Weekly GEOINT Community News

FAA Announces Nine Commercial Drone Partners; Raytheon Delivers SeeMe Satellite to DARPA; Perspecta Labs Awarded DARPA Cybersecurity Contract; More


FAA Announces Nine Commercial Drone Partners

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved nine new commercial partners for its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) initiative, a collaboration between FAA and the drone industry to provide real-time authorizations for operators who fly drones in controlled airspace. The new service providers are Aeronyde, Airbus, AiRXOS, Altitude Angel, Converge, DJI, KittyHawk, UASidekick, and Unifly. The nine join five companies – AirMap, Harris Corp., Project Wing, Skyward, and Thales Group – that have already met the technical and legal requirements to provide LAANC services.

Raytheon Delivers SeeMe Satellite to DARPA

Raytheon delivered the first Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements (SeeMe) satellite to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The SeeMe program develops small, affordable satellites to provide tactical situational intelligence and imagery to soldiers on the ground. The first SeeMe satellite will be integrated on a Spaceflight Industries payload to be launched on a SpaceX rocket later this year, enabling military users to evaluate the satellite’s performance by early 2019.

Perspecta Labs Awarded DARPA Cybersecurity Contract

Perspecta Labs, the research arm of Perspecta Inc., received a 4-year, $4.7 million contract from DARPA in support of the Cyber-Hunting at Scale (CHASE) program. CHASE is an effort to develop real-time tools to successfully defend large-scale, distributed networks from broad cyber threats. Perspecta Labs will develop a set of components for data-driven threat detection and characterization.

Planet Wins NGA Imagery Contract 

Planet was awarded a six-month, $5.9 million contract to provide the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) with subscription access to daily imagery over select areas of the world. Planet’s high revisit rates and reliable global coverage have helped enable persistent monitoring and informed decision-making at NGA for three years.

SRI to Lead New Quantum Consortium for NIST

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) signed a cooperative research and development agreement with SRI International to lead a new consortium on quantum science. The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QEDC) aims to expand U.S. leadership in global quantum research and development as well as emerging quantum applications in computing, communications, and sensing. QEDC members will share resources and collaborate on efforts such as quantum device design and prototyping.

Iridium Partners with AWS on Cloud IoT Solution

Iridium Communications has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the development of Iridium CloudConnect, a cloud-based solution offering global coverage for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Through the power and capabilities of AWS IoT, Iridium customers will be able to reduce engineering efforts, lower operating costs, and reduce time to develop new products. Existing AWS customers will have a cost-effective way to expand their geographic IoT footprint to anywhere on the globe with the Iridium network.

 Peer Intel

38 North announced last week the expansion of its imagery analysis staff. Intelligence Community veterans Irvin Buck and Peter Makowsky will join the organization, which studies and reports on events in and around North Korea, as commercial satellite imagery analysts. Buck and Makowsky will track not only nuclear, missile, and other military activity in North Korea, but also key developments in civilian sectors and the implementation of agreements between North and South Korea.

Photo Credit: Raytheon

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