With the Pentagon’s efforts to field a space-based SAR system in turmoil, going commercial seems a quicker solution. The resolution may not be what the intelligence community wants, but for the military’s day-to-day collection needs it may just be the thing. NGA already buys electro-optical imagery from commercial vendors.
What’s more, offloading the mundane task could make the job easier for the National Reconnaissance Office to develop a intel-dedicated system.
Here’s some of what NGA is asking for:
• Small area (<10 km wide) and/or large area (>10 km) imagery for reconnaissance, mapping, and charting;
• Structure location and identification;
• Area feature and surface type identification;
• Area elevation derivation;
• Trail and path detection;
• Moving target identification;
• Disaster assessment and mitigation for natural disasters such as hurricane, flooding, forest fire, earthquake and land movement or manmade disasters such as structure collapses;
• Wilderness, aviation and nautical search and recovery;
• Sea ice detection and tracking;
• Weather, wind and wave height detection for naval operations;
• Oil Spill detection;
• Bathymetry and obstacle identification in the littoral domain; and
• Maritime Surveillance
• Capability to provide products collected at high (~50 to 60°), mid, or low (~15 to 20°) incidence angles to support specific application needs.