Dove Satellite


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

In the 2010s, the use of "nanosatellites" greatly expanded, especially for use in Earth remote sensing. The Dove satellite is a prime example. It uses three standard (10 cm square) building blocks. Deployed in a constellation numbering more than 150, the nanosatellites operate at different altitudes, providing imagery of the entire planet on a daily basis.

The nanosatellite approach emphasizes simplicity in design, minimal cost, and in disposability and replacement, making possible the use of multi-satellite constellations for remote sensing and other tasks. It thus represents an alternative to the use of complex, large individual satellite platforms.

The Dove constellation provides data that enables daily assessment of environmental, agricultural, forestry, and disaster relief activities, as well as provides useful information for finance, business, and militaries.

This Dove is an early generation flight unit, donated to the Museum by Planet Labs, Inc.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of Planet Labs Inc.


Aluminum alloys (7075, 6061, 5005, and 5002); Anodized Aluminum; Nickel-Iron Alloy (Invar); Heat Reflective White Powder Coating; Rubber; Solar Arrays; Glass; Paint; Electronics; Commercial off-the-shelf Lithium-Ion Cells


Overall: 39.4 × 15.2 × 15.2cm, 3.2kg (1 ft. 3 1/2 in. × 6 in. × 6 in., 7.1lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number