Weekly GEOINT Community News

Thales Alenia Space Joint Venture Reaches Major Milestone; Airbus Announces Launch of Second SpaceDataHighway Satellite; CAE Awarded SOCOM Contract for OGC Prototyping; More


Thales Alenia Space Joint Venture Reaches Major Milestone

Thales Alenia Space, a collaboration among Thales, Leonardo, and Maxar Technologies, completed an important milestone for its Telesat LEO constellation. The consortium has significantly advanced its detailed, low-risk designs for the complete LEO system, including system optimization, development requirements, engineering trade-offs, and technology prototyping. The design integrates the collective experience, industrial capability, and strong integrated communications satellite supplier base of each company, including payload antenna design, onboard processing, optical inter-satellite links, and LEO satellite production.

Airbus Announces Launch of Second SpaceDataHighway Satellite

Airbus’ EDRS-C satellite, the second node of the SpaceDataHighway network (also known as EDRS), will launch July 24. Once positioned above Europe, it will provide redundant back-up for the SpaceDataHighway system, double transmission capacity, and be able to relay the data from two observation satellites simultaneously. This second satellite will join EDRS-A, which transmits on a daily basis the images of Earth acquired by the Copernicus program’s four Sentinel observation satellites. Since it entered service in late 2016, EDRS-A has achieved more than 20,000 laser connections. Its reliability rate has reached 99.5% and these connections have downloaded more than 1 petabyte of data.

Airbus Launches Geospatial Data Startup 

UP42, a subsidiary of Airbus Defense and Space, launched an open platform and marketplace dedicated to helping developers and startups build, run, and scale geospatial products. UP42 gives access to geospatial data, imagery, and processing algorithms—enabling users to develop, launch, and monetize new products. Developers and data scientists may also use their own algorithms by uploading the code directly to the platform or via the API and executing it in the cloud. UP42’s infrastructure can adapt to an application’s requirements in real time.

CAE Awarded SOCOM Contract for OGC Prototyping

CAE USA Mission Solutions Inc. (MSI), was awarded a contract by U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to support Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Common Database (CDB) rapid prototyping. Under the contract, CAE MSI will enhance mission readiness by helping SOCOM address challenges with simulation interoperability. CAE originally designed and developed the CDB for SOCOM.  In 2016, OGC approved the CDB as an OGC standard. The OGC CDB brings together the GEOINT and modeling & simulation industries to establish greater interoperability in the use of geospatial data.

Esri Introduces New Software and Licensing Options

With the release of ArcGIS 10.7, Esri is offering licensing to deliver the benefits of location intelligence throughout organizations—with the intent to benefit individuals who are not traditional GIS users. Esri Geospatial Cloud unifies Esri’s software and services and offers flexible, subscription-based licensing. Esri Geospatial Cloud provides complete GIS and software development tools to assist organizations in making data-driven decisions.

TCarta and King’s College London Team on Satellite-Based Air Quality Service

TCarta and King’s College London were awarded 1.5 million euros from the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop an air quality modeling service that leverages commercial satellite imagery. The service will provide organizations with accurate snapshots of existing air quality conditions and modeling outputs. In a pilot study funded by ESA in 2018, TCarta and King’s College successfully proved the technical and commercial viability of the service. The service will be offered commercially to local and regional governments, NGOs, automotive manufacturers, mobility service providers, and construction companies. 

Stanford Students Harness the Power of Planet’s Satellite Data

Planet recently partnered with Stanford University, giving students subscription access to the company’s data and satellite imagery. The university can use Dove and RapidEye imagery for non-commercial research and classroom exercises. Students may access a vast array of insights, from tracking receding glaciers to observing humanitarian responses to crises.

East View Geospatial Introduces Image Cleaning and Pre-Processing Service

East View Geospatial (EVG) now offers high-quality image cleaning and pre-processing services for visual databases. Using a proprietary workflow, EVG works with high-resolution imagery to suppress distortions and remove unwanted noise. Often this includes the removal of vehicles, shadows, people, etc. At the same time, features such as roads, parking lots, and crosswalks are extracted, digitized, and rasterized on top of the source imagery to produce an image output optimized for use in 3D visualization software. 

Peer Intel

Former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Robert Cardillo joined the board of advisors at Beacon Global Strategies. Cardillo served as the sixth director of NGA from October 2014 to February 2019. He was also recently named a member of Peraton’s advisory board.

NGA announced that Stacey Dixon, Ph.D., director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), has been named the agency’s eighth deputy director. Prior to her IARPA directorship, Dixon held a number of positions within NGA, most recently as deputy director of the agency’s research and development directorate.  

Photo Credit: Airbus

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