WASHINGTON — An influential U.S. commission that advises Congress and the White House is soliciting proposals from companies that can produce an unclassified report on China’s remote sensing capabilities.

The request for proposals, issued Aug. 8, seeks a report that assesses China’s objectives in remote sensing technologies, the state of the country’s remote sensing technology and its competitiveness. Proposals are due Sept. 8. 

The commission wants to “identify and assess Chinese investments in U.S. advanced remote sensor companies; and examine China’s use and development of advanced remote sensors for military purposes,” said the request.

The United States–China Economic and Security Review Commission, established in 2000, is an independent agency of the U.S. government that directly reports to Congress and the president.

Congress created the commission to monitor and report on the national security implications of the U.S.-China economic relationship.

Concerns about China’s growing investments

The commission is investigating China’s advances in remote sensing as the nation continues to deploy more sophisticated imaging satellites and surveillance aircraft. 

Questions to be addressed in the report include to what extent China relies on U.S. or other countries’ components, software, and other technologies, and whether China or the United States have a “chokehold” on any key components.

The commission wants the report to “identify any remote sensor technologies, components, intellectual property, other inputs or companies that China has acquired or may target for acquisition from U.S. and other foreign companies through legal or other means including cyber-enabled espionage.”

Another topic of interest is how commercial remote sensing technologies support China’s People’s Liberation Army in areas like intelligence, surveillance, space domain awareness, and anti-submarine warfare.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...