A government expert predicts there will be some 9,000 new commercial satellites alone launched over the next 10 years, enabling access to massive new databases of imagery, weather information, communications, missile monitoring and more, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
But it will be “crowded,” said Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, who noted over the last 10 years, there have been fewer than 1,500 such projects launched.
His comments came only days ago in an appearance before the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces.
He covered a wide range of issues concerning the agency.
On the topic of satellites, he said, in remarks prepared for the subcommittee, “Conservative estimates over the next 10 years predict that some 9,000 commercial satellites, large and small, will be launched, compared to fewer than 1,500 in the last 10 years. The crowded global space arena, supported by increased technology, commercial investment, and reduced launch costs, continues to develop new space-enabled capabilities and space situational awareness across the international community space-based services to include imagery, weather, communications, missile warning, targeting, and positioning, navigation, and timing.”
He explained that there is so much information becoming available that analysts soon may use open source data to make decisions, which could then be checked with the classified information that also is available, but not public.
“Most recently, NGA has been using publicly available information such as social media data, together with geospatial information to anticipate hostile actions to U.S. or Allied interests, and provide a fully integrated intelligence picture. Unclassified, open, and nontraditional data are overtaking traditional classified data in volume and velocity,” he explained.
“In short, we must go wherever the data exist, and apply data wherever the mission demands. While NGA has made great strides in successfully leveraging commercial imagery and other open sources to achieve our mission, NGA’s architecture, tradecraft and training, standards, governance, and culture remain optimized for classified GEOINT content,” he said.