NGA Seeks Colorization Algorithm

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced on Challenge.gov its Rapid Image Colorization Challenge, seeking algorithms that can automatically colorize large, high-resolution satellite images. Adding color to panchromatic images enhances them with more detail and enables more accurate analysis. The agency will pay $15,000 for the winning algorithm. Solutions must be submitted by Sept. 9.

NGA Awards Janus Contracts 

NGA awarded three IDIQ contracts totaling $1.5 billion to Harris Corporation, which will provide geospatial data services to NGA’s Janus Geography, Imagery, and Elevation programs for up to 10 years.

In May, NGA selected 10 companies for the Janus Geography initiative, a 10-year, $920 million contract to manage topographic and geographic data for NGA partners throughout the GEOINT community. The contractors are: Altamira Technologies, BAE Systems, Boeing, CACI, Centra Technology, Harris, Hexagon US Federal, Leidos, MDA Information Systems (Radiant Solutions/Maxar), and Vencore.

In July, NGA also awarded Perspecta Inc. a Janus Geography contract to improve foundational geospatial data using open-source data acquisition, agile operations, and artificial intelligence. 

Airbus-led Consortium to Provide EU with Satellite Coverage of Europe

The European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) have commissioned a consortium of satellite providers including Airbus, Planet, Deimos Imaging, and more for seamless satellite coverage of the entire European continent. The operation will capture land cover and land use information about forests, urban areas, lakes, rivers, and more for 39 European nations, and is part of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation program.

DigitalGlobe Launches Cloud-Based EarthWatch Product

Maxar’s DigitalGlobe announced last week the launch of a cloud-based interface called EarthWatch. With it, customers may access DigitalGlobe products including raw satellite imagery, base maps, and analytic insights through GBDX. EarthWatch enables users to build their own maps, monitor resource changes, prepare emergency protocols, and more.

ManTech Wins DoD Managed Services, DARPA Contracts

ManTech announced the award of a 10-year, $959 million contract to provide enterprise IT services to the Department of Defense (DoD). Contract work will strengthen networks, infrastructure, and end points, securing critical technology for the DoD.

The company also announced four task order contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Strategic Technologies Office. The contracts have a total value of $60 million. ManTech will provide systems engineering and technical support for DARPA’s work in sensors, maritime defense, radar, and more.

U.S. and Canada Team on AI for First Responders

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has partnered with Canada’s Department of National Defence science and technology organization on an initiative to assess and promote the use of artificial intelligence in emergency response efforts. The initiative will host research and development projects, workshops, and field experiments. The first experiment will take place in Ontario in 2019, when DHS S&T’s AUDREY AI tool will be tested in a paramedic response scenario to determine whether it improves decision-making.

Peer Intel

George Batsakis joined Accenture Federal Services as the new head of the defense and intelligence practice. He’ll coordinate solutions with the DoD, IC, military health providers, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other federal clients.

President Trump plans to nominate William Bryan, current undersecretary for science and technology at DHS, to lead the S&T directorate on a full-time basis.

Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer Wes Bush announced he will step down as CEO effective Jan. 1, 2019. The firm’s board of directors has chosen Kathy Warden, president and chief operating officer, to succeed him.

The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) brought on Michael Madsen, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, as head of operations in Washington, D.C. He’ll facilitate communications between DIUx and Capitol Hill, military services, and other DoD agencies.

Maxar Technologies appointed Biggs Porter executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective August 15.

Photo Credit: Airbus

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