Weekly GEOINT Community News

GEOINT Community Supports Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts; BlackSky and NGA Partner on AFRL GEOINT Broker Platform; NGA completes Arctic DEM; Airbus to Launch Pléiades Neo constellation


GEOINT Community Supports Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts

Just as with Hurricane Harvey, the GEOINT Community has mobilized in support of the response following Hurricane Irma. DigitalGlobe released high-resolution before-and-after imagery of Hurricane Irma’s damage in the Caribbean and Florida. Imagery was taken Sept. 8 and Sept. 11 of heavily affected places including Barbuda, Tortola, Saint Martin, and Turks and Caicos. Florida imagery shows striking beach erosion and plant damage in Key West and Geiger Key. More imagery was released through DigitalGlobe’s Open Data Program supporting recovery efforts.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is providing federally requested geospatial support to areas affected by Hurricane Irma. Last week, NGA publicly released imagery and mapping data including evacuation routes, impassible roads and bridges, and damage assessments for places in the Caribbean. NGA also sent analysts to assist FEMA with domestic recovery efforts in Tallahassee, Fla.

Esri has also provided resources in ArcGIS, including a post-event swipe map using imagery provided by NOAA and a visualization of power outages across Florida.

NGA completes Arctic DEM

NGA, the National Science Foundation, Esri, and the University of Minnesota recently completed the Arctic DEM project—an initiative to map and model the entire Arctic region. The models produced will be used to detect changes in terrain and topography, to study river and forest systems, and to measure groundwater levels. The sixth and final package of 3D digital elevation models was released Sept. 6.

BlackSky and NGA Partner on AFRL GEOINT Broker Platform

Spaceflight Industries’ BlackSky has partnered with NGA to develop a cloud-based GEOINT broker platform for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) under a previously awarded $16.4 million contract. The GEOINT Broker Development Platform will leverage an agile development approach to enable users to continuously provide input to build the technology, according to Spaceflight.

The Space Alliance partners with Spaceflight Industries

The Space Alliance, a joint venture between Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, signed a partnership with Spaceflight Industries to accelerate the BlackSky geospatial platform and satellite constellation. According to the BlackSky press release, the partnership reflects Thales Alenia Space’s transformation into a manufacturer of small sat constellations featuring frequent revisit rates.

Airbus to Launch Pléiades Neo constellation

Airbus is planning a 2020 launch for Pléiades Neo, a new constellation of four high-resolution satellites that will double Airbus’ daily revisit rate and multiply its re-tasking rate fivefold. Pléiades Neo is the first commercial constellation connected to data transmission system SpaceDataHighway.

In Memoriam

John Westcott, a well-known member of the GEOINT Community, passed away Sept. 5 following a brief illness. Westcott graduated from the University of Vermont in 1965 and began a career with the CIA that lasted more than 37 years. He ended his government tenure as a senior intelligence officer with he National Imagery and Mapping Agency. After a brief, three-day retirement, Westcott began working with Boeing as the director of business development for GEOINT Programs. After 10 years at Boeing, Westcott retired for a second time. Unable to stay away from the community he loved, he began accepting consulting opportunities within a week. His presence will be missed at USGIF and other community events.

Photo Credit: DigitalGlobe

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