DARPA Awards Maxar 2nd Contract for Geospatial Cloud Analytics Hub


Illustration of the RADARSAT-2 satellite. Photo: MDA

Maxar Technologies was awarded a follow-on contract valued at $4.3 million by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to test its Geospatial Cloud Analytics (GCA) Hub. The GCA Hub is an unclassified environment with multi-source content that helps enable military users to leverage Machine Learning (ML) to extract insights about the planet at scale and make critical decisions for projects like predicting food shortages, political unrest and Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. This raises Maxar’s total award amount for the GCA Hub to $7.5 million.
Under its first GCA Hub contract awarded by DARPA in 2018, Maxar built the cloud-based GCA Hub on the foundations of its Geospatial Big Data (GBDX) platform, a commercially-developed, cloud-based analytics platform. Maxar integrated 18 geospatial data sources, including its 100-petabyte high-resolution optical satellite imagery library, RADARSAT-2 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and SAR data curation and processing tools, Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, open-source and commercial data provided by the company’s growing list of content ecosystem partners. These datasets help users detect features and changes on the surface of the Earth faster and more accurately.
In phase two of the GCA Hub contract, 10 Technical Area 2 Expert (TA2) providers are building and training ML models in Maxar’s GCA Hub that seek to address use cases designated by DARPA. Maxar provides technical support as the TA2 providers work to make sense of the growing volume of geospatial data, which can be mined to reveal insights about a wide range of pressing national security concerns.