Rendering of a Pelican Satellite. Credit: Planet
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Our Next-Generation Satellite Constellation Pelican Is Expected to Deliver Very-High-Resolution and Rapid-Revisit Capabilities


It’s another exciting day at Planet as we unveil details about our next-generation satellite constellation Pelican, designed to efficiently capture brief and rapidly changing events as they unfold! 

The Pelican constellation was designed in-house and is expected to be built at our manufacturing facility in San Francisco. The advancements of this brand new constellation represent a leap forward in capabilities for our customers – from higher revisit and higher spatial resolution, to faster data access and delivery. 

“We are seeing strong and growing demand from multiple market segments for our high resolution products today. We have designed our next generation ‘Pelican’ fleet to meet the evolving needs of customers who want real-time information about global events as they unfold – from floods and wildfires to political conflicts and threats to human rights. Pelican’s rapid response and higher resolution will do exactly that,” said Planet Co-Founder and CEO Will Marshall. 

Pelican is expected to begin launching early next year and to consist of the following specifications:

  • Up to 32 new tasking satellites, which will replenish and improve upon the capabilities of our existing 21 SkySats. 
  • Increased rapid revisit, as customers are expected to be able to task images of the same location up to 12 times per day, and will even have 30 opportunities in mid latitudes. 
  • Reduced latency for downloading data, creating shorter time loops between tasking and receiving data across the world.
  • Higher resolution capabilities with up to 30 cm resolution imagery

This next-generation constellation is expected to monitor patterns of life, like shifting political borders and changing coastlines, and help characterize drivers of environmental change that are threatening protected ecosystems. We hope these exciting product advancements will provide our customers across global industries and governments with the ability to respond to global events with more speed and better informed insights. With such revisit capacity, our users should be able to capture transitory events occuring in one location, increasing their likelihood of obtaining a high quality image even during unpredictable or cloudy weather. These new rapid and accurate insights will be particularly valuable for monitoring regions with fleeting events, like unstable conflict zones or areas vulnerable to storms and fires that spread rapidly over space and time.

We are currently seeing strong and growing demand from multiple market segments for real-time data from our high-resolution products, including the defense sector for security intelligence, civil government for disaster response, and software companies for mapping platforms. Pelican was designed to meet these growing needs as a state-of-the-art rapid revisit and very high resolution satellite system, delivering information faster and more accurately. 

Our global customers are able to use both of our satellite system products – the PlanetScope monitoring and SkySat tasking – in combination, to execute tip and cue strategies and design automated alert systems. Thus, we designed Pelican to leverage and advance on that interoperability so we can continue to pioneer unique and comprehensive datasets to answer our customers’ questions. Combined with our full suite of daily, global monitoring data and analytics solutions, we believe Pelican will help drive critical decision-making for aid organizations, businesses, international NGOs, and governments. 

Forward-looking Statements 

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this blog are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, the Company’s ability to successfully design, build, launch and deploy, operate and market new products and satellites and the Company’s ability to realize any of the potential benefits from product and satellite launches, either as designed, within the expected time frame, in a cost-effective manner, or at all. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to them. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future events and results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to: the Company’s ability to obtain and maintain required licenses and approvals from regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a timely fashion, or at all; whether the Company will be able to successfully build, launch and deploy or operate its satellites, including new satellites either as designed, in a timely fashion or at all;  the Company’s ability to develop and release product and service enhancements to respond to rapid technological change, or to develop new designs and technologies for its satellites, in a timely and cost-effective manner; whether the Company will be able to continue to invest in scaling its sales organization, expanding its software engineering (including its ability to integrate new satellite capabilities) and marketing capabilities; whether the Company will be able to accurately predict and capture market opportunity; whether current customers or prospective customers adopt the Company’s platform or new products; the Company’s ability realize any of the potential benefits from new products and satellites, as well as strategic partnerships and customer collaborations; and the risk factors and other disclosures about the Company and its business included in the Company’s periodic reports, proxy statements, and other disclosure materials filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which are available online at, and on the Company’s website at All forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date such statements are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.