Sun. May 26th, 2024

NRO outlines plan to onboard commercial satellite imaging technologies

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May23,2024

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The head of the National Reconnaissance Office’s commercial space office Pete Muend announced plans to create a flexible contracting pipeline to onboard the latest innovations from private remote sensing companies.

Speaking at the GEOINT Symposium, Muend said commercial imagery is needed to complement national systems and meet the growing demands from the military and intelligence agencies for Earth observation data.

His office plans to roll out a new contracting vehicle with an “open-ended rolling environment” that is not restricted to any single type of imagery like electro-optical or synthetic aperture radar.

“We will solicit input and award contracts across all the phenomenologies,” Muend said, adding that the goal is to seamlessly integrate multiple commercial capabilities into the government’s larger architecture.

This would mark a shift from the NRO’s traditional acquisition approach of focusing on specific imagery phenomenologies like electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar, radio-frequency and hyperspectral data.

Radar commercial layer?

Muend said the NRO is also finalizing plans for a large procurement exclusively for commercial synthetic aperture radar imagery. Dubbed the “radar commercial layer,” it would be similar to the electro-optical commercial layer contract awarded in 2022 to Maxar, Planet, and BlackSky — but likely at a smaller scale.

“It’s really a whole executive branch discussion,” Muend said of the radar contracts. “Decisions have not been made yet but they’re well underway.”

Brett Scott, who leads the NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Information Systems Acquisition Directorate, said there is a push to capitalize on the commercial space industry’s cutting-edge technologies, and to “incentivize industry properly and ensure companies get to reap the rewards of their efforts.”

“They have a profit to make,” Scott told the GEOINT crowd. “We’re trying to figure out the best, most effective and efficient way to acquire these systems moving forward.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

Related Post

2 thoughts on “NRO outlines plan to onboard commercial satellite imaging technologies”
  1. It’s great to see the NRO embracing a more flexible approach to contracting and integrating commercial satellite imaging technologies. This shift towards a diverse range of capabilities will undoubtedly enhance our national security efforts and intelligence gathering. Looking forward to the advancements that will come out of this initiative!

  2. It’s great to see the NRO taking steps to collaborate with private satellite imaging companies and embrace a more flexible contracting approach. Enabling a seamless integration of various commercial capabilities into the government’s architecture can indeed enhance national security efforts and intelligence gathering. Looking forward to the positive impact this shift in acquisition strategy will have on our Earth observation capabilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *