Weekly GEOINT Community News

DoD Announces xView2 AI Challenge; Capella Space Partners with SpaceNet; Perspecta Awarded DARPA AI Research Contract; More


DoD Announces xView2 AI Challenge

The Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) xView2 Challenge seeks to automate post-disaster damage assessment. DIU is challenging machine learning experts to develop computer vision algorithms that will speed up analysis of satellite and aerial imagery by localizing and categorizing various types of building damage caused by natural disasters.

The xView2 Challenge is DIU’s second prize competition focused on furthering innovation in computer vision for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. This year’s competition builds upon the xView1 Challenge, which sought computer vision algorithms to locate and identify distinct objects on the ground useful to first responders.

Capella Space Partners with SpaceNet

Capella Space announced its partnership with SpaceNet, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating open source, AI applied research for geospatial applications. Capella joins the collaborative SpaceNet partnership alongside In-Q-Tel’s CosmiQ Works, Maxar Technologies, Intel AI, and Amazon Web Services. Capella’s addition to the partnership presents an opportunity to expand SpaceNet’s existing geospatial open source research to a new data type, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Opening access to this data will help broaden the use of high-quality SAR in a variety of geospatial analytic applications. 

Perspecta Awarded DARPA AI Research Contract

Perspecta announced its applied research arm, Perspecta Labs, was awarded a prime contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide Photonic Edge AI Compact Hardware (PEACH) research under DARPA’s AI Exploration program. The contract has a total value of $1 million and work will be performed over 18 months. The goal of the PEACH program is to research and develop novel AI processing architectures in combination with innovative photonic hardware to enable breakthrough AI functionality with significant reduction in hardware complexity, latency, and power consumption. 

Vricon Partners With Apollo Mapping

Vricon announced it is partnering with Apollo Mapping to provide a new means for customers of geospatial products to gain easy access to Vricon’s offerings. Customers now can order Vricon imagery through Apollo Mapping using Apollo’s Image Hunter search engine tool that helps clients find Vricon products featuring areas around the globe. Minimum order sizes are only 100 square kilometers, making Vricon products more accessible and affordable for smaller organizations and businesses. 

Second GPS III Satellite Launched

The U.S. Air Force’s second next-generation GPS III satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, is responding to commands, under control, and now using its own internal propulsion system to get to orbit following a successful launch Aug. 22. The first GPS III satellite launched in December 2018 and its navigation payload, built by L3Harris, has performed beyond expectations on-orbit during pre-operational testing.

Peer Intel

Benjamin T. Huebner joined the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) as the new chief of the Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency. Huebner serves as the Intelligence Community’s Civil Liberties Protection Officer, a position established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and as ODNI’s Chief Transparency Officer. Huebner previously worked as the privacy and civil liberties officer at CIA.

Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/L3Harris

Weekly GEOINT Community News

Pentagon to Amp Up UAV Program; Dewberry to Evaluate New LiDAR Forms for USGS; Google Launches Project Sunroof