NGA, Boeing Tap GeoEye for Satellite Imagery Products

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Imaging satellite operator GeoEye Inc. of Herndon, Va., announced Oct. 24 it had received two orders for imagery products and services that are worth more than $25 million combined.

The first order is from the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as part of the EnhancedView program, under which the company is providing up to $3.8 billion worth of imagery and related services over a 10-year period. The contract was awarded in August 2010.

In a press release, GeoEye said the NGA order includes imagery to be distributed via the company’s EnhancedView Web Hosting Service, which facilitates access to the data by licensed U.S. federal agencies. In addition, the award calls for GeoEye to expand the hosting service to carry third-party data and support applications including crisis management, GeoEye said.

Under the second award, GeoEye will provide highly precise imagery to Chicago-based Boeing Co. for the NGA’s Controlled Image Base program. The data, to come from various sources including GeoEye’s own high-resolution imaging satellites, will support U.S. military planning and operations, GeoEye said.

The contract with Boeing had been expected earlier this year, GeoEye said. GeoEye did not break out the value of the individual awards.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., announced Oct. 25 that it was set to begin integration of GeoEye’s newest high-resolution imaging satellite following completion of the spacecraft’s propulsion system. The GeoEye-2 satellite, expected to cost some $850 million including launch and associated ground systems, features a platform built by Lockheed Martin and a precision imaging camera supplied by ITT Geospatial Systems of Rochester, N.Y.

“We are very pleased that Lockheed Martin has remained ahead of schedule and completed this next milestone in the development and construction of our GeoEye-2 satellite,” Bill Schuster, GeoEye’s chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement. “It’s remarkable that we formalized our agreement with Lockheed Martin almost exactly one year ago, and now they are delivering the equipment section for start of vehicle integration.”

Slated to begin operations in 2013, GeoEye-2 is being financed by the EnhancedView contract. GeoEye competitor DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colo., holds a similar contract.

GeoEye currently operates two high-resolution imaging satellites, the aging Ikonos, launched in 1999, and GeoEye-1, launched in 2008.