Earth imaging satellites put into orbit from Rocket Lab's Mahia launch pad could help boost the region's economy and help disaster recovery, following a new trans-Pacific agreement.

United-States-based integrated aerospace and data analytics company Planet and New Zealand's Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST) have joined up to help drive regional economic growth by distributing Planet's daily, global Earth observation data and analytics.

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Under the agreement, CSST will act as the distribution hub and research and development partner for Planet in New Zealand, making sure a breadth of industries and government agencies get efficient access to Planet's data and analytic products, CSST chief executive Steve Cotter said.


"Today's announcement with Planet will provide near real-time imagery and intelligent analytics that can be used in a range of use cases in key sectors of New Zealand's regional economies, including disaster preparedness and emergency management, agricultural monitoring, forestry and land use monitoring, water management and infrastructure monitoring.

"Earth observation data, like that provided by Planet's constellation of satellites, can be used for object detection and land classification to help businesses to optimise the use of resource-limited inputs, manage risk, remain internationally competitive, respond to regulatory requirements, and minimise environmental impact - all which have the potential to boost regional economic development."

Together, Planet and CSST will localise analytics from Planet and jointly develop new solutions to serve specific verticals, including agriculture, disaster management, defence and intelligence, forestry, and maritime.

"CSST is an important partner for Planet as they understand the applications and use cases of daily global imagery, and can enable us to bring our products to New Zealand. They will be the frontline consultants for commercial businesses and government agencies at all levels who seek our imagery and analytics," Shankar Sivaprakasam, vice-president of APAC and Japan at Planet, said.

Planet's global daily imagery and analytics will improve decision-making in key sectors of the New Zealand economy, including disaster preparedness and emergency management, agricultural monitoring, forestry and land use monitoring, water management, infrastructure monitoring, and intelligence gathering.

Although not involved in the new agreement, Rocket Lab launched one Planet Earth-imaging satellite to orbit in January to replenish Planet's Dove satellite constellation.

Rocket Lab also has a Launch Services Agreement in place to launch additional Planet satellites in the future from Mahia.

Planet operates history's largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites, and builds and operates more than 200 satellites.