News – Trajectory Magazine http://trajectorymagazine.com We are the official publication of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) – the nonprofit, educational organization supporting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:12:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 https://i2.wp.com/trajectorymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cropped-TRJ-website-tab-icon-1.png?fit=32%2C32 News – Trajectory Magazine http://trajectorymagazine.com 32 32 127732085 NGA Hosts Hackathon in LA http://trajectorymagazine.com/nga-hosts-hackathon-la/ Fri, 07 Apr 2017 01:38:53 +0000 /?p=30688 Coders tackle the issue of food security in Morocco

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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) held its second hackathon of the year in Los Angeles the weekend of March 25-26, drawing 56 participants.

The two-day coding event was a continuation of NGA’s hackathon series that has toured the nation since May 2016. Hosted by Blue Compass on the agency’s behalf, the program has traveled to tech hubs such as Huntsville, Ala.; Sunnyvale, Calif.; Chicago; and New York City to encourage communities of innovators and independent coders to address NGA-identified problem sets. The hackathons are one of many ways NGA is looking for new, inventive methods to address its complex challenges and attract new talent.

According to hackathon project manager Capt. Adam Satterfield, “You’ve got a bunch of coders in there for 48 hours of straight coding, talking, drinking Red Bull, having Nerf fights—it’s a lot of fun. But at the end of the day, it was really cool to see how all that came together to address a relevant problem set.”

For last week’s hack at LA’s CTRL Collective Spaces, that problem set was food security. Participants were given until 2 p.m. Sunday to study how geospatial information could be used to better understand, model, visualize, and monitor the relationship between food security and regional stability in Morocco. This scenario was chosen based on a 2015 report about global food security released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“We picked this scenario because the likelihood of this crisis occurring is high—we’ve seen it happen in the past—and the impact we can make by tipping and cueing the international community both from a national security perspective and a humanitarian perspective is critical,” Satterfield said.

According to Satterfield, food security and regional stability are important to NGA because much of its mission relies on how neglect of those basic needs could change the political landscape. Food security is a major indicator for other global security events—if a region doesn’t have access to food, civil unrest likely lies ahead. If NGA can predict shortages, like it did for the water supply in one Iraq region in 2009, it can alert the international community and help mitigate the effects.

“We articulated to the hackathon participants that the solutions they develop now not only could have great impact, but could potentially save lives if developed early enough,” Satterfield said.

Focus on Fish

The grand prize-winning solution was a fishery distribution system to optimize delivery to regions of drought and crop shortage in Morocco. The winning team comprised students Ishan Alok, Cheng Gu, Yu Ru, Haoshi “Joanna” Wang, and Zhiyuan Wang from the University of Southern California (USC)—a USGIF-accredited school. Though there are no restrictions on who could register, Satterfield said roughly 60 percent of this hackathon’s participants were from USC.

According to the team’s presenter Joanna Wang, “[Morocco] has over one million tons of annual fish catch … [and] has been having a very stable and still growing level of production in fishing over the last couple of years. We are making the argument that an efficient distribution system of the limited amount of fish in the domestic market can be a reliable and nutritional substitute for the food shortage in Morocco.”

The proposed distribution system locates regions of significant drought and redirects higher volumes of fish to those areas to account for crop losses. According to the group’s pitch, approximately 40 percent of domestically sourced fish spoils before it arrives at its destination. To avoid waste, the system uses transportation data to find the shortest routes between major fishing ports and inland urban centers.

Other solutions, such as a food security risk index model, focused on crops and how to organically create food sources within a country.

After hearing pitches from nine teams of developers, attendees were encouraged to log into DevPost to vote for their favorite project—the popular vote was equitable to second place with an award of $1,000. The grand-prize winning team from USC won the popular vote as well, and was awarded a total of $4,000.

“When we open this to the community, we get methodologies, technologies, and data sets that are correlated in ways we never thought about and probably wouldn’t if we hadn’t opened it up,” Satterfield said. “The amount of talent, diversity, and forward thinking we’re seeing is phenomenal.”

Reaching New Talent

Those diverse backgrounds and unique methods might just translate into a career for particularly innovative participants. Though they haven’t made any direct hires as a result of the hackathons yet, the events are a nontraditional way for NGA to stay competitive in talent recruiting. The initiative is increasing awareness of the agency and its opportunities to an untapped market beyond the Intelligence Community.

