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Spire and Dragonfly Aerospace Will Support Australian National Intelligence Satellite 

By | January 21, 2022

Australia’s National Intelligence Community Satellite. Photo: IndigenousGovAu

Australia’s Office of National Intelligence (ONI) has tapped Spire Global and Dragonfly Aerospace for a second satellite as part of its National Intelligence Community Satellite (NICSAT) program after a collaborative satellite was launched on SpaceX’s Transporter-3 mission earlier this month. 

Dragonfly Aerospace will provide a high-performance Gecko camera, and Spire will design, build and launch the satellite based on its Lemur 6U satellite platform, with on-board computing and processing capabilities. ONI will manage the satellite, called NICSAT-2. The NICSAT program allows ONI to experiment with commercial satellite technologies, including the on-board advanced machine learning capabilities for small satellites. 

Spire worked on the NICSAT first satellite, Djara, last year. It went from concept to launch in six month. Djara’s focus is to conduct experiments with systems that enable the on-orbit collection and analysis of data including commercially available sensors and technologies such as field programmable gate arrays and machine learning systems on a chip. 

“The success of Djara and the NICSAT program show the significant value of small satellites for rapid deployment of leading-edge innovations and on-orbit data analysis,” said Theresa Condor, Chief Operating Officer at Spire Global. “With our continued work on NICSAT2, Spire and Dragonfly Aerospace reaffirm the importance of public-private partnerships for dual-use space technologies.”