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Planet Labs wants to bring its satellite station to Inuvik, N.W.T.

Planet Labs builds miniature satellites about the size of a microwave, and it's looking to build a receiver station that will collect data from the satellites in either Inuvik or Yellowknife.

The company builds miniature satellites about the size of a microwave

Planet Lab's Joe Breu talking with Grant Hood, Inuvik's senior administrative officer. Planet Lab is looking to build a receiver station in either Inuvik or Yellowknife.

An American company is thinking about setting up shop in Inuvik, N.W.T.

California-based Planet Labs visited the town Wednesday to view the Inuvik Satellite Station. Located above the Arctic Circle, the station is uniquely positioned "to track and receive data in real-time from polar-orbiting satellites for scientific, mapping, weather, surveillance and other purposes," according to Natural Resources Canada. 

Planet Labs builds cube or miniature satellites that are about the size of a microwave, and it's looking to build a receiver station that will collect data from the satellites in either Inuvik or Yellowknife.

Planet Labs builds cube or miniature satellites that are about the size of a microwave. (David Thurton/CBC)

"Inuvik definitely has all the things we are looking for. I really love that it is flat," says Joe Breu with Planet Labs.

"There are hills here, but there aren't hills that would obstruct our view of the horizon, so it won't interfere with our ability to talk with our satellites," Breu says.

The company's plan is to take a photo of every region in the world every day, and use them for things such as predicting forest fires, seeing how crops are doing or the effects of climate change. To do that, they'll have to launch hundreds of satellites into outer space.

Breu says the project will bring some short-term jobs to town.

"Well we won't have a permanent workforce. We utilize local contractors as much as possible and then we will utilize local skilled labourers for any work that we could possibly do," Breu says.

The company will decide next month where it will build the station. Construction will begin in spring 2016.

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