PlanetScope imagery shows the tongue of the Kista Dan Glacier in Eastern Greenland on May 3, 2021. © 2021, Planet Labs PBC. All Rights Reserved.
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Leading-Edge Science Using Planet Data Presented at AGU 2021


It’s that time of year again: Nearly 30,000 geoscientists from around the world gather every December for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest of its kind. Planet is always excited to see what innovative science applications researchers have discovered using our data! This year, 70 abstracts were submitted from researchers accessing data through pathways such as our Education and Research program, the NASA Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program, and Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI). The conference will run as a hybrid virtual and in-person event this year from December 13 through 17.

Some of the highlights of presentations this year featuring Planet data:

  • The combined high spatial and temporal resolution of PlanetScope provides the unprecedented ability to perform phenological analysis of ecosystems at the individual tree level from orbit. Yasmin Fitts and colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and GET Géosciences Environnement Toulouse did such an analysis across the Sahel in West Africa.
  • A team led by Hannah Friedrich at the University of Arizona used sensor fusion across PlanetScope, Landsat, Sentinel-2, and MODIS, along with radar and passive microwave data, to perform automated flood mapping via machine learning.
  • Utilizing PlanetScope Basemaps via the NICI program, Nyein Soe Thwal of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and colleagues developed a transfer learning approach for automated mapping sugarcane in Thailand—the world’s second largest exporter of the resource.
  • Sarah Wegmueller of the University of Wisconsin Madison is giving an invited talk on a time-series-based early detection and monitoring system that uses PlanetScope and Sentinel-2 satellite imagery to map abnormal mortality in forests.
  • Anders Bjork of University of Copenhagen will discuss mapping over new land being exposed as the Greenland ice sheet retreats due to climate change.
  • Planet is convening an entire session on data fusion for Earth observation science.

Additionally, a few Planeteers will be presenting at the conference:

  • I’ll be giving an invited talk about how U.S. federally-funded researchers can access Planet data through NASA’s Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program.
  • Rasmus Houborg, Principal Geospatial Fusion Engineer, will be presenting a poster on Planet Fusion monitoring.
  • Our exciting recently-announced Carbon Mapper project will be presented by Sara Shivers, Product Manager, Hyperspectral Imaging.
  • Solutions Architect Samapriya Roy will be discussing details of the NICFI program.

You can view the entire scientific program for the AGU Fall Meeting online. Be sure to check out the talks and/or posters mentioned here, and browse the schedule for more amazing science in the works that will help us better understand our ever-evolving Earth.