U.S. intelligence community plans to make broader use of commercial satellite photos for intelligence

Aug. 4, 2020
NRO is seeking to standardize end-user license agreements for imagery, and govern how the agency is able to use and share the imagery it collects.

CHANTILLY, Va. – Starting in 1961, the National Reconnaissance Office has been designing, building, launching, and operating the U.S. fleet of satellites for intelligence imagery. Over the years, that mission has evolved, bolting on new components and missions. C4ISRnet reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

4 Aug. 2020 -- Now the NRO is looking to move beyond the status quo by issuing new contracts late this year to reshape the intelligence community’s relationship with the commercial satellite remote sensing industry.

NRO officials, however, say they don't want any commercial imaging company to exist solely to support government requirements; there should be a real commercial market for these capabilities, which will help drive down costs for the government.

“I think the best philosophy that underpins that is one that says ‘We really are looking to buy everywhere we can and only build what we have to—what’s really not available on the commercial market," says Peter Muend, the head of NRO’s commercial imagery efforts.

Related: BAE Systems to help DARPA provide intelligence analysts with satellite imagery using cloud computing

Related: IARPA to brief industry on data fusion project in multispectral imaging for intelligence analysis

Related: IARPA kicks-off satellite electro-optical sensors project to detect and characterize events over time

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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