Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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July 10, 2020
Descartes Labs wins Phase II SBIR through AFWERX to boost U.S. Air Force innovation

SANTA FE, N.M.- Descartes Labs, a New Mexico-based geospatial analytics company, today announced that it has been awarded a U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct to Phase II contract through AFWERX and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate and Information Directorate. The Air Force will gain the benefit of optimized data discovery of collected sensor data and the automation of multi-modal analytical processes through machine learning and artificial intelligence powered by the Descartes Labs Platform.

According to the contract’s AFRL ISR Program Manager, “The data integration, fusion, and discovery technologies being developed by Descartes Labs are critical to providing the US Air Force and US Space Force with transformative capabilities for ISR sensing, sense-making, and information integration for next-generation battle management and command and control.”

With the Phase II SBIR, Descartes Labs aims to advance the development of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) through data consumption, management, and dissemination of near-real-time actionable analytics. Descartes Labs will create a single source of truth for the Air Force by fusing together multisensor data sources from satellites, shipping pings, aerial targets, and more. With the implementation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision techniques, The Air Force will gain actionable insights to improve decision-making through real-time analytics from Descartes Labs.

Descartes Labs was previously awarded an AFWERX Phase I SBIR with AFRL Information Directorate and the Air Combat Command. During this proof of concept, Descartes Labs worked to ingest Wide Area Motion Imagery data and explore the development of tracklets on this imagery. The learnings from Phase 1 will drive Descartes Labs' efforts in working with new sensor modalities to include high-alt aerial imagery.

"Our AFWERX Phase I effort afforded us a unique view of USAF's geospatial-enabled cloud compute requirements,” said Phil Fraher, President at Descartes Labs. “The customer requirements discovery process revealed the need for automated data discovery to relieve cognitive overload, optimize manual exploitation workflows, and enhance data dissemination to multiple geographical disparate nodes. We are honored to levy Descartes Labs state-of-the-art multi-sensor platform capabilities to directly assist the Air Force and InterAgency stakeholders in achieving mission success."

Established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force and reporting to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, AFWERX is a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. The ultimate aim is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force.

About Descartes Labs
Descartes Labs is a software and analytics company that enables organizations to understand their relationship with the physical world and use actionable insights to create positive change. We provide a unified modeling platform for spatial, market, sensor, and customer data that generates scientifically validated analytics at global scale. Headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Descartes Labs has offices across the United States serving customers globally. For more information, see www.descarteslabs.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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