National Reconnaissance Office lets two important remote sensing contracts to improve satellite surveillance

Dec. 17, 2019
NRO has had a complicated relationship with commercial remote sensing providers, especially those working with SAR and other powerful new technologies.

WASHINGTON – The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) awarded two first-of-a-kind contracts to study new kinds of commercial satellite surveillance, the spy agency announced last week. Breaking Defense reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

17 Dec. 2019 -- One award goes to Capella Space for commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which can see through cloud cover. The other goes to Hawkeye 360 for remote sensing of radio frequency (RF) transmissions, which include communications and radar.

This is not just about sucking up more data: The studies also look at how to check accuracy and incorporate the new information into the NRO’s existing databases, able to combine SAR, RF, and visual perspectives on the same target.

The agency especially wants to add the rapidly growing capabilities of commercial satellites with its own (expensive) purpose-built birds, creating what the announcement calls an integrated overhead architecture consisting of both national and commercial capabilities.

Related: Wide-area maritime surveillance with intelligent floats is goal of DARPA Ocean of Things project

Related: DARPA asks industry to develop small, secure military satellites to operate in low-Earth orbit (LEO)

Related: What is global persistent surveillance?

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!