“We had a couple recruiters on site in LA and some students wanted to follow up and look at potential employment opportunities,” Satterfield said.

NGA is also making an effort to transition viable hackathon solutions into the field. For example, the winner of Huntsville’s first response hackathon created a virtual reality data visualization app called “Search and TextYou.” Winning team members Michael Carroll, Michael Graham, and Tim Coddington were put in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other groups to discuss grant funding and financial sponsorship.

“It’s a great benefit to us and to the participants. They get to see problem sets that they may have not ever been exposed to, and we get solutions that we would’ve never discovered,” Satterfield said.

The contract with Blue Compass is scheduled to continue through 2017 with seven more events, including an event in San Antonio June 3-4, coinciding with USGIF’s GEOINT 2017 Symposium. NGA’s next hackathon is scheduled for Seattle, Wash., May 21-22, and will focus on crowdsourced data.

Photo Credit: NGA

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New Book Examines 100 Moments in Earth’s History http://trajectorymagazine.com/new-book-examines-100-moments-earths-history/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 01:59:06 +0000 /?p=30702 Geography is revolutionary and more important now than ever before, according to geographer Joseph Kerski

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Author Joseph Kerski

Geography is revolutionary and more important now than ever before, according to geographer Joseph Kerski. We live in an increasingly complex and interconnected world with serious challenges; in order to grapple with those challenges, Kerski says, people need to understand geography is immediately relevant in global decision-making. That’s why he wrote his sixth book, “Interpreting Our World: 100 Discoveries that Revolutionized Geography.”

The events and inventions included in the book span 8,000 years of human history, from the first Babylonian clay tablet maps to today’s ever-expanding Internet of Things.

Published in October 2016, the book is a natural extension of Kerski’s long-term goal to help people realize geography matters to modern societies—a passion he developed through years of experience in academia and federal service.

“It is essential that we embrace [geography], that we study it, that we do investigations within a geographic framework because of all these complex issues in society,” he said, mentioning “climate change, natural hazards, population change, water, energy, biodiversity.”

By showcasing these 100 moments, Kerski hopes to explain how breakthroughs in geography have changed the world before and are capable of doing so again.

Each chapter—from “Aerial Photography” to “Zheng He”—is roughly three pages of clear, easily digestible prose written to both inform and spark dialogue among readers of all levels of expertise.

“It is a book that you could hand to your mom, or your aunt or uncle, or your friend and say, ‘look, this is why this stuff actually matters, and it’s actually interesting,’” Kerski said.

On the other hand, Kerski said book could also be used as a textbook at a university level because it strikes a balance between accessibility and education.

“That’s one of the reasons why we write—to teach. I’m very passionate about helping people learn, but I’m a lifelong learner, too. I want to model what I’m preaching,” Kerski said.

More than anything, he said, “it’s about making sense of the world.”

“Interpreting Our World: 100 Discoveries that Revolutionized Geography” is available for purchase on Amazon.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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Rapid Growth for Planet http://trajectorymagazine.com/rapid-growth-for-planet/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/rapid-growth-for-planet/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:27:00 +0000 /?p=27900 Planet announced February 3 its intent to acquire Google’s small satellite business, Terra Bella, along with its fleet of seven SkySat satellites—a deal that will make Planet the undisputed leader in small satellite commercial remote sensing.

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Seven years ago, a team of ex-NASA physicists and engineers began building their first small satellite prototype in a residential garage in suburban California. Today, that team, now known as Planet, owns the largest constellation of small satellites in space at 144 and is poised to make a major acquisition from Google.

Planet announced February 3 its intent to acquire Google’s small satellite business, Terra Bella, along with its fleet of seven SkySat satellites—a deal that will make Planet the undisputed leader in small satellite commercial remote sensing.

Mike Safyan, Planet’s director of launch and regulatory affairs, called the deal a “win-win for everyone involved.”

February 14, on the heels of the Terra Bella announcement, Planet launched 88 Dove satellites—the largest constellation ever to reach orbit—aboard a PSLV rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India. This marked a milestone Planet refers to as “Mission 1,” achieving the ability to image the entire surface of the Earth on a daily basis.

