For commercial imagery providers, the NRO establishes licensing and cybersecurity standards

The National Reconnaissance Office’s roadmap for incorporating commercial satellite imagery into the hybrid space architecture, that does include both government and commercial satellites, places a premium on cybersecurity and permits that enable the organization to share data with the partners both outside and inside the United States government.

Via operational agreements with Maxar Technologies, BlackSky, and Planet, the NRO already delivers about 50,000 commercial images every week. In addition, understudy contracts with Hawkeye 360 and Capella Space, the NRO is assisting in the establishment of linkages between government networks and commercial satellites.

Jeremy Banik, who works as the deputy director in charge of  NRO Commercial Systems Program Office, stated on October 7 at GEOINT 2021 Symposium, “It’s an exciting time to be building that integration between the commercial remote sensing and government enterprise industry.” “The commercial remote sensing business is a critical one for the United States.” We at the NRO are well aware that the decisions we make and the actions we take that drive our purchases have an effect on the market.”

The NRO and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency collaborated to create three categories of cybersecurity “trust.” Unverified suppliers, industrial standard providers, and security providers are all options. Companies that have not been required to install certain cybersecurity controls or whose implementation of measures has not yet been certified are considered unverified providers.

Industrial standard suppliers, such as National Institute of Standards and Technology’s 800 171 Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model level three, have adopted commercially accepted cybersecurity measures that are “appropriate and prudent,” according to Banik.

To fulfill orders and imagery, secure suppliers use a secretly authorized architecture. Banik also discussed a typical family of commercial imaging end user license agreements, which range from licenses that restrict imagery for the national security to permits that permit imagery to be given to the general public.

“The commercial imagery community is incredibly diversified,” Banik added. “It comprises defense and intelligence users in the United States, as well as non-governmental agencies, state and local governments, and federal civil organizations.” We’re dedicated to retaining commercial’s broad shareability and diverse usage cases.” Another NRO initiative focuses on delivering imagery from commercial satellites directly to combat theaters.

Banik added, “I’m pleased to inform you that BlackSky and Maxar have successfully downlinked onto Army terminals.” “The downlinking of Hawkeye 360 and BlackSky into Navy terminals has been effective. That is a capacity that we aim to keep building and ensuring that it is a routine capacity for the services to use in the future.”

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