PGC Seminar: Planet’s Joseph Mascaro 2/22


PGC Hosts Director of Academic Programs, Planet

Event Info


Thursday, February 22, 2018 – 3:30-4:30 PM

About Planet

The Polar Geospatial Center is pleased to host Joseph Mascaro, Ph.D., Director of Academic Programs from Planet. Planet “designs, builds, and launches satellites faster than any company or government in history by using lean, low-cost electronics and design iteration.” Planet is revolutionizing the commercial satellite industry with their suite of satellites (175+ “Doves”, 5 RapidEye, and 13 SkySat) which can image the entire Earth in high resolution daily.

Visit Planet’s website or watch the video below to learn more about their constellation and scientific applications.

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“Earth sciences in near-real time with the planet smallsat constellation”

Planet is an integrated aerospace and data analytics company that operates the largest fleet of satellites in history. With more than 180 “Dove” cubesats now in orbit, Planet is imaging the entire land surface of the Earth on a daily basis with multispectral (RGB+NIR) sensors at ~3.7m per pixel. Planet also operates a constellation of 13 “SkySats”, capable of 0.8m multispectral (RGB+NIR) imaging as well as 0.8m panchromatic video from space. This massive, ~100 Billion square kilometer dataset has unique applications for monitoring the status of Earth’s ecosystems and human activities that influence them.

Through our Education and Research program, Planet has more than 1,200 users studying a wide variety of disciplines, including climate change in the cryosphere, crustal deformation, terrestrial ecosystems and vegetation dynamics, wildlife biology, threats to coral reefs and other marine habitats, agricultural productivity, and disaster response and humanitarian assistance. Given the enormity of Planet’s dataset, many users are pioneering new methods in remote sensing, including computer vision. We will share results from Planet’s research partner network, synthesize the potential scientific value of Planet’s persistent monitoring capability, and discuss methods by which the data can be accessed by the scientific community.

Speaker Bio

Joe Mascaro is a tropical ecologist and Director of Academic Programs at Planet, a San Francisco-based aerospace company that operates the largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites. Joe works with universities and individual investigators to utilize Planet’s unprecedented imaging resources to enhance primary research and education, improve forest monitoring and conservation, expand food security, and promote ecological resilience for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

As a popular science author, Joe has contributed to The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Aeon Magazine, exploring wide ranging themes, from human views on nature in the Anthropocene, to the potential infusion of space technology in efforts to increase environmental sustainability.

Prior to joining Planet, Joe was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in the US Global Development Lab at USAID, supporting worldwide efforts to use science and technology to reduce poverty.

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