ISU Master of Space Studies Mary Distler interns at Planet

Mary Distler reports from Planet, an American private Earth imaging company, co-founded in 2010 by Will Marshall, Chris Boshuizen and Robbie Schingler MSS01.

“I am currently in San Francisco, California interning for Planet on the Attitude Determination & Control System (ADCS) team. Under the guidance of Vincent Beukelaers SSP09, I am working with the unsolvable star camera images that are collected by the satellites in orbit. These unsolvable images have been taken above areas of historically high radiation exposure on Earth, such as South America. As such, I am investigating these seemingly “noisy” images for their potential in identifying and measuring radiation along the satellite’s orbit.
distlerPlanet has been an amazing experience thus far. As one employee said, “We literally change the way people see the world.” While I was not here for the excitement of their historic launch of 88 CubeSats, I have a front row seat to how those satellites are changing the industry and the world. For the first two weeks there has been an intern orientation to each team within the company, allowing me to witness how Planet is motivated to use remote sensing to help humanity.
As a huge CubeSat nerd, I am working in paradise as these satellites are being designed, tested, and operated around me. While Planet has an operational constellation of over 100 satellites, people are working hard to continue improving the imagery and its impact. I hope that through my internship this summer, Planet can continue pushing the industry forward while changing our perspective on the world.”