NGA Awards Four AI Research Contracts; SpaceX Rocket Launches; GSA Seeks to Streamline Purchase of GEOINT Products; DigitalGlobe Launches SecureWatch
NGA Awards Four AI Research Contracts
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) awarded four contracts to enhance artificial intelligence and automation to improve geospatial intelligence analysis. Concurrent Technologies Corporation, HRL Laboratories, Raytheon, and Soar Technology received the research contracts. The awards were based on responses to the artificial intelligence and automation topic under a broad agency announcement soliciting input from industry and academia.
SpaceX Rocket Launches
On Sunday, a SpaceX Falcon rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to a Reuters article, the rocket carried a Dragon cargo ship holding supplies and science experiments for the International Space Station. The liftoff marked a successful debut for SpaceX at Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, originally built in the ’60s for the Apollo moon program and later repurposed for space shuttles. SpaceX plans to use the pad for commercial missions as well as future manned flights.
GSA Seeks to Streamline Purchase of GEOINT Products
The General Services Administration (GSA) is recommending a separate category for Earth observation products and services that use geospatial and satellite imagery as part of the solution. According to GCN, a special item number for this category would make it easier for federal, state, and local agencies to purchase Earth observation imagery, data, and services as well as for GSA to refresh the technology offerings available to users. Responses to the RFI are due March 3.
DigitalGlobe Launches SecureWatch
DigitalGlobe revealed a new product optimized for international defense and intelligence customers. SecureWatch is a web-based subscription service that gives intelligence agencies and defense organizations access to the company’s imagery library and daily image collections. SecureWatch fuses multi-source geospatial intelligence content including satellite imagery at various resolutions and refresh intervals, geographic information system layers, tactically significant news stories, timely social media posts, real-time transportation data, and more.
Satellites Images of the Oroville Dam
Last week, hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated in anticipation of a spillway failure at the Oroville dam in California. Images captured by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite and DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 show the surrounding area in northern California before and after the overflow.
Harris & EdgeData Collaborate on Electric Utility Asset Management
Harris Corp.’s geospatial solutions business unit and EdgeData signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate the development of asset inspection and management solutions for the utility industry based on remotely sensed data and advanced machine learning technology. According to the press release, Harris and EdgeData will work jointly under the MOU to commercialize applications that will automate utility management operations including asset identification, inspection, and post-storm damage assessment of electric utility transmission and distribution infrastucture.
Malawi & UNICEF Establish UAS Air Corridor
The Government of Malawi and the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced an air corridor to test potential humanitarian uses of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The corridor is the first in Africa and one of the first globally with a focus on humanitarian use. The corridor is designed to provide a controlled platform for the private sector, academia, and other partners to explore how UAS can be used to help deliver services that will benefit underdeveloped communities. According to UNICEF’s article, the corridor is expected to be operational in April.
Photo Credit: SpaceX