Since Planet's Dove satellites do not have onboard propulsion, we have to use alternative means to position them into position after launch:
- The satellites are deployed at short intervals, providing some initial spacing between them.
- Using our attitude control system we then command groups of Doves into differential drag orientations.
- Differential drag refers to using the remnants of the earths atmosphere to impact the speed any individual satellite.
- Facing our deployable solar panels "into the wind" (basically facing the direction of travel) slows the satellite down.
- This slow-down causes the satellite to drop slightly, which, strangely enough, results in a net gain of speed.
- This allows us to move individual satellites ahead of each other, basically allowing us to space them out evenly over time.