BlackSky wins IARPA SMART contract
Herndon, VA-based BlackSky announced on January 6 an award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) for a multi-phase, multi-year research contract. IARPA is responsible for leading research programs to overcome difficult challenges relevant to the U.S. intelligence community.
BlackSky has been selected to aid in the development of IARPA’s Space-based Machine Automated Recognition Technique (SMART) Program. The SMART program aims to automate the quantitative analysis of space-based imagery to perform broad-area searches for natural and man-made events using time-series imagery. BlackSky will expand upon its Spectra AI platform to develop a responsive system that can automatically monitor large-scale construction of critical infrastructure such as military bases, stadiums, campuses, dams, and airports.
“This is a tremendous breakthrough in unsupervised learning for our Spectra AI platform and an unprecedented step toward the future of global monitoring,” said Brian O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky. “The IARPA SMART program is a natural fit for BlackSky given our deep expertise in geospatial analytics and our proven ability to deliver first-to-know insights.”
Under the contract, BlackSky will create open source, supervised, and semi-supervised learning algorithms to recognize data patterns specific to large-scale construction projects. The combined effort will leverage the resources of NASA’s and U.S. Geological Survey Landsat’s constellation and Sentinel, the European space agency’s constellation.