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NRO Dishes Out Six New RF Study Contracts to the Satellite Industry

By Mark Holmes | September 29, 2022

      Photo: National Reconnaissance Organization

      The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has signed a slew of new study contracts in the commercial radio frequency (RF) remote sensing arena. The NRO announced the contracts Sept. 28. Companies receiving awards under NRO’s Strategic Commercial Enhancement’s (SCE) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) framework include Aurora Insight, HawkEye 360, Kleos Space, PredaSAR, Spire Global, and Umbra Lab.

      This new BAA focus area will help the NRO better understand the capabilities of multiple commercial RF providers to address new intelligence challenges. This is the second focus area awarded under the NRO’s new SCE BAA framework, designed to streamline the assessment and operationalization of emerging commercial capabilities. The SCE BAA Framework and first focus area for commercial radar were released in October 2021, followed by awards in January 2022 to five commercial synthetic aperture radar providers.

      “As evidenced by the quality and quantity of commercial data flowing to our partners and allies, commercial remote sensing is a mainstay not only for security and intelligence applications but also for helping to manage humanitarian crises. Since the early days of Ukraine crisis, NRO’s commercial data providers have been collecting electro-optical and radar imagery as well as commercial RF data over the region,” Pete Muend, director of NRO’s Commercial Systems Program Office, said in a statement.

      Spire applauded the NRO incorporating commercial RF into its acquisition strategy. “The remote sensing technique of monitoring radio frequency signals plays a crucial role in gathering intelligence through GNSS jamming detection and geolocation, as well as providing an objective and transparent view into the movement of vessels and aircraft,” said Chuck Cash, Vice President of Federal Sales, Spire.