GSA Adds 11 Geospatial Companies to its IT Schedule

The General Services Administration (GSA) is partnering with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to offer Schedule 70 blanket purchase agreements to 11 new geospatial vendors in support of the Commercial Initiative to Buy Operationally Responsive GEOINT (CIBORG). Vendors Carahsoft, DigitalGlobe, General Dynamics Information Technology, Geographic Services, Harris Corp., Hexagon U.S. Federal, Leidos, MDA Information Systems, Observera, Sanborn Map Company, and Wiser Imagery Service will provide Earth observation data, products, and services to agencies across the government.

NOAA’s GOES-17 Satellite Now Operational

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES-17 satellite is now operational. GOES-17 will serve as NOAA’s primary geostationary satellite for detecting and monitoring Pacific storm systems, fog, wildfires, and other weather phenomena that affect the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. In tandem with GOES-16, the satellite will provide high-res imagery, infrared imagery, and lightning observations from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand, and from near the Arctic Circle to the Antarctic Circle.

DIA Releases Space Security Report

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released “Challenges to Security in Space,” a report examining the space and counterspace programs that could challenge U.S. interests in the space domain. In particular, the report explores Chinese and Russian military space operations and how they could reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness.

White House Launches American AI Initiative

President Trump signed an executive order to launch an American Artificial Intelligence Initiative focused on accelerating U.S. national leadership in AI. The initiative includes five areas of emphasis: investing in AI research and development; unleashing resources; setting governance standards; building the AI workforce; and participating in international engagement while protecting the U.S. AI advantage.

IBM To Invest in AI Hardware Center at SUNY Poly Campus

IBM announced a $2 billion investment in tech facilities for the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany, N.Y., including the establishment of an AI Hardware Center. Once operational, the institute will run AI-focused computer chip research, development, prototyping, testing, and simulation. 

Airbus and Hisdesat Process first Joint Radar Interferogram

Airbus and Hisdesat Servicios Estratégicos generated the first joint TerraSAR-X/PAZ Radar Interferogram. The flattened cross-sensor-interferogram was created from a pair of mixed images taken four days apart by TerraSAR-X and PAZ, and covers an oil and gas production site in Kuwait and parts of the Persian Gulf. This milestone demonstrates the mission’s capacity for cross-sensor interferometry.

exactEarth Completes Maritime Tracking and Information System

exactEarth announced the final six payloads for its exactView RT constellation are now operational, completing the roll-out of what it bills as the world’s first global, real-time satellite AIS service. exactView RT’s 58 maritime payloads, built by Harris Corp., cover the entire maritime VHF radio band and use the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation architecture to deliver AIS and other VHF data services from vessels around the globe in real time.

LeoStella Inaugurates Small Satellite Facility

Leostella, a small sat company owned by Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries, announced the inauguration of its production facilities in Tukwila, WA. The first satellite produced at the facility will join BlackSky’s Earth observation constellation. It is scheduled for completion by the end of Q1 2019. Leostella is contracted to manufacture the next 20 satellites in BlackSky’s constellation.

OGC to Stand Up Portrayal Domain Working Group

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) requested public comment on a draft charter for a proposed Portrayal Domain Working Group (DWG). OGC membership previously voiced a concern that without a portrayal framework with updated consensus standards and best practices, divergence will continue in the community. The Portrayal DWG would address a gap in OGC standards with regard to the portrayal of geospatial data, including the standardization of portrayal rules, registry data, styles, and encoding formats. 

Peer Intel

NGA appointed Mark Munsell chief technology officer. Munsell, currently the deputy director of the CIO and IT Services Directorate, will lead NGA’s technology transformation and modernization efforts in his new role.

Headline Image: Flattened TerraSAR-X/PAZ cross-interferogram (geocoded) over Burgan Oilfield, Kuwait. 

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