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NRO Awards Hyperspectral Capabilities Study Contracts

Credit: NRO

Ibadan, 23 March 2o23. – The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has awarded six commercial hyperspectral imagery (HSI) study contracts. Companies receiving awards under NRO’s Strategic Commercial Enhancement’s (SCE) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Framework, include BlackSky Technology, HyperSat, Orbital Sidekick, Pixxel, Planet, and Xplore.

“We are operating the largest, most diverse, most capable overhead constellation in NRO’s history as we face increasingly complex threats in space and on the ground,” said NRO Director Dr. Chris Scolese. “Through these newest contracts, we are very excited to explore the potential of commercial hyperspectral imagery and what it may contribute to our world-class intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.”

The commercial hyperspectral capabilities contracts focus on increasing knowledge and understanding of current and expected hyperspectral imagery availability, quality, and operational utility through a two-stage effort. The first stage focuses on analytical studies to estimate system capabilities at both the individual sensor and constellation levels, as well as business and cybersecurity planning. On the other hand, the second stage focuses on assessing on-orbit capabilities and procuring data products.

Pete Muend, director of the NRO’s commercial systems program office, also commented, “in just over four months from RFP release to award, these contracts demonstrate our commitment to agile acquisition. Speed remains vital to take advantage of the innovation coming from industry and to assess emerging technologies such as HSI and the potential to address intelligence challenges.”

The awards follow six BAA contracts for commercial radio frequency remote sensing awarded in September 2022 and five commercial radar BAA contracts in January 2022.

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