Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time
Will Marshall - Space scientist
At Planet Labs, Will Marshall is helping share near-real-time images of our planet, from a constellation of earth-observing satellites. Full bio
because the Apollo 17 astronauts,
around the moon in 1972,
generation of human beings
to take care of it.
is beautiful, it's static,
scales with human activity.
have of it today is old.
you can't fix what you can't see.
of the whole planet every day.
and they're slow.
of a rocket just to launch it.
done an amazing job
it much more regularly,
we started Planet Labs
our satellite looks like:
and greatest electronics
this little package
resolution of the big satellite here,
thousandth of the mass.
"Dove" — Thank you.
satellites are typically named
Kill, I don't know,
built them, though.
prototype in our garage.
Silicon Valley company that we are,
for a space company.
we learned from Silicon Valley.
release often" on our software.
just to test the satellites,
our satellites at scale.
so much capability into this little box.
our team over the years
access to satellite information.
company, Chris, Robbie and I,
at the United Nations
about exactly that question:
to help humanity?
people in developing countries
using satellites to help humanity.
we're space geeks,
about what's up there,
of two of our satellites
International Space Station.
looking out of the window.
scale of our two satellites.
smallest satellites ever
the biggest satellite ever.
solar array glints in the sun.
two of them like this,
Earth-imaging satellites in human history,
completely radical new data set
more than 100 of these satellites
course of the next year.
of satellites in human history.
stays fixed with respect to the sun,
the Earth rotates underneath.
planet every 24 hours.
anywhere on the planet every day,
place on the planet every day.
just a couple of weeks ago,
imagery from the satellites
publicly for the first time right now.
taken by our satellite.
turned the camera on.
latest image of that area,
is from our satellite,
to track urban growth as it happens
in all cities, every day.
the extent of all water bodies
and help water security.
to food security.
grow in all the fields
the planet every day.
satellite was flying over Argentina.
thousands of applications of this data,
every tree on the planet every day.
today's image and yesterday's image,
you'd see floods and fires and earthquakes.
best thing that we could do with our data
companies and scientists and journalists
that they have about the planet.
to run their apps on our data.
to information about our planet.
new global data set.
of our Spaceship Earth.
you with is the following question:
whole planet every single day,
and explore with us.
About the speaker:Will Marshall - Space scientist
At Planet Labs, Will Marshall is helping share near-real-time images of our planet, from a constellation of earth-observing satellites.
Why you should listen
In his Twitter bio, William Marshall calls himself a "quantum physicist cum space scientist in search of world peace and harmony." And when you hear about his job, it falls into place: He and his cofounders at Planet Labs want to show the earth what it looks like, in almost real time, via a new network of compact, capable satellites. They hope that up-to-date images will inform future humanitarian and commercial projects all over our planet and will help to enable people to make the best decisions for earth.
Before cofounding Planet Labs, Marshall was a scientist at NASA/USRA, where he helped to formulate the Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center. He worked on lunar orbiter mission LADEE, lunar impactor mission LCROSS and the groundbreaking PhoneSat project, building satellites out of consumer parts.
Will Marshall | Speaker | TED.com