Satellite imagery provider Planet has agreed to collaborate with Saint Louis University under a contract that grants a geospatial research group access to the company’s data.
Opening up Planet’s resources to the eight academic institutions that comprise Taylor Geospatial Institute, the new multi-year contract constitutes Planet’s most expansive direct university endeavor and is slated to boost research and development efforts in areas such as international food security, geospatial health and more, the San Francisco, California-based company said Wednesday.
Robert Cardillo, chief strategist at Planet Federal, noted that the partnership with TGI gives a wide-ranging set of participants in St. Louis the tools and information to tackle pressing global challenges.
“We look forward to seeing the countless ways these students and researchers will leverage Planet’s satellite data to help us ensure security and well-being globally,” the four-time Wash100 Award winner continued.
The over 5,000 faculty members and 100,000 students of Saint Louis University, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Harris-Stowe State University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis will have access to Planet’s satellite imagery and geospatial data through the new agreement.
These researchers will be able to utilize the company’s PlanetScope archive, which provides daily, 3-meter resolution imagery that captures and focuses on places that are notable for security, like military encampments at national borders. Also available will be Planet’s SkySat tasking satellites, which produce high-resolution images and are useful for tracking quickly developing activities like the process and aftermath of missile attacks as well as the comings and goings at foreign bases and headquarters.
Additionally, the TGI consortium is poised to address core geospatial science and computation and food security issues with their Planet partnership. Within the latter field, they will draw on Planet’s high frequency datasets and archived satellite data to examine crop yields, make determinations about irrigation and participate in climate-sensitive farming research. The Planet data enables analysis of daily and seasonal shifts in food production and crop yields, thus potentially helping to anticipate crop shortages.
The project with TGI comes on the heels of Planet’s work alongside SES Government Solutions and Telesat Government Solutions to assist NASA with developing real-time space-to-space communications. The collaboration was announced in August.