NASA expands Planet data access
On July 22, San Francisco, CA-based Planet announced it has expanded its contract with the NASA Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program to provide access to PlanetScope imagery for scientific research use for all U.S. Federal Civilian researchers and National Science Foundation funded researchers, including their contractors and grantees – roughly 280,000 eligible users. This expands access on the existing contract that currently supports NASA and NASA funded researchers.
Since Planet’s first contract with NASA in 2019, scientists have leveraged Planet imagery for a variety of research projects focused on climate change, biodiversity loss, and complex sustainability problems. Planet is eager to see what projects this expanded pool of researchers will pursue, as it will enable more strategic information sharing across research groups and facilitate greater scientific use, the company said. Earlier this month, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV, a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company.
Earth is in the midst of a climate and biodiversity crisis—including rapidly changing forests, high-risk agricultural practices, and melting polar ecosystems—caused by widespread and endless habitat destruction, and a global economy still reeling from the worst pandemic in a century.
Planet’s high-cadence and high-resolution data allows researchers and scientists across the globe to better understand and monitor our dynamic planet. In just the first half of 2021, researchers utilizing Planet imagery via NASA CSDA have monitored the melting summer ice in Greenland, evaluated corn and soybean yields at the sub-field scale, mapped snow-covered areas via machine learning, and investigated the causes behind the massive Chamoli landslide in India.
“Responding to today’s climate crisis and the loss of biological diversity is urgently important, and the Earth observation community plays a critical role,” said Planet co-founder and CSO, Robbie Schingler. “It is imperative that researchers have access to the best tools that allow them to gain a deeper understanding of our changing planet. We are excited to deliver Planet’s high cadence data into the hands of even more users in this research community so they can highlight facts, discover trends, and prototype new solutions that accelerate scientific understanding to power climate action.”