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NRO Announces Commercial Imagery Contracts to BlackSky, Maxar and Planet Worth Billions

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
May 25, 2022
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CHANTILLY, Va. (NRO PR) — The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) today announced the results of its largest ever commercial imagery contract effort, awarding Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) to BlackSky, Maxar, and Planet. Valued at billions of dollars over the next decade, these contracts mark a historic expansion of the NRO’s acquisition of commercial imagery to meet increasing customer demands with greater capacity than ever before .

“The NRO has a longstanding strategy of ‘buy what we can, build what we must’,” said .Dr. Chris Scolese, director of the NRO. “The diversity offered by our expanding architecture comprised of both commercial and NRO systems increases our resilience and enables an integrated approach to the threats facing our Nation.”

Due to its unclassified and shareable nature, commercial remote sensing data offer important benefits, including increased transparency, mission-critical awareness , and humanitarian assistance. EOCL ‘s unique situational design, featuring user-friendly license agreements and built-in contract flexibility, maximizes shareability across a diverse customer base.

“Commercial imagery is a valuable tool for information sharing and decision making,” said said Pete Muend, director of NRO’s commercial systems program office. “EOCL allows us to meet a larger number of customer requirements more quickly than ever before and dedicate EOCL national systems to the most awards challenging and sensitive missions.”

The EOCL are the culmination of close collaboration with stakeholders from across the defense and intelligence communities. EOCL includes a substantial increase in requirements for foundation data, intelligence points, and and non-taskable data collection; shortwave infrared, nighttime, and non-earth imaging; and data collection; and direct downlink to theater-based remote ground stations — a vital capability for the military that has been successfully demonstrated in multiple exercises over the past year.

EOCL will support the mission needs of NRO’s half-million intelligence, defense, and federal civil agency users over the next decade. It will also help ensure long-term, continued support for the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry. EOCL is effective as of of May 22, 2022 with a five-year base and multiple one-year options with additional growth through 2032.

Learn more about NRO acquisition opportunities at

NRO is the leader in developing, acquiring, launching, and operating the nation’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance satellites to secure and expand America’s advantage in space. We are building a diversified and resilient architecture of spacecraft and ground systems designed to meet the challenges of a changing space environment by accelerating innovation and leveraging strategic partnerships, backed by a diverse and highly skilled workforce. At NRO, we See It, Hear It, Sense It so our nation’s warfighters and policymakers have decision advantage amid increasing global competition. Learn more at

4 responses to “NRO Announces Commercial Imagery Contracts to BlackSky, Maxar and Planet Worth Billions”

  1. savuporo says:

    Really nice for the growing EO industry. BKSY and PL stocks are making good moves on the news as well

  2. SLSFanboy says:

    This is essentially like putting intelligence gathering equipment on commercial airliners and makes it a certainty that in the event of an escalating conflict everything up there is going to be destroyed in a satellite Armageddon. Which would then make a nuclear exchange far more likely. Crazy.

  3. Lee says:

    This will likely lead to a relaxation on resolution limits for commercial providers.

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