UrtheCast announces Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

urthecastUrtheCast Corp. (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”) announced on April 4 the establishment of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

In June 2015, Canada-based UrtheCast announced its plans to build, launch and operate the world’s first fully-integrated, multispectral optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) commercial constellation of Earth Observation satellites, which is now known as OptiSAR™. The OptiSAR™ constellation is expected to comprise 16 satellites (8 optical and 8 SAR) flying in two orbital planes, with each plane consisting of four satellite pairs, equally-spaced around the orbital plane. Each pair of satellites will consist of a dual-mode, high-resolution optical satellite (video and pushbroom) and a dual-band high-resolution SAR satellite (X-band and L-band), flying in tandem. By employing two orbital planes, the OptiSAR™ constellation is expected to allow for maximum revisit rates in the mid-latitudes, while providing global coverage extending to the poles. The Company expects to deploy the OptiSAR™ constellation over multiple launches and to begin operations in 2020. The constellation is expected to provide unmatched space-imaging capabilities, enhancing support to NGA’s national security mission and the broader global remote sensing community.

UrtheCast has established a CRADA with NGA to focus research and development (R&D) efforts to maximize the operational effectiveness of the OptiSAR™ constellation. In partnering with NGA, the Company’s primary R&D areas will include:

  • Multi-Source Fusion – Exploitation Tools, Services & Analytic Processes;
  • Improving/Ensuring Metric Accuracy; and
  • Optimizing Collection & Dissemination Strategies.

This CRADA will allow UrtheCast to work closely with an experienced user and make early changes to its systems architecture, if deemed appropriate. The specific R&D under these areas will support UrtheCast’s government and commercial customer base.

UrtheCast’s President, CEO and co-founder, Wade Larson, said: “Our work on the OptiSAR™ constellation gives us confidence that it will bring unprecedented capabilities to this industry. We couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’re making and are thrilled with the opportunity to partner with NGA on these critical R&D activities. We believe this CRADA will enhance OptiSAR’s ability to support our overall customer base.

Source: Urthecast