The six companies involved are Aurora Insight, HawkEye 360, Kleos Space, PredaSAR, Spire Global and Umbra Lab.
The organization - the US Department of Defense agency that develops and operates US spy satellites - says it wants to better understand the capabilities of commercial RF providers to solving new intelligence challenges.
According to various companies, they will study the possibilities of RF geolocation (); how to integrate commercial radio frequency intelligence into the NRO architecture (); and a focus on commercial ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) data ().
The unclassified, shareable nature of commercial remote sensing data, including RF, makes it "a valuable source for situational awareness and intelligence sharing among US allies and partners." frequency
"Following the 2019 contract for commercial RF integration research, we are seeing increased demand for this data source from the user community," said Dr. Chris Scolese, Director of NRO.
“Today's awards are another great example of NRO's efforts to innovate on all fronts as we continue to work with our partners in government and the commercial sector to find new ways to build capability, flexibility, capacity, speed and resilience in everything we do .”
The awards were made under the NRO's Strategic Commercial Improvement (SCE) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).
Previously, SCE BAA's area of focus included data from commercial radar satellites. In January 2022, NRO signed five contracts with Airbus (USA), Capella Space, Iceye (USA), PredaSAR and Umbra.
Similar to the radar focus area, the latter RF focus area was open to both US and foreign commercial RF providers in the US.
"As evidenced by the quality and quantity of commercial data flowing to our partners and allies, commercial remote sensing is fundamental not only to security and intelligence programs, but also to aid in humanitarian crisis management," said Pete Muend, director of the NRO's Commercial Systems Program Office. .
“Since the early days of the crisis in Ukraine, NRO's commercial data providers have been collecting electro-optical and radar images, as well as commercial radio frequency data. over the region."
Last month, HawkEye 360 entered into a two-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC).
HawkEye 360 examines tactical RF intelligence for the US Army's Space and Missile Defense Command
The space RF data specialist says that under CRADA, he will "develop and demonstrate new commercial RF sensing capabilities that could provide appropriate tactical support to the fighter jet."
Based in Herndon, Virginia, HawkEye 360 operates a group of satellites that detect, characterize and geolocate radio frequency signals from a range of emitters, whether they are used for communications, navigation or security.