Weekly GEOINT Community News

NGA Signs Multiyear Contract with Esri; ODNI Completes Transformation Plan; Senate Introduces Space Frontier Act; Iridium Completes Seventh Iridium NEXT Launch; More


NGA Signs Multiyear Contract With Esri

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency signed a multiyear contract with Esri to make the ArcGIS platform accessible to the entire agency worldwide. This will help NGA store and manage data in one common format for easy access and fast analysis. The contract continues Esri’s 30-year history as an NGA technology partner.

ODNI Completes Transformation Plan

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) completed the reorganization of its governance structure based on the transformation plan announced in May. In addition to new mission and vision statements and core values, ODNI has established four new verticals to be led by deputy directors of national intelligence, each to support key functions of the office. The transformation allows for more agility and better integration of ODNI’s mission centers in efforts to fight cyber attacks, terrorism, and other threats.

Senate Introduces Space Frontier Act

Three senators introduced a bill last week seeking to reform commercial space regulations. The Space Frontier Act focuses on streamlining licensing processes for private launches and reentries, as well as for remote sensing spacecraft. The language largely supports provisions outlined in Space Policy Directive 2, signed by the President in May, and the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, a House bill approved in April, with the exception of who gets authority over non-traditional commercial space activity—things such as lunar landers that lack commercial regulations.

Iridium Completes Seventh Iridium NEXT Launch

Iridium Communications last week launched 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low earth orbit onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This marks the seventh of eight planned launches for the Iridium Next constellation, and a step closer to a new era of satellite capabilities including Iridium’s Certus broadband service and the Aieron system for real-time surveillance

DARPA Announces Artificial Intelligence Exploration Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) program, a new effort to accelerate “third wave” AI research and achieve operational applications that can adapt to changing situations. Streamlined contracting processes and funding opportunities for research teams will shorten project timelines and encourage bold innovation. The program comes as part of a larger initiative to keep the U.S. at the forefront of global AI capabilities.

Peer Intel

NGA is seeking a new chief technology officer to lead and develop the agency’s information management capabilities, combat support systems, and technology strategy across the public and private sectors. NGA will accept applications through August 15.

Accenture has chosen Bryan Rich, former senior vice president of analytics strategy at Novetta Solutions, as the new managing director of analytics and artificial intelligence solutions for the company’s federal services arm. Rich will work with Accenture’s tech and data teams to develop project management, architecture, and design capabilities using machine learning and automation. 

Maxar Technologies’ MDA announced the appointment of Michael Rack, a 23-year veteran in the aerospace and defense industries, as president of MDA’s newly created commercial division. He’ll oversee operations and growth for all commercial product lines, including space robotics, sensors, antennas, payloads, and more.

Photo Credit: Iridium

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