“To deliver on that promise is a very big deal to us,” Safyan said. “Having that data set and being able to provide it to our users and customers is one of the most exciting things. [With] the SkySats the realm of possibility only expands.”

Leadership from both Planet and Terra Bella emphasized the complementary nature of the high-resolution SkySat constellation to Planet’s current constellation of Doves—medium-resolution CubeSats that capture photos at three to five meters per pixel. The SkySats are more targeted and collect rapidly updated images of select areas of the globe at sub-meter resolution. The Doves continuously monitor huge swaths of land every day, and the SkySats operate on a command-based tasking model.

“[SkySats] actually go and select targets to image where we’ll need updated, higher resolution imagery,” Safyan said.

The dual-layered approach will open up new markets for the company, such as aiding first responders after disasters and monitoring change in crowded urban areas.

“For some applications, like agriculture, you don’t necessarily need high resolution,” Safyan said. “You can do a lot with the three- to five-meter resolution of the Doves. There are other applications which are better with higher resolution imagery, and that’s where the SkySats come in to expand our product offering.”

Historically, Planet has offered medium-resolution imagery from CubeSats. In 2015, supporting this niche focus, Planet acquired Berlin-based BlackBridge, including five RapidEye satellites with similar operability and mid-level resolution to the Dove constellation. The RapidEyes have worked in concert with the Doves for roughly six months.

“Three- to five-meter resolution … provides a very unique data set that’s not available from other providers,” Safyan said. “But we also recognized that there are other needs in the remote sensing world that can be fulfilled with different capabilities, with different satellites.”

Financial details of Planet’s Terra Bella acquisition have not been made public. In 2014, Google acquired Terra Bella, then known as Skybox Imaging, for $500 million.

The Planet-Google agreement includes a multi-year contract through which Google will purchase access to Planet’s Earth imaging data. Additionally, a significant but unspecified number of Terra Bella employees will transition from Google’s campus in Mountain View, Calif., to Planet headquarters in San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Planet

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NGA Director Robert Cardillo on Transparency http://trajectorymagazine.com/a-team-sport/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/a-team-sport/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 01:52:11 +0000 /?p=27882 NGA's commitment to transparency has helped advance public awareness of geospatial intelligence and led to many new partnerships

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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) commitment to transparency has helped advance public awareness of geospatial intelligence and led to many new partnerships, according to NGA Director Robert Cardillo.

Cardillo participated in a Q&A session co-hosted by the Atlantic Council and Thomson Reuters in January as part of the council’s “Power of Transparency” series. The director spoke with moderator John Walcott, Reuters’ foreign policy and national security editor, in a presentation titled “The Power of Transparency in Advancing Geospatial Intelligence.”

“[NGA is] striving to be more effective and relevant in the open in a way that’s meaningful to those we serve inside and outside the government,” Cardillo said.

With the agency celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, Cardillo explained how its mission has expanded beyond traditional GEOINT into areas such as humanitarian relief, disaster response, land reclamation, historic preservation, and security for special events—most recently assisting the Department of Homeland Security with the Presidential Inauguration. Cardillo cited examples of how the agency supported the 2015 Ebola epidemic, the 2015 Nepal earthquake, and continues to provide satellite-based elevation data maps of Alaska and the Arctic.

“We’ve always served the military, government, and industry partners, but more and more we’re creating new connections—new interdependencies such as international partners, academic partners, think tanks, and the public,” the director said.

Cardillo also spoke about NGA’s many strong industry partnerships, including its recent contract with Planet to collect imagery of the Earth every day.

“We have great, interdependent relationships with U.S. companies that provide us services and support,” Cardillo said. “I do think there can be a new paradigm of public-private partnership. In that partnership I imagine I can find a way to expose data—historic and otherwise—that can inform additional scientific understanding of planetary changes, ecological, environmental, etc. But also historic research that might inform a new series of deep learning and automated intelligence.”

Cardillo concluded the conversation with a discussion of NGA’s Commercial Initiative to Buy Operationally Responsive GEOINT (CIBORG) program, a new contract vehicle with the General Services Administration. Through the CIBORG vehicle both companies new to the agency and those with established relationships can register their services to provide imagery and geospatial intelligence products for NGA.

