Latest News

Planet to Use Nvidia AI Processor Onboard Pelican Satellite 

By Rachel Jewett | June 10, 2024

A rendering of a Planet Pelican satellite. Photo: Planet

An upcoming Planet imaging satellite will be equipped with an artificial intelligence chip from Nvidia, Planet announced Monday. Planet will leverage the Nvidia Jetson edge AI platform for its Pelican-2 satellite set to launch later this year. Nvidia builds AI chips, systems, and software and recently reached a $3 billion market cap.

Planet said it will be one of the first to space-qualify and fly a Nvidia Jetson graphics processing unit (GPU) on an Earth observation satellite. The company said this will result in intelligent imaging and faster insights for customers.

Pelican-2 will be the second test satellite head of the upcoming Pelican constellation, an upgrade to Planet’s fleet of SkySat satellites and is designed to provide up to 30 cm resolution. Planet launched the first Pelican tech demo last year. 

“Robust datasets are what power AI, and Planet is fully embracing the latest advancements happening in this AI revolution, from enhancing our satellite technology to pulling insights from our imagery data at rapid speeds,” said Kiruthika Devaraj, VP of Avionics and Spacecraft at Planet. “This collaboration is about getting answers from orbit to our customers in near real-time.” 

Hear more about the upcoming Pelican fleet in a recent On Orbit podcast interview with Planet CFO and president Ashley Johnson.