WASHINGTON — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has issued a $10 million contract to commercial satellite company HawkEye 360 to help it detect and map radiofrequency emissions all over the world.

The company says its services will be used for NGA analytics, helping the agency detect and track military and criminal activities, and combatant commanders will be able to utilize the data.

The intelligence community has been assessing HawkEye 360 — which uses satellites to detect and characterize RF emissions — since December 2019, when the National Reconnaissance Office issued the company a study contract. NGA was able to leverage that study contract, initiating a RF GEOINT Pilot program with the company in Sept. 2020 to further see how the company’s unclassified RF capabilities could benefit the agency. Following a request for proposals in March 2021, the company was awarded the sole contract in July.

“We’re pleased to be moving from the pilot into an NGA long-term operational contract, which showcases the value of unclassified, shareable commercial RF insights,” said HawkEye 360 chief executive John Serafini in a Sept. 28 statement.

The contract includes one base year and options for four more years.

HawkEye 360 currently operates nine RF-monitoring satellites, with plans to launch another 21 this year and next. The planned 30-satellite constellation will be able to provide collection revisits every 20 minutes. The company plans to double it to 60 satellites by 2025.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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