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DigitalGlobe Receives DARPA Contract for Geospatial Cloud Analytics

By | September 24, 2018
Illustration of the Radarsat 2 satellite. Photo: MDA.

The Radarsat 2 satellite. Photo: MDA

DigitalGlobe has been awarded a contract valued at $3.2 million by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide an unclassified environment with multi-source content for geospatial cloud analytics. This platform, called the Geospatial Cloud Analytics Hub (GCA Hub), will enable military and intelligence end users to leverage machine learning to extract insights at scale and make critical decisions. MDA, also a Maxar company, will provide Radarsat-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and SAR data curation and processing tools to help DARPA users detect features and change faster and more accurately within GCA Hub.

DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data platform (GBDX), a commercially-developed, cloud-based analytics platform, will serve as the foundation for DARPA’s GCA Hub. GBDX provides access to DigitalGlobe’s 100-petabyte library of high-resolution satellite imagery as well as open-source and commercial data provided by the company’s growing list of content ecosystem partners. MDA’s RADARSAT-2 SAR dataset permits users to observe valuable features and changes that go undetected with other imaging techniques, and provides day and night coverage regardless of weather.

The GCA Hub enables Defense Department analysts to apply government, commercial and open-source algorithms to geospatial data sources including electro-optical (EO) imagery, SAR imagery, and automatic identification system (AIS) data. This process allows analysts to exploit geospatial information at a scale never done before and focus on understanding what’s happening on Earth at any time. With GCA Hub, DARPA advances the state-of-the-art for enabling analysts with a secure, powerful tool to make sense of the growing volume of geospatial data for projects like predicting food shortages, locating the construction of oil fracking sites, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.