COLORADO SPRINGS — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has exercised a $5.9 million contract option to acquire current and archival Earth imagery from Planet’s small satellite constellation through mid-September.
Under the contract, NGA continues to obtain access to Planet’s daily global imagery to monitor locations of interest, freeing up the government’s own intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for different jobs, Jonas Skinner, NGA’s Planet program manager, told SpaceNews. “We can look back over the last few years and see what’s happening over time,” he added.
In addition to imagery, NGA draws on Planet’s automated data processing “to augment and facilitate NGA analysis processes,” NGA said in a March 21 news release. Planet trains machine learning algorithms to identify objects including roads, buildings, ships and planes. “We can see very quickly how things are progressing at a particular site,” Skinner said.
Planet data is proving useful for monitoring ports and airfields as well as identifying illegal mining and deforestation in Central and South America, Skinner said.
For Planet, it was gratifying to learn combatant commanders and other units NGA supports see value in the company’s products, Jen Marcus, Planet vice president of U.S. federal operations, told SpaceNews. “It was a call from ...