“Let’s face it, the business I’m in is commoditized,” Cardillo said. “I can buy an image off the web. CIBORG does that, but in a more efficient way.”

Photo Credit: NGA 

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A Database of World Events http://trajectorymagazine.com/a-database-of-world-events/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/a-database-of-world-events/#respond Thu, 05 Jan 2017 04:13:00 +0000 /?p=27867 30 years of global insights from the free GDELT platform

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Imagine a database that holds information on all world events and historic records reported in the global news media over the last 30 years, along with the narratives, emotions, and images that defined those events. What you’re envisioning is the real-life GDELT project.

GDELT—which stands for Global Database of Events Language and Tone—is a free, open data platform that applies machine learning to gather news from all over the world and curate what GDELT creator Kalev Leetaru calls “a catalogue of society.”

“Today, we have sensors and satellites blanketing the earth, we know what the weather is, when an earthquake happens, and how many people are affected,” Leetaru said. “We have so much data about the natural Earth, but when it comes to the human Earth, to cataloging human ‘earthquakes’ like mass protests or coups, we were in the stone ages. Before GDELT we never had a database that could give you a list of all the protests happening right now around the world. That’s the goal of GDELT—to let you see the human world just as well as you can the natural world, letting you map global protests as easily as you can map global earthquakes.”

Leetaru began working with supercomputing and web mining in 1995 when he launched his first Internet startup. In 2013, he developed GDELT, and it has been his main focus ever since. Leetaru is also a senior fellow with George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.

GDELT has evolved beyond its original scope, and now collects broadcast, print, and web news and images from around the world—updating every 15 minutes. Several different data sets bring together more than 400 million event records in 300 categories, more than a trillion emotional measures, two billion mentions of location, and more than 175 million images covering world events from 1979 to present.

GDELT captures the emotion and tone of the articles and images. The project brings together a number of algorithms to detect the author’s emotion in an article, ranging from traditional positive/negative to more complex emotions such as anxiety and motivation. The database also distinguishes the emotion of an image—for example, whether it is violent or if the people in the image are looking away in horror.

GDELT identifies and disambiguates every location mentioned in each article, which can be used to map the geography of specific topics such as wildlife crime or civil unrest.

“Wildlife crimes are fragmented and groups are doing their own thing with little communication, never being able to put it all together to see the big picture,” Leetaru said. “Being able to use GDELT and see the patterns and what’s happening around the world puts the dots on the map and the context behind it in order to see where poachers will strike next. That’s the power of GDELT.”

GDELT is available for anyone to use for free. The GDELT cloud-based analysis website offers a number of built-in visualizations users can leverage to explore the data. Users can also download the raw files on the GDELT website or explore any of the GDELT data sets via Google BigQuery.

Photo Credit: GDELT

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Machine Learning & GEOINT http://trajectorymagazine.com/usgif-to-host-machine-learning-workshop/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/usgif-to-host-machine-learning-workshop/#respond Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:41:00 +0000 /?p=27864 GEOINT meets artificial intelligence and cognitive computing

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USGIF will host its first Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Workshop Jan. 10 to foster discussion around these rapidly evolving technologies shaping the future of the GEOINT Community. The workshop will be held in Herndon, Va., and is sponsored by DigitalGlobe, Harris, and NVIDIA.

The workshop will feature keynote addresses from Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) Director Dr. Jason Matheny and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director of Research Dr. Peter Highnam.

“Matheny will talk about current and future programs and the cutting-edge research [IARPA is] investing in,” said Jeremy Schoos, co-chair of USGIF’s Technical Committee, which is helping to plan the workshop. “I also expect to hear how [IARPA] sees artificial intelligence fitting into the Intelligence Community.”

Schoos added Highnam is expected to address the role of artificial intelligence in GEOINT more specifically.

In addition to the keynotes, the agenda includes presentations from In-Q-Tel, the Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization, DFJ Venture Capital, and Dr. Catherine Cotell, anticipatory analytics lead with NGA Research.

Attendees will also enjoy a series of academic research and development flash talks as well as industry flash talks introducing the latest technology enabling machine learning and artificial intelligence. Later in the day, DigitalGlobe and CosmiQ Works will provide an update on the SpaceNet challenge.

Barry Barlow, co-chair of USGIF’s Technical Committee, said the content of the workshop is becoming increasingly important in the era of big data.

