NASA has awarded blanket purchase agreements to three companies to provide the agency with Earth observation data sets derived from constellations of commercial small satellites.
Maxar Technologies' DigitalGlobe subsidiary, Planet and Spire received the sole-source contracts under the agency's Private Sector Small Constellation Satellite Data Product Pilot program, NASA said Friday.
“This pilot program is an innovative and efficient way for us to acquire, examine, and evaluate a wide range of private sector Earth observation data,“ said Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth science division.
The program aims to help agency-funded researchers assess whether commercial Earth science data could supplement Earth observations gathered by NASA, other agencies and foreign partners.
Each BPA has a one-year base term and an option of four years that could bring the total value of each contract to up to $7M.
DigitalGlobe has GeoEye-1, WorldView-1 and three other Earth-imaging satellites that work to collect 30-centimeter resolution imagery, while Planet operates Dove, RapidEye and SkySat satellite networks that provide Earth imagery.
Spire has a network of at least 60 satellites designed to gather aircraft location data and radio occultation measurements.