As part of the transition, the NRO awarded Planet an unclassified, multi-year subscription service contract for daily, large-area, 3 to 5 meter resolution commercial imagery collection.
Recognizing the importance of mission continuity, the scope of the new NRO contract is comparable to NGA’s previous contracts with Planet and includes access to new daily unclassified imagery over multiple areas of interest to military planners, warfighters, and the national security community. The transition is consistent with NGA’s and NRO’s role in exploring new and viable commercial GEOINT opportunities for national security missions.
Pete Muend, Director, NRO’s Commercial Systems Program Office, said that with its large constellation of satellites, Planet can image country — and even continent-sized areas — every day. This capability to provide daily revisit over large areas of the Earth gives analysts unparalleled opportunities to discover and monitor activity for a wide range of applications. The NRO is committed to ensuring NGA and its customers continue to have access to Planet imagery to perform the vital analysis needed to create value-added geospatial products for our partners and policy makers.
David Gauthier, Director of NGA’s Source Commercial and Business Operations Group, added that NGA’s 2016 Planet subscription played a role in the agency's analytic transformation, where the NRO is now focused less on pixels and more on information content and services. Planet imagery demonstrated the value that daily revisit of large areas, at 3 to 5 meter resolutions, to several mission areas – especially when combined with geospatial analytics. With the transition, NGA can continue to shift its focus to emerging commercial GEOINT products and services that uniquely support our user community.