NGA Awards Contract to Planet for Imagery

SPRINGFIELD, Va.(NGA PR) — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced today a $14 million, one-year subscription to Planet, a commercial imagery provider.

The purchase takes advantage of the new NGA and General Services Administration (GSA) partnership for Earth Observation Solutions that can be acquired via GSA schedules. The subscription, made through Planet’s GSA Information Technology Schedule Contract (GS-35F-309GA), enables the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community to access Planet’s imagery of over 25 select regions of interest, ranging from portions of the Middle-East, Asia, and Africa to Central and South America.

(more…)

Space Systems Loral to Provide Satellite Constellation for DigitalGlobe

PALO ALTO, Calif. (SSL PR) MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that its subsidiary Space Systems Loral (SSL) was selected to provide a next-generation satellite constellation for high-resolution Earth imaging to DigitalGlobe, the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet. Called WorldView Legion, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will more than double DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution capacity in important regions. The contract is valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars..

(more…)

Smith Introduces American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017

Lamar Smith

WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today introduced H.R. 2809, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017.

The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017 simplifies and strengthens the outdated space-based remote sensing regulatory system. At the same time, this bill enhances U.S. compliance with international obligations, improves national security and removes regulatory barriers facing new and innovative space companies.

(more…)

EagleView Imagery Company Acquires OmniEarth

BOTHELL, WA (EagleView PR) – EagleView®, the leading provider of aerial imagery and data analytics for government and commercial industries, is proud to announce the acquisition of OmniEarth, developer of machine learning technologies and decision-making tools for the water resource management, energy and insurance markets. With this acquisition, EagleView gains OmniEarth’s machine learning capabilities, resulting in higher accuracy and precision of existing automated datasets.

OmniEarth’s ability to extract data from geospatial imagery will enhance EagleView’s property reports and Pictometry® imagery classification of land areas such as impervious surfaces or irrigated farmland. It will also better identify roof shape and condition, tree overhang, decks, pools and other notable property features.

(more…)

NIAC Projects Target Mars, Venus & Pluto

Pluto Hop, Skip, and Jump mission. (Credit: Benjamin Goldman)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

An airship for Mars, two spacecraft capable of exploring the hellish environment of Venus, and a fusion-powered orbiter and lander for Pluto are three of the planetary-related research projects recently funded by theNASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program.

In all, NIAC funded eight advanced projects focused on Mars, Venus and Pluto in its latest annual funding round. The space agency also funded two proposals aimed at identifying and extracting resources on planets, moons and asteroids.
(more…)

Report: Apple Hires Google Satellite Execs, Eyes Boeing Broadband Constellation

Credit: The Boeing Company

Bloomberg has an intriguing report about Apple, Boeing and te emerging battle to provide global broadband services via constellations of satellites.

The iPhone maker has recruited a pair of top Google satellite executives for a new hardware team, according to people familiar with the matter. John Fenwick, who led Google’s spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, head of satellite engineering, left Alphabet Inc.’s Google for Apple in recent weeks, the people said. They report to Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam, who joined Apple earlier this year, the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about Apple’s private plans. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, as did Google. Fenwick, Trela and Duffy didn’t respond to requests for comment….

In a regulatory filing last year, Boeing Co. detailed a plan to provide broadband access through more than 1,000 satellites in low-earth orbit. The aerospace company has talked with Apple about the technology company being an investor-partner in the project, a person familiar with the situation said. It’s unclear if those talks will result in a deal….

Still, TMF’s Farrar said there’s no guarantee Apple will get involved in the Boeing project. The satellite industry is littered with bankruptcies and other failures. Satellite telephone company Iridium LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999, and Teledesic abandoned its “internet from the sky” plan more than a decade ago.

Indeed, Apple may have hired the Google executives for something other than satellite work. It’s already trying to use drones to capture and update map information faster than its existing fleet of camera-and-sensor ladened minivans. And in 2015, it acquired Aether Industries LLC, which develops near-space technology such as high bandwidth radio transceivers and high-altitude balloons.

Read the full story.

Save

Spaceflight Industries Reveals BlackSky Spectra

Image from BlackSky Spectra, displaying visible, SAR, and IR data over Panama City and the Miraflores Locks. (Images from Airbus Pléiades, Airbus TerraSAR-X, and USGS Landsat; some of the bans are IR, some are visible), respectively. (Credit: Spaceflight Industries)

Airbus’s Pléiades, SPOT6/7, KazEOSat-1, and TerraSAR-X Join Growing Satellite Imagery Service

SEATTLE, April 5, 2017 (Spaceflight Industries PR) – Spaceflight Industries today revealed BlackSky Spectra, its on-demand satellite imagery service which enables customers to discover archive images and task new images from 13 high-resolution imaging spacecraft, all from one convenient web platform. BlackSky Spectra enables customers to easily look at the planet across every spectrum, from visual imagery to multi-spectral data including synthetic aperture radar (SAR), hyperspectral data, and radio frequency detection, which provides a more comprehensive view of the changing world.

