The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is taking direct action in the commercial remote sensing marketplace with a five-year funding commitment to ensure the next generation of orbiting imagers. Acknowledging the vital role played by commercial remote sensing satellites, the government agency seeks both to guarantee that these next-generation orbiters will be built and to influence their design to suit agency customers.
A new policy that directs government organizations to expand the use of U.S. commercial remote sensing technology is opening the eyes of government and industry to potential partnerships. Government entities that had not used remote sensing before are discovering applications that may become integral to their way of doing business in a few years. Concurrently, commercial satellite imagery providers are finding unexplored market possibilities. This growing synergy ultimately may lead to civil government input on the design and development of future remote sensing platforms.