“In a future where data is being created exponentially faster than at any point in the past, organizations must be able to identify, combine, and manage multiple sources of data,” Barlow said. “They need to invest in capabilities to build advanced analytic models for predicting and optimizing outcomes, or extracting [intelligence] from the underlying data. Two important features underpin those needs: a clear strategy for how to use data and analytics, and deployment of the right technology architecture and capabilities.”

The workshop will also include exhibits and demonstrations from organizations such as Basis Technology, DAn Solutions, DataRobot, Diffeo, DigitalGlobe, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Harris, IBM, NVIDIA, and more.

Click here to register to attend the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Workshop. Attendees will also have complimentary access to USGIF’s GEOINTeraction Tuesday networking event directly following the workshop agenda.

To learn more about machine learning, read the Q3 2016 trajectory cover story, “Machine Learning, Big Understanding.”

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Blue Compass Hosts Nationwide Hackathons for NGA http://trajectorymagazine.com/blue-compass-hosts-nationwide-hackathons-nga/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/blue-compass-hosts-nationwide-hackathons-nga/#respond Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:09:00 +0000 /?p=27861 Blue Compass is hosting a series of hackathons around the country on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, aiming to reach talented individuals beyond the D.C. beltway.

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Blue Compass is hosting a series of hackathons around the country on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), aiming to reach talented individuals beyond the D.C. beltway.

To date, the hackathons have been held in Huntsville, Ala., San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City, with nine more locations planned for 2017, including a potential event during the GEOINT 2017 Symposium in San Antonio. The hackathons are created around NGA problem sets and translated into an unclassified scenario so anyone can participate.

Col. Marc DiPaolo, chief of innovation mainstreaming at NGA, said the hackathons are first and foremost to help the agency better connect with the tech community at all levels.

“We won’t be able to stay ahead of the threats we exist to defeat if we don’t tap into the genius that’s out there,” DiPaolo said.

Blue Compass is driving new talent to the NGA hackathons through its network of more than 100,000 developers worldwide, in addition to boots on the ground marketing efforts meeting with various developer groups in target cities, according to company president Christine Jung.

“So far it’s been awesome,” Jung said. “We’ve already seen new approaches to problems sets that are very common to NGA.”

The hackathons not only serve as an avenue for NGA to attract new ideas, but also potentially new employees.

“This gives us a nice pipeline for scouting talent,” DiPaolo said. “The workforce is going to change over time to be even more tech savvy, more familiar at a detailed level with data science.”

Jung said the hackathons are an opportunity to introduce NGA to many people who have never before head of the agency. DiPaolo elaborated that NGA’s openness makes it compatible with such events.

“The American public has been suspicious about the Intelligence Community over the last decade and a half,” he said. “NGA is in the position to get out there and communicate to the public what its values are and reinforce that our values are in line with theirs. We care about and act on humanitarian and disaster relief problems—things communities care about. When they see that they become more open to harder, more intelligence related problems.”

According to DiPaolo, the hackathons are aligned under NGA’s Acquisition Innovation Lab activities, and the agency is accelerating innovation in its acquisition processes and assembling new ways to quickly acquire capabilities using nonconventional means.

“Imagine hiring people and using a hackathon as a way to establish their technological bonafides instead of simply looking at a resume,” he said. “Imagine running a challenge as we have done for disparate data as a way to solicit and screen capabilities to find the ones we’re interested in moving forward with contractually.”

The hackathons so far have focused on disaster response, the effects of climate change, and disparate data, and moving into 2017 will explore topics such as artificial intelligence and modeling, DiPaolo said.

“Hackathons can help us understand the art of the possible,” he said. “They give us the ability to harness the collective genius of the crowd to spark our own imagination and steer us in the right direction.”

Jung said organizations interested in being involved with the 2017 hackathons may visit the hackathon website or email hackathon@bluecompass-llc.com to learn more about sponsorship opportunities and sending a judge or team of developers to an event.

Photo Credit: Blue Compass

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NOAA’s First GOES-R Weather Satellite Reaches Orbit http://trajectorymagazine.com/noaas-first-goes-r-weather-satellite-reaches-orbit/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/noaas-first-goes-r-weather-satellite-reaches-orbit/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:57:00 +0000 /?p=27859 NOAA's new advanced weather satellite will scan the hemisphere five times faster and at four times higher resolution than current systems. The first GOES-R satellite launched Nov. 19 and reached geostationary orbit Nov. 29.

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NOAA’s new advanced weather satellite will scan the hemisphere five times faster and at four times higher resolution than current systems. The first GOES-R satellite launched Nov. 19 and reached geostationary orbit Nov. 29. The four-satellite GOES-R program will provide more precise weather forecasting in addition to real-time mapping of lightning activity and improved solar activity monitoring.

Harris built GOES-R’s main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). GOES-R’s ABI will provide rapid-refresh imagery as often as every 30 seconds, especially during severe weather events, according to Eric Webster, vice president and general manager with Harris Space and Intelligence Systems.

Current weather instruments, which were also built by Harris in the ’90s, offer about five spectral channels—the ABI has 16, 10 of which are infrared, according to Webster.

“[GOES-R] will be able to tell and measure forest fires, fog, vegetation changes, sea surface temperature, volcanic ash, and more,” Webster said. “It has many more products and capabilities than current instruments because it’s able to discern different heat changes and have that at a higher resolution.”

Harris also built the ground system for GOES-R and will be responsible for flying and controlling the satellites, operating the instruments, and processing the data.

“Because it’s a more capable instrument there will be about 40 times the data,” Webster said. “ … Everyone’s really excited to see how to utilize the data and have better forecasts and a better understanding of severe weather.”

Lockheed Martin is responsible for the design, creation, and testing of the GOES-R satellites as well as for spacecraft processing along with developing the Geostationary Lightning Mapper and Solar Ultraviolet Imager instruments.

GOES-R is expected to be fully operational in about a year.

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

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USGIF to Host Two-Day Small Sat Workshop http://trajectorymagazine.com/small-sats-and-the-geoint-mission/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/small-sats-and-the-geoint-mission/#respond Wed, 02 Nov 2016 06:16:00 +0000 /?p=27847 USGIF will host its second two-day Small Sat Workshop—one day unclassified and another classified—at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield, Va., Nov. 14-15 as part of the Foundation's 2016 GEOINT Community Week.

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USGIF will host its second two-day Small Sat Workshop—one day unclassified and another classified—at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in Springfield, Va., Nov. 14-15 as part of the Foundation’s 2016 GEOINT Community Week.

“This remarkable, two-day event will be a unique opportunity to discuss the breadth and depth of small satellite related issues,” said USGIF CEO Keith Masback. “We had great feedback from last year’s participants and there was overwhelming demand to offer the next iteration of this workshop. We are picking up where we left off last year in what was hailed as a valuable and enlightening experience. Small sats are a very important topic, not just from a national security perspective, but also for the future of U.S. space commerce.”

The unclassified day, titled “Making Use of Small Satellites: GEOINT and Open Source Analysis,” will include remarks by NGA Director Robert Cardillo as well as keynotes by Fred Kennedy III of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia (invited). The day will also feature panels on turning pixels into insight, launch, and policy, with representatives from DARPA, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, Planet, Terra Bella, Virgin Galactic, and many more. The unclassified workshop will conclude with a discussion on NGA and the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) joint Commercial GEOINT Activity by both agencies’ program leads, followed by a networking reception.

“The Small Satellite Workshop will connect government organizations, industry partners, and commercial entities through their common interest in this small spacecraft form factor,” said Jessica “JB” Young of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, co-chair of USGIF’s Small Satellite Working Group. “By connecting commercial and industry small satellite providers directly to Intelligence Community work force and key government decision-makers, we can start to establish a common vision for the future of space and directly address the end mission goals of small satellites.”

The classified day, titled “Small Satellites and the Classified Domain: Shaken, Not Stirred,” will include keynotes by Winston Beauchamp, deputy under secretary of the Air Force for Space, and Randy Barber, director of NRO’s Mission Integration Directorate (invited). Classified panels are titled “Gleaning Answers from the Data Volume” and “What’s Next?” and will feature speakers from NGA, NRO, the Air Force Research Laboratory, DigitalGlobe, Northrop Grumman, and Penn State. The classified program will also include flash talks on “Government & Small Sats” by NGA and NRO.

