BlackSky awarded $23.7 million for Air Force's fourth Operational Imperative effort

By Shelley K. Mesch / March 13, 2024 at 3:49 PM

The Air Force awarded BlackSky Geospatial Solutions up to $23.7 million for work on Global Moving Target Engagement -- one of service Secretary Frank Kendall's seven Operational Imperatives -- according to a Defense Department notice.

BlackSky, a space-based intelligence firm that provides on-demand imagery, analytics and monitoring, will perform research and development around Ground Moving Target Engagement, with work expected to be complete by June 15, 2028. The service awarded BlackSky $3.5 million at the time the contract was signed.

“BlackSky’s software-first, AI approach will add depth and scale to commercial space-based moving target detection, tracking and identification at machine speed,” said Brian E. O’Toole, BlackSky CEO, in a news release today.

“Achieving moving target engagement at scale in a challenging operational environment” is the fourth imperative on Kendall’s list of priorities to maintain advantage over the pacing challenge, which is China.

Under the contract, BlackSky will use its Spectra tasking and analytics platform to apply machine learning techniques to tasking, multi-intelligence collection, direct downlink and tipping and cueing.

The system “has been optimized to perform in resource-limited environments and will demonstrate the ability to fuse information in a hybrid setting from multiple government ISR and commercial data sources,” O’Toole said.