With growing interest by the Pentagon and intelligence agencies in remote sensing data and analytic services offered by commercial providers, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is calling on industry to provide it with information about barriers that have been encountered in procurement processes.

ODNI is asking for that input through a request for information (RFI) posted on Aug. 21. Responses to the RFI will help ODNI with a new study that aims to help it better understand and “examine ways to overcome barriers to the use of commercial remote sensing/space-based data and analytic services in the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense,” the document says.

Responses to the RFI also will help the Defense Department (DoD) and intelligence agencies “develop solutions and inform funding decisions” to reduce barriers in the pursuit of these technologies.

ODNI is seeking information on two particular areas – commercial overhead data, and commercial overhead analytic services.

Commercial overhead data is defined by the RFI as “unprocessed and/or processed signals or images (i.e., pixels) acquired or licensed from a commercial spaced-based providers.”

Commercial overhead analytic services is defined as “products, analytics, or services derived using space-based commercial remote sensing capabilities.”

The RFI has a response deadline of Sept. 22. Some of the questions the RFI wants answers to include:

  • “Does your organization currently have or is it seeking contracts with the Intelligence Community and/or Department of Defense to provide commercial remote sensing data and/or analytic services;”
  • “What systemic challenges does your organization encounter doing business with the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense;”
  • “What systemic challenges affect your organization’s ability to provide or develop additional overhead data and/or analytic service capabilities for the Intelligence Community or the Department of Defense;”
  • “To what extent are Intelligence Community and Department of Defense acquisition approaches effective for identifying and awarding long-term contracts for new and emerging commercial phenomenologies and capabilities;”
  • “How is your organization using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, or Computer Vision to expedite remote sensing data and/or analytic product-related tasks and processes that computers can perform more precisely and accurately?”
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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.