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Planet Labs Selects Telecommunications Systems for Tracking Antennas

By Caleb Henry | July 30, 2014
Planet Labs TSC

A Type 3 X/Y tracking antenna. Photo: TSC

[Via Satellite 07-30-2014] Planet Labs has signed a contract with Telecommunications Systems (TSC) to build a global satellite-tracking network. The network will be comprised of TSC’s X/Y tracking antennas, designed for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellations.

The TSC antennas remain in constant motion to track the satellites, and use an axis configuration that circumvents the “keyhole effect,” where data is lost as a satellite passes directly overhead. Planet Labs will use the antenna terminals for data reception and uplinking.

TSC will connect Planet Labs’ first batch of 28 imaging satellites, known as “Flock One.” Orbital Science’s latest commercial resupply mission (ORB-2) carried an additional 28 satellites designated “Flock 2.” Planet Labs intends to launch a constellation of more than 100 satellites over the course of 12 months for continuous imaging of the Earth.