(more…)

Bird.i Partners with DigitalGlobe on High-Resolution Satellite Images

Credit: Bird.i

GLASGOW, UK (Bird.i PR) — Bird.i, the premiere global platform for accessing the world’s best satellite, airborne and drone imagery, has today announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with leading high-resolution satellite imagery leader DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI).

(more…)

EOS Launches Land Viewer

MENLO PARK, Calif. (EOS PR) — Data scientists, GIS engineers and software developers from California-based company EOS have recently launched a cutting-edge cloud-based tool that allows users, journalists, researchers and students to easily search and analyze huge amounts of the most up-to-date earth observation data.

Land Viewer is an on-the-fly, real-time imagery processing and analytics service, which provides:

  • instant access to petabytes of new and archive data;
  • the ability to find geospatial images on any scale in 2 clicks by selecting the required territory on the map or by location name;
  • on-the-fly imagery analytics, with the option to download any images required for business purposes.

(more…)

Canadian Government Invests US$13 Million in UrtheCast

VANCOUVER, BC, March 14, 2017 (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada PR) — A Vancouver-based company will develop new technologies that will provide its clients with highly detailed images of the planet as a result of a $17.6-million (US$13.06 million) investment by the Government of Canada.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced this investment in UrtheCast Corp., a leading developer of space and ground-based satellite technology.

(more…)

Planet Unveils Planet Explorer Beta

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet PR) — Today we’re excited to release Planet Explorer Beta, an online tool that lets users browse geospatial data through time and see change across the globe. In short, Planet has introduced a time axis to maps.

Planet operates 149 satellites—the largest fleet in human history—giving us the capacity to collect a new image of everywhere on Earth’s land area every day. Most satellite imagery online today is years old. Planet’s imagery is different—it’s being constantly updated. With Planet Explorer Beta users can for the first time browse and see change month by month across the whole planet: every port, every farm, every forest, every city.

(more…)

SpaceX Wants to Launch 12,000 Satellites

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has filed a new application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approval to launch a constellation of 7,518 satellites to provide communications in the little used V band.

The system is in addition to  another constellations of 4,425 satellites (plus orbital spares) SpaceX proposed in November that would operate in the Ku and Ka bands. In total, the two constellations would have 11,943 spacecraft plus spares.

“When combined into a single, coordinated system, these ‘LEO’ and ‘VLEO’ constellations will enable SpaceX to provide robust broadband services on a full and continuous global basis,” SpaceX said in its application.

Competitor OneWeb has submitted a new application that would add an additional 2,000 satellites capable of operating in the V-band to its planned constellation of 720 satellites.

(more…)

MDA to Acquire DigitalGlobe for $2.4 Billion

SAN FRANCISCO and WESTMINSTER, Colo. – February 24, 2017 – MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA”) (TSX: MDA), a global communications and information company providing technology solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide, and DigitalGlobe, Inc. (“DigitalGlobe”) (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet, today announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which MDA will acquire DigitalGlobe for US$35.00 per share in a combination of cash and stock.

The transaction values DigitalGlobe at an equity value of approximately C$3.1 billion (US$2.4 billion), and an enterprise value of C$4.7 billion (US$3.6 billion), including assumption of DigitalGlobe’s C$1.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) in net debt. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

(more…)

DigitalGlobe Adds New, Innovative Partners to Its Rapidly Growing Geospatial Big Data Ecosystem

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Feb. 7, 2017 (DigitalGlobe PR) — DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet, announced the growth of its ecosystem of content producers and consumers who leverage the Company’s Geospatial Big Data analytics platform, GBDX. With this increase in ecosystem partners, GBDX solidified its leadership position.

(more…)

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 Satellite Begins Service

Built by Lockheed Martin, the WorldView-4 satellite will expand DigitalGlobe’s industry-leading constellation of high-accuracy, high-resolution satellites, and double the availability of 30 cm resolution imagery for commercial and government customers around the globe. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (DigitalGlobe PR) — DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in earth imagery and information about our changing planet, today announced that the WorldView-4 satellite successfully completed in-orbit testing and calibration and began serving its first direct access customer on Feb. 1. Additional direct access customers will be added to WorldView-4 service throughout 2017.

(more…)