UAS and Satellite Data: The Ultimate Geospatial Power Couple

Woolpert is harmoniously combining our Planet Lab partnership and UAS expertise to produce new, game-changing geospatial technology.

Woolpert entered into the Key Partners Program with Planet Labs on Oct. 28, 2014, originally announcing that we would be able to produce new and insightful products that will be relevant to many industries and applications.

We’re putting words into action; we are about to take our work with Planet Labs to the next level by integrating UAS to create a strategic power couple.

Because the use of UAS and satellite data pair perfectly together for several reasons (especially in regards to Labs), in the near future, we plan to use satellite imagery from Planet Labs to tip and cue our UAS to take closer looks on the ground.

Planet Labs satellite data provides a large geographic coverage and a consistent schedule of revisits over an area. This cadence syncs well with the spatial resolutions made possible by UAS, in some cases as accurate as 1 to 2cm.

“With that cadence and geographic coverage, we can establish well-defined watch boxes in which to look for changes and, based on those changes, send in aircraft to get the spatial and hyperspectral resolution that we can combine with the temporal resolution from satellites to get more data on the changes,” Matt Hutchinson, Woolpert UAS expert explained. “It will be a huge improvement.”

While we are excited for the possibilities for the near future, we also live in the now.

Today, this aerial acquisition is performed immediately using a cost-effective manned aircraft and a custom sensor payload developed by Woolpert. A UAS will be able to perform this aerial acquisition in the future. The imagery is then provided via the cloud to clients and also used for further analysis if needed via application of additional algorithms.

The Planet Labs and Woolpert partnership represents an evolution in capability, especially with UAS as part of the equation.

If we’ve piqued your interest, please feel free to contact Jill Kelley at  Sample imagery from Planet Labs can also be seen at

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