The US-based Planet Labs Inc., a data analytics and aerospace firm, plans to launch a development center in India with a view to seek new business and gain technical expertise. Earlier this week, the firm announced the rolling off of a 4 Dove spacecraft abroad the PSLV-C40 flight, to be launched in the beginning of 2018. Out of the 104 satellite rockets launched by ISRO this year, a fleet of 88 cube satellites came from Planet Lab.
Operating since 2010, Planet manages large fleet of satellites clicking Earth pictures and has now collected massive data on Earth. The company is involved in building, designing and operating satellites, and creates online tools and programs to deliver information to its customers. According Karthik Govindhasamy, the executive VP and Chief Technology Officer of engineering division, Planet is excited to market satellite information, while it may still be working with ISRO and its marketing wing Antrix.
He further stated that the planned development center be a mix including business and technical arm as the company plans to expand its operations across the local and state governments in India and has shortlisted Hyderabad and Bengaluru for the proposed development center. The primary aim of the development center would be on AI, predominantly the analytics and deciphering meaningful insights from the raw data.
Govindhasamy claims that they are downloading unimaginable data, which needs to be streamlined. They will need to go beyond computerization and will need engineers to work with them and identify images and objects so as to access information and process it in real time. The company is in talks with ISRO, government as well as commercial organizations for using the Planet data and for developing micro economic apps in the country.
Govindhasamy says that he is in close discussions with interested parties to finalize the place of development center and work in tandem with the businesses and the government and help the nation realize its dream of modernization, digitization and development. The information so generated from the satellites of ISRO and Planet aim to help on larger dreams that the country has today on modern cities, digitalization, and urban development,” he claimed. “We will be using information from other ISRO satellites and Planet, putting information to use for backing commercial and government opportunities such as security and defense, precision agriculture, urban development, and a number of other applications including disaster management,” Govindhasamy claimed.