Weekly GEOINT Community News

Harris to Build PNT Satellite for U.S. Air Force; NGA Seeks Methods for Altimetry Model Development; Descartes Labs Shares Polar Vortex Imagery


Harris to Build PNT Satellite for U.S. Air Force

Harris Corporation was chosen as the prime contractor for the U.S. Air Force’s Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) spacecraft. NTS-3 is an experimental positioning, navigation, and timing spacecraft that the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space and Missile Systems Center will use as a testbed for new antennas, signals, automation tools, and more. Harris will build a platform to help operators generate and transmit new signals and broadcast in different waveforms. The Air Force plans to launch the satellite in 2022.

NGA Seeks Methods for Altimetry Model Development

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) issued a request for information seeking sources for altimetry model development. The agency plans to award a potential five-year contract to a partner who can help create altimetry models for the Earth gravitational model as well as oceanic areas. Firms may submit responses through Feb. 11.

Descartes Labs Shares Polar Vortex Imagery

Last week, Descartes Labs shared high-resolution imagery of the effects of the polar vortex over Chicago and the Great Lakes. Taken by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite, the scene is more than 20,000 pixels wide and shows a frozen lakefront, craggy ice, and thick cloud cover. Zoom in to see ice formations over the lake, skyscrapers, and snowy city streets. Descartes also shared infrared shots of Detroit and Lake St. Clair taken by NOAA’s VIIRS satellite. The Chicago Tribune reposted the imagery.

Ursa and SI Imaging Partner on Satellite Analytics

Ursa Space Systems and SI Imaging Services (SIIS) signed a multi-year contract giving Ursa access to SIIS KOMPSAT 5 radar satellite imagery. The contract renews a partnership established in May 2017, when Ursa began using SIIS data to offer insight about the global oil supply chain.

SAIC Awarded Air Force Ground Systems Contract

SAIC was chosen to provide satellite ground system support to the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) under a potential seven-year, $655 million contract. The contract was awarded to Engility, which SAIC acquired two weeks ago in a $2.5 billion deal. SAIC will perform engineering and integration services for the Ground Systems and Space Operations Division under the SMC’s Advanced Systems and Development Directorate in New Mexico.

Esri Hosts Annual Federal GIS Conference

Esri hosted its 22nd annual Federal GIS Conference last week in Washington, D.C. The conference featured hands-on workshops, networking sessions, and presentations from several organizations on their uses of location intelligence, including real-time disaster response and intelligence analysis. Attendees also heard from the U.S. Census Bureau and the UK’s Geospatial Commission. Additionally, three awards were presented: the Making a Difference Award was given to NatureServe, a conservation GIS leader; and Federal Small Business Specialty (FSBS) awards were presented to Blue Raster and geocgi for their innovations using the Esri platform.

Peer Intel

The Pentagon said it has selected the official who will lead the U.S. Space Command. However, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan declined to name the person and noted the Department of Defense is still working on the process to re-establish the command.

Photo Credit: Descartes Labs/ESA

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