DigitalGlobe Expands NASA Partnership With New Sole-Source Contract For Commercial Earth Observation Data

October 18, 2018 – DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies company, has announced that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded the company a sole-source contract for high-resolution commercial electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite imagery valued at up to $7 million. NASA-funded researchers will use this data to advance the agency’s science and application development goals to understand and explore Earth, improve lives, and safeguard our future.

This one-year blanket purchase agreement includes four option years. Under this contract, NASA is able to purchase a variety of DigitalGlobe data and services, including DigitalGlobe’s 18-year, 100-petabyte imagery library, new imagery collected by its WorldView constellation, analytics on the company’s Geospatial Big Data (GBDX) platform and RADARSAT-2 SAR imagery from MDA, another Maxar company. DigitalGlobe’s WorldView constellation includes sensors that collect near infrared imagery, providing information about plant health; shortwave infrared imagery, which identifies materials, detects heat and sees through smoke; and an instrument known as CAVIS, which corrects inconsistencies caused by clouds, aerosols, water vapor, ice and snow. MDA’s RADARSAT-2 satellite allows users to observe features and changes regardless of weather or time of day. NASA’s Earth Science Division is evaluating how Maxar’s DigitalGlobe and MDA commercial data can augment or supplement the data from its own aging fleet of orbiting Earth science missions.

DigitalGlobe’s partnership with NASA extends back to 2001, during which time the two organizations have worked on Earth science research through the NASA Scientific Data Purchase Program and state-of-the-art Earth monitoring, imaging and mapping to help improve environmental decision-making among developing nations through the SERVIR Program.

“NASA and DigitalGlobe have a long history of working together and this contract is an innovative and efficient way for us to acquire, examine and evaluate DigitalGlobe’s commercial Earth observation data,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “As our very capable NASA research satellite fleet ages and more commercial satellites are launched, there are opportunities to leverage DigitalGlobe’s strengths for even more complete climate data sets.”

“DigitalGlobe’s agile satellites with their multispectral and CAVIS sensors give NASA a unique view of Earth, allowing them to demonstrate how climate impacts the world,” said Dr. Walter Scott, Maxar Chief Technology Officer. “We’re pleased NASA recognizes the value of our imagery and we look forward to continuing to provide the only native 30 cm and superspectral commercial satellite imagery to this U.S. government agency for the advancement of Earth science.”