PlanetiQ is a US-based LEO satellite operator that was formed to build, launch and operate the first commercial constellation of GNSS-RO (Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Occultation) weather satellites, with 20 LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites to be deployed. 

The satellites will provide more than 400 million observations per day for weather and space-weather forecasting, as well as climate monitoring. The data is generated by GPS signals interacting with the earth’s atmosphere, and being captured and analyzed by highly-proprietary satellite-borne sensors (GPS Radio Occultation or GPS-RO).

The company was formed as Global Weather and Climate Solutions, Inc. in 2012, to create a commercial constellation of satellites specifically focused on gathering near real-time, high-quality weather, climate and space weather data.

The satellites would measure signals from global navigation satellite systems like the Global Positioning System, operated by USSF, Russia’s GLONASS, Europe’s Galileo Navigation System and China’s BeiDou, as they pass through the atmosphere to detect weather information, a process known as GNSS radio occultation.

PlanetiQ’s GNOMES (GNSS Navigation and Occultation Measurement Satellites) is a planned constellation of small satellites to provide radio occultation data for weather forecasting, climate research and space weather monitoring. The first satellites were set to be launched in late 2016.

Satellite manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies of Boulder, Colorado USA, will build a set of 12 satellites, each carrying a Global Positioning System radio occultation payload. The satellites will feauture an on-board propulsion, each weighing less than 20kgs. The satellites will operate in orbits of 750 to 800kms at an inclination of 72°.

Company History

PlanetiQ was founded as Global Weather & Climate Solutions, Inc., in 2012 in Golden, Colorado, USA by Chris C. McCormick (President) and Emil Kursinski (CTO). McCormick previously occupied the position of Head-Investor Relations for satellite operator ViaSat, Inc. and has been Board member of Earth Investments, LLC.

In 2019 the company raised 18.7 million USD-funds to start launching satellites in 2020. The investment increased the overall constellation number from 12 to 20 and helped making the system more affordable.

In late September 2020 PlanetiQ received a 3.5 million USD-contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of a CWDP (Commercial Weather Data Pilot) program. Competitors Spire Global and GeoOptics, both of which have satellites in orbit, also received contracts from NOAA. PlanetiQ started delivering radio occlusion data to NOAA in July 2023.

On August 30th, 2020 the company launched its first satellite, GNOMES-1, with a Falcon 9 rocket operated by launch operator SpaceX. The satellite was co-passenger on the SAOCOM-1B mission with two rideshare passengers.

On July 25th, 2023, the company announced the completion of its funding round, which included a successful acquisition of over 3.3 million USD in investments to go toward expanding their operations.

On December 1st, 2023 PlanetiQ launched its GNOMES-4 Satellite, with the World’s Most Accurate Weather Forecasting Sensor, into Orbit aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA.

SatelliteMissionLaunch DateLauncherLaunch Operator
GNOMES-1   SAOCOM-1BAug 30th, 2020Falcon 9SpaceX USA
GNOMES-2Transporter-2Jun 30th, 2021Falcon 9SpaceX USA
GNOMES-3Transporter-4Apr 1st, 2022Falcon 9SpaceX USA
GNOMES-4Transporter-9Dec 1st, 2023Falcon 9SpaceX USA
GNOMES-5Transporter-11TBDFalcon 9SpaceX USA

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