Weekly GEOINT Community News

NGA Awards USGIF Accredited Program $12 Million; NGA & NSF Release Alaska 3D Elevation Models; NGA Launches Challenge.gov Competition; USAID Announces Grand Prize Winners of Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge; IARPA Creates Multi-View 3D Mapping Challenge; GomSpace to Manufacture HawkEye 360 Payload


NGA Awards USGIF Accredited Program $12 Million

The University of Missouri’s (MU) College of Engineering won a five-year, $12 million contract to deliver a data science education program that provides analytical training for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) workforce and potentially other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community. According to the press release, this new program will address key education and training needs identified by NGA. The program is a collaboration between MU’s Center for Geospatial Intelligence and the MU Informatics Institute’s data science and analytics master’s degree program.

NGA & NSF Release Alaska 3D Elevation Models

NGA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) released new 3D topographic maps of Alaska in support of a White House initiative to inform better decision-making in the Arctic. The 3D digital elevation models (DEMs) are the first to result from the ArcticDEM project, which was created after a January 2015 executive order calling for enhanced coordination of national efforts in the Arctic. The models are based on 2-meter resolution images captured by DigitalGlobe satellites. Models of the entire Arctic are scheduled for release in 2017. View the maps here.

NGA Launches Challenge.gov Competition

NGA launched a $200,000 competition on Challenge.gov for programs that address the agency’s disparate data challenges. The challenge aims to provide unified access to data with different formats, schemas, interfaces, and locations to support applications such as business metrics and information analytics. The first stage of the challenge will award 15 $10,000 prizes and requires participants to develop a functional code designed to access and retrieve the supplied representative data sets from a variety of sources. First stage winners will then take part in a “Dem-o-thon” in Washington, D.C., during which a panel of NGA judges will test the submitted code. The agency will award $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 in cash prizes to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively.

USAID Announces Grand Prize Winners of Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced four Grand Prize winners as the result of its Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge. With a combined award of more than $900,000, the grand prize winners’ innovations will impact illegal trafficking in marine and terrestrial wildlife. More than 300 participants from around the world responded to the initial challenge call on Earth Day 2015. The winners are the National Whistleblower Center, the New England Aquarium, New York University, and the University of Washington.

IARPA Creates Multi-View 3D Mapping Challenge

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence launched the Multi-View Stereo 3D Mapping Challenge, a competition in which participants generate an algorithm to convert high-resolution satellite images into 3D point clouds. The challenge invites the broader research community of industry and academia with or without experience in multi-view satellite imagery to participate. Participants with the most accurate and complete solutions will be eligible to win cash prizes from a total of $100,000. Learn more about the challenge and how to register here.

GomSpace to Manufacture HawkEye 360 Payload

HawkEye 360 selected Danish space components company GomSpace to provide the payload for its Pathfinder cluster satellite mission. GomSpace will provide its flight-proven, software-defined radio platforms and antennas as the payload for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission, which is scheduled for launch and testing in late 2017. By using GomSpace’s small satellite radio and antenna technology, HawkEye 360 is developing one of the world’s first privately funded, space-based global wireless monitoring systems.HawkEye 360’s small satellite constellation aims to enable commercial applications such as the ability to dynamically monitor transportation networks across air, land, and sea.

Photo Credit: NGA

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