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DigitalGlobe grows key satellite imagery contract, adds cloud infrastructure job

Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe business has confirmed another addition to the follow-on for its largest contract for commercial satellite imagery services to the U.S. government and also disclosed a separate pact for a cloud integration job.

First disclosed by the government in September, DigitalGlobe will continue its two-decade role as main commercial imagery provider to federal agencies under the EnhancedView contract now run by the National Reconnaissance Office after a transition of responsibility that same month to the NRO from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

That September action and transition saw the NRO renew EnhancedView for one year and up to two option years through 2020. The follow-on contract DigitalGlobe announced Tuesday extends the potential period of performance to August 2023 and the potential value to $900 million.

DiigtalGlobe is constructing its WorldView Legion constellation for launch in 2021 to increase imaging capacity for government and commercial customers and support higher re-visit collections.

In addition, DigitalGlobe has also signed a separate contract with an undisclosed federal agency to integrate the business’ imagery production, distribution and operations with U.S. government systems through a secure cloud-based infrastructure. The intent of that pact is to create more interoperability and facilitate continuity between current and future architectures on the ground and in space.

When WT spoke in September with Rob Zitz, chief strategy officer for Maxar’s SSL business, he referenced “cloud computing in space” as an emerging concept amid advances in autonomy-related technologies to support groups of satellites.

That would see spacecraft gain “their own compute ability” while in orbit, Zitz said.

“Then they’ll be able to aggregate and focus on and share resources across a constellation in order to do the most that they can to be able to get information that’s required when its required,” Zitz said.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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