“Through a variety of forums, this event offers members of the small sat community the opportunity to address burning issues such as how to turn the collected data into actionable information, answer policy questions, and discuss concerns about dedicated launches,” Young said. “Various companies and government organizations will get a chance to present their activities in this arena and talk about what need gaps they still face. Join us in cultivating a culture of inter-agency and cross community collaboration within the small satellite regime.”

Click here to register for one or both days of the Small Sat Workshop. Registration for the workshop closes Monday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m. EST. In addition to the small sat programming, 2016 GEOINT Community Week will include events such as a young professionals workshop, a special edition of GEOINTeraction Tuesday with NGA Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Linda Urrutia-Varhall, NGA Tech Showcase East, and more. Click here to learn more about GEOINT Community Week events and to register.

Photo Credit: Planet

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DigitalGlobe to Acquire Radiant http://trajectorymagazine.com/digitalglobe-to-acquire-the-radiant-group/ http://trajectorymagazine.com/digitalglobe-to-acquire-the-radiant-group/#respond Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:11:00 +0000 /?p=27827 Combination to bring new contracts, customers, and developers

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DigitalGlobe announced this morning its intent to acquire The Radiant Group from Aston Capital in a $140 million cash transaction.

The combination of the two organizations, which already have a strong history of partnership, will broaden DigitalGlobe’s customer relationships across the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, establish the National Reconnaissance Office as a new customer, and augment the company’s presence at the Defense Intelligence Agency and U.S. Special Operations Command, according to Tony Frazier, senior vice president for U.S. Government Solutions at DigitalGlobe.

“More than 80 percent of Radiant’s revenue is focused on providing advanced geospatial solutions under the brands of Radiant Blue and HumanGeo,” Frazier said, adding Radiant Blue is a leader in constellation modeling, open-source geospatial data management, and the implementation of geospatial platform capabilities in the cloud, and HumanGeo is known for providing geospatial big data analytics to the intelligence and special operations communities.

During this morning’s conference call and webcast discussing the transaction, DigitalGlobe President and CEO Jeffrey Tarr outlined four strategic benefits of the acquisition:

1. Capabilities: “Radiant broadens our capabilities across the entire geospatial intelligence value chain,” Tarr said. “As our customers seek more in the way of finished products and complete solutions, we believe that bringing these capabilities together with the leading source of commercial imagery creates a unique and compelling value proposition.”

Frazier highlighted Radiant’s big data analytics and cloud capabilities: “The U.S. Intelligence Community is going through a period of transition as it modernizes its technology infrastructure to take advantage of the cloud,” Frazier said. “Making data and apps accessible to analysts in the cloud will not only facilitate cost savings, but also enable new forms of data analytics to help analysts anticipate and respond to emerging threats.”

2. Talent: “Radiant brings together hundreds of innovative developers, analysts, and thought leaders with the skills and expertise to solve complex geospatial intelligence challenges,” Tarr said. “The vast majority of our new team members have clearances and are trusted to work on many of our nation’s most sensitive programs. By enabling these new team members to more freely access our imagery and platforms, we intend to create new opportunities to innovate and create value for customers, and exciting career paths for team members.”

Frazier later added Radiant brings to DigitalGlobe more than 400 highly trained, cleared professionals, including 250 software developers.

3. Customer base: “Radiant expands DigitalGlobe’s customer base across the U.S. intelligence and special operations communities with access to more than 80 additional contract vehicles, more than 20 of which are prime contracts,” Tarr said. “Among these customers is the National Reconnaissance Office, which has become increasingly important to our core imagery business. Our primary goal in this combination is to create new value for our customers in the intelligence and special operations communities as they seek to derive new, timely insights from a wide range of geospatial data sources in their efforts to keep our nation safe and secure.

4. Financial: “Radiant diversifies revenue, reduces asset intensity, and is accretive to our most important financial metrics,” Tarr said.

The acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of 2016, and Radiant is on course to deliver 2016 revenue of approximately $100 million.

Tarr concluded: “Taken together, we believe these benefits support a transaction that will create value for customers and share owners by advancing our position as the leading commercial source of geospatial information and insight with the capability and scale to address the needs of the world’s largest and most sophisticated customers.”

Photo Credit: HumanGeo

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