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by | Dec 15, 2023

BlackSky gives broad area search mission a high-cadence boost with multi-million NGA contract to automatically detect and identify large scale infrastructure changes worldwide



BlackSky’s work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for dynamic real-time monitoring is having an innovative effect on the United States government’s Broad Area Search (BAS) capabilities. Focused over large areas of the Earth’s surface, BAS techniques help intelligence organizations get a wide-angle, baseline picture of aggregate change over time.  

BlackSky recently won another multi-million delivery order on the NGA Economic Indicator Monitoring program to automatically detect and identify large scale infrastructure changes in broad rural areas resulting from new economic activity. 

Building on its successes with IARPA, BlackSky will leverage its high-performance MLOps framework which was purpose-built to support visual-data intensive broad area satellite imagery analyses and serves as the core operating infrastructure for the entire SMART program. 

A single geospatial image analyst working full-time can monitor up to 10,000 square kilometers per day. But when it comes to BAS, what happens when your Area of Interest (AOI) jumps to tens of millions of square kilometers per day?  

BlackSky’s work in AI is helping our government customers manage the burden of data-intensive BAS visual analyses, and they are getting a long-awaited boost of Machine Learning (ML) innovation.  

“With BlackSky’s scalable and cost-effective approach to artificial intelligence customers can run data-intensive broad area search inquiries more frequently compared to traditional solutions,” said Patrick O’Neil, BlackSky chief technology officer. “Our automated analyses will help the NGA monitor multi-source imagery over more than 30 million square kilometers of the Earth’s surface.” 

“Our momentum stems from BlackSky’s core commitment to developing world-class automated commercial AI analytics systems that streamline how customers aggregate insight from enormous, time diverse data sets and turn it into valuable insights,” said O’Neil.  

“Coupling broad area monitoring with high-revisit, localized area monitoring allows customers to track anomalies at a regional and global level and transition their workflows seamlessly into high-cadence, focused observation to watch change as it happens,” O’Neil added.  

The delivery order was part of a multi-year Indefinite-Delivery/ Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract by the NGA to monitor global economic activity and carries a maximum estimated value of $60 million. BlackSky has won six delivery orders within the first two years of the five-year economic indicator contract. 

Interested in learning more about Broad Area Search monitoring capabilities? Contact us here.