Photometric Reconstruction through a Flock of Dove Cubesats

While Planet’s constellation of satellites currently operates in sun-synchronous orbit, the first generations of Doves were deployed out of the International Space Station (ISS) and therefore do not obey such an orbit. Their configuration in the ISS orbit samples at different local times within the mid-latitudes, and consequently, it is in theory possible to exploit photometric techniques and extract highly detailed topographic information.

In this study, Bas Altena and team demonstrate and explore photometry based on Planet cubesat images for Tyndall glacier at the Southern Patagonian icefield, and Zhadang glacier situated on the Tibetan plateau. Read the full paper, published for the SPEC3D ISPRS Conference, here.


Altena et al. explored photogrammetry and photometric stereo to retrieve digital elevation models over the Zhadang glacier.