White House announces small satellite initiative

By Jeff Foust
October 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — The White House announced a new ini­tia­tive Oct. 21 to pro­mote the devel­op­ment of small satel­lites, col­lect­ing under one roof a num­ber of efforts, some of which start­ed months ago.

The “Har­ness­ing the Small Satel­lite Rev­o­lu­tion” ini­tia­tive, announced in a White House Office of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy Pol­i­cy state­ment, high­lights sev­er­al ongo­ing efforts by NASA, the Pen­ta­gon and oth­er fed­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies to help devel­op small­sats or make use of images or oth­er data they provide.

Some ele­ments of the ini­tia­tive were announced weeks or months ago. The OSTP announce­ment high­light­ed a $20 mil­lion award the Nation­al Geospa­tial-Intel­li­gence Agency made to Plan­et, the San Fran­cis­co-based com­pa­ny devel­op­ing a con­stel­la­tion of Earth imag­ing satel­lites. “The imagery has many oper­a­tional uses, includ­ing envi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing, aug­ment­ing high­er res­o­lu­tion capa­bil­i­ties, change detec­tion, and answer­ing intel­li­gence ques­tions,” the announce­ment stated.

How­ev­er, NGA award­ed that con­tract to Plan­et, for­mer­ly known as Plan­et Labs, on Sept. 12, accord­ing to the busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties sec­tion of the NGA web­site. The sev­en-month con­tract gives the NGA access to Planet’s glob­al imagery archive, updat­ed every 15 days.

To read the full arti­cle, vis­it Space­News.