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PlanetScope and SkySat data familiarisation phase for the Third Party Missions programme

04 September 2018

ESA and Planet are pleased to announce the opportunity to freely access, up to the end of the year, PlanetScope and SkySat data over three European demonstration sites: Demmin, Wilhelmshaven and Berlin.

In the framework of ESA's Earthnet programme, the possibility of integrating new Third Party Missions (TPM) is assessed.

ESA is promoting this opportunity as a data familiarisation phase before the potential formal integration of PlanetScope and SkySat into the Third Party Missions programme.

Archive data since May 2018 over the test sites is available as well as newly acquired data. More details about missions and data can be found below.

Access the data

The data will be accessible directly on the Planet system. Read more about the data and how to apply for it through this product description.

Test sites

The Demmin test site is located some 220 km north of Berlin near the city of Demmin in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania. This area is intensively used for agriculture.

The area is part of the TERENO initiative and is cultivated by IG-Demmin (ca. 30,000 ha). It is well suited to remote sensing science applications since the site is heterogeneous with respect to landscape, soil cover and hydrology and the average size of the fields, ca. 80 ha, is very high for Germany.

The main crops cultivated are winter wheat, barley, and rye, which cover almost 60% of the fields. The area devoted to sweet corn, sugar beets and potatoes amounts to about 13%.

Since 2011 the Demmin calibration and validation facility is formally recognised as part of the ESA SMOS Mission (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity).

The Wilhelmshaven area is located in the Wattenmeer area of Germany and a typical sample for coastal and urban application.

The Berlin city test area covers a highly dense urban region with a variety of urban structures.

TPM data availability



dove satellite

The PlanetScope satellite constellation consists of multiple launches of groups of individual satellites (known as DOVES). Therefore, on-orbit capacity is constantly improving in capability or quantity, with technology improvements deployed at a rapid pace.

Each DOVE satellite is a CubeSat 3U form factor (10x10x30 cm). The complete PlanetScope constellation of approximately 150 active satellites is able to image the entire land surface of the Earth every day (equating to a daily collection capacity of 350 million km2/day). The constellation is constantly "on" and does not require ordering or acquisition planning.

Each of the satellites is calibrated with an absolute accuracy of better than 5%.


skysat satellite

The SkySat constellation is the VHR component of Planet's satellite image portfolio with sub-metre resolution.

SkySat-A and B generation satellites were launched in 2013/14 (two satellites are currently in orbit).

The SkySat-C generation satellite is a high-resolution Earth imaging satellite, first launched in 2016. 11 are currently in orbit, all collecting thousands of square kilometres of imagery. Each satellite is 3-axis stabilized and agile enough to slew between different targets of interest. Each satellite has four thrusters for orbital control, along with four reaction wheels and three magnetic torquers for attitude control.

All SkySats contain Cassegrain telescopes with a focal length of 3.6m, with three 5.5 megapixel CMOS imaging detectors making up the focal plane.