NGA Joins SpaceNet; Airbus Defence and Space To Launch New Constellation; NOAA Awards First Contracts for Commercial Weather Satellites; General Dynamics Awarded AFRL Contract; Leidos Awarded Army Contract; WorldView-4 Launch Postponed; OGSystems Receives Navy Training Contract
NGA Joins SpaceNet Effort
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) will participate in the SpaceNet initiative launched in August by DigitalGlobe, CosmiQ Works, and NVIDIA. SpaceNet, hosted on Amazon Web Services’ platform, is an online repository of satellite imagery and labeled training data that will advance the development of machine learning and deep learning algorithms that leverage remote sensing data. According to NGA’s press release, the agency constantly seeks innovative ways to automate its imagery analysis to better support national security efforts.
Airbus Defence and Space To Launch New Constellation
Airbus Defence and Space has invested in four very high-resolution (VHR) optical Earth observation satellites to be launched in 2020 and 2021. The constellation is a follow-on to Airbus’ Pleiades constellation. The company is also developing and deploying innovative ground segments with multi-mission capabilities, large-scale image processing, and easy data access to incorporate big data and cloud technologies.
NOAA Awards First Contracts for Commercial Weather Satellites
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded more than $1 million in pilot contracts to two California-based startups, GeoOptics and Spire Global, reports Science Magazine. The contracts are part of NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot, which allows NOAA to evaluate the quality of the companies’ data for forecasts and warnings. This could be a first step in a broader embrace of commercial weather satellites. The two companies will deliver their weather data by the end of April 2017.
General Dynamics Awarded AFRL Contract
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) awarded a $15 million contract to General Dynamics Mission Systems to design, develop, integrate, test, and demonstrate a software prototype that connects geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence, and cyber indicator and warning data streams for intelligence analysts. This prototype will help analysts reduce delays in data access and extraction, fuse intelligence from multiple data sources, provide analyses for faster delivery of enhanced intelligence, and increase accessibility across user communities.
Leidos Awarded Army Contract
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command awarded a prime contract to Leidos to provide technical solutions in support of the Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office. Under the contract, Leidos will provide solutions and mission support to disrupt and degrade national security threats posed by drug trafficking, piracy, transnational organized crime, and threat finance networks related to illicit drug trafficking activities.
WorldView-4 Launch Postponed
The launch of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 satellite, originally scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, was postponed as a result of a leak in ground equipment near the launch pad,reports Space News. The launch was rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18, but was postponed again after a wildfire broke out on base property. The fire does not immediately threaten any launch sites, but the effort needed by base personnel to contain it led the Air Force and United Launch Alliance to delay the Worldview-4 launch to no earlier than Monday, Sept. 26.
OGSystems Receives Navy Training Contract
OGSystems was awarded a $3.8 million contract with the Navy Center for Security Forces. The Innovation Cell Support Services contract will introduce innovation into the Navy Center for Security Forces training programs. OGSystems will deliver immersive engineering, lean startup, and agile techniques for three years and employ virtual and augmented reality to transform Navy training practices.
Ira “Gus” Hunt, former chief technology officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), joined Accenture Federal Services to lead its cybersecurity practice. Hunt retired from the CIA in 2013 following a 28-year career.
Photo Credit: Spire Global