DOD's geospatial arm plans second satellite imagery R&D buy

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will issue a second solicitation for its NextView project now that it has broken off negotiations with Space Imaging LLC of Thornton, Colo.

Since October, NGA had been talking with the commercial remote-sensing company on how it could play a role in the $1 billion NextView.

Through the project, NGA wants to promote R&D of next-generation tools to produce images captured by commercial satellites and strengthen the government's alliance with the remote-sensing industry.

Last fall, the agency awarded a five-year, $530 million contract to DigitalGlobe Inc. of Longmont, Colo., to capture and disseminate high-resolution images from commercial satellites (Click for GCN story).

NGA has always planned to award a second contract worth another $500 million.

Space Imaging was the only other vendor to bid on the first contract. So, NGA decided to continue negotiations with the company.

But those talks failed earlier this month, and the agency decided it should seek new bids, NGA spokeswoman Joan Mears said.

There is no target date for when the request for proposals will hit the streets, Mears said. But another NGA official said he wanted to begin getting bids 'sooner rather than later.'

'There were a number of issues that couldn't be resolved,' Mears said, declining to be more specific.

Remote-sensing systems are a wide spectrum of systems that gather geospatial satellite images: satellites, ground stations, data links, and command and control facilities.

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