Initial signals received from six small satellites built by SSL for Planet
(1 November 2017 - SSL) SSL, a business unit of Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) announced today that six satellites it built for Planet's SkySat Earth observation constellation launched yesterday and made initial contact with ground stations according to plan. The satellites were launched aboard a Minotaur-C rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and will begin sending their first images early next week.
Six SSL-built Earth imaging small satellites for Planet were successfully launched. (courtesy: SSL)
"SSL takes an innovative approach to small satellite manufacturing, and leverages its agile commercial production capabilities to serve both communications and Earth observation markets," said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. "It has been a pleasure for SSL to work with the Planet team, and to help support its growing capabilities. Congratulations to all who made the launch a success."
Called SkySat 8 through 13, the six satellites, which double Planet's high resolution imaging and change detection capabilities, provide information that can simplify and speed critical decision-making processes for its customers. The SkySat constellation now includes ten satellites built at the SSL smallsat manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif., where eight additional SkySats remain in production.
"We were pleased to inherit a strong and reliable engineering and manufacturing partner when we acquired the SkySat business," said Chester Gilmore, vice president of manufacturing at Planet. "Working together, SSL has helped us to expand our fleet, increasing our ability to provide timely insights from any location in the world."
Planet is an integrated aerospace and data analytics company that operates history's largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites, collecting a massive amount of information about our changing planet. Planet designs, builds and operates over 180 satellites, and develops the cloud-based software and tools that serves data to users. Decision makers in business, government, and within organizations use Planet's data and machine learning-powered analytics to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, and solve our world's toughest challenges.
SSL, based in Palo Alto, California, is a leading provider of advanced spacecraft systems, with broad expertise to support commercial and government satellite operators and innovative space missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, in-orbit servicing, space exploration, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for 60 years, SSL's advanced product line includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and autonomous solutions for remote operations. SSL is a business unit of Maxar Technologies, a U.S. operating company.
About Maxar Technologies
Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) is a leading global provider of advanced space technology solutions for commercial and government markets including satellites, Earth imagery, geospatial data and analytics. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides unmatched end-to-end advanced systems capabilities and integrated solutions expertise to help our customers anticipate and address their most complex mission critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,500 employees in 21 locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes: SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe, and Radiant Solutions. Every day millions of people rely on Maxar Technologies to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that empower a better world.