010 by three ex-NASA employees, Planet currently operates over 200 small satellites in low Earth orbit and has grown to be one of the biggest names in the “New Space” industry.

For a good explanation of what they do, check out their video below.


I’ve been following their work for a while now, reading articles, watching videos of their satellite deployments, and just learning more about the work they do. This post isn’t a summary of all of that research, although I plan on writing more articles on Planet and the New Space industry, so stay tuned.

Instead, this post focuses specifically on compiling publicly available technical information that Planet has published over the years. I’ve found that there’s a lot of information out there in conference papers, presentations, company documentation, and even FCC filings. And to the extent that documentation is available from companies/spacecraft that Planet has acquired (i.e. Skybox Imaging/Terra Bella’s SkySat and BlackBridge’s RapidEye satellites), that has been included as well.

So this post is intended primarily to be a technical reference for anyone interested in the technical details of how a company builds and operates a constellation of small Earth imaging satellites. It will be updated periodically as I come across more information available online.



Planet Documentation

FCC Filings