U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Industry Hurt by Lack of Government Investment

According to a study carried out by the MITRE Corporation, the United States commercial geospatial intelligence industry faces a significant challenge from foreign competitors. Its global counterparts are outstripping the sector. The government has not made any significant efforts to curb this trend, with the government’s investment in the industry not increasing for the past five years. On the other hand, according to the study, foreign investments have been faced with a surge in investments in the last two years. The study was carried out by MITRE, a charity that runs research facilities funded by the federal government, under the call of its Intelligence Advisory Board comprising of past U.S. services and intelligence execs.

  The study’s findings indicated a broad prejudice touching profitable suppliers in the country’s security and intelligence agencies. Individuals have the mindset that geoint produced nationally is more remarkable in quality to profit-making and contains the least of security threats. According to the study, this notion is based on history, and this drives the administration to either neglectfully or, triflingly, offer cast-off standing to commercial geoint. According to the study, there has also been a hindrance to the agencies from exploiting the benefits of privately sponsored projects as the government has been resistant to the adoption of commercial criteria and practices. 

Companies commercially-run have been making significant breakthroughs in innovations such as the hybrid satellite constellation with electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar, radiofrequency, and the AIS, among others. On the other hand, investments have been made to buy foreign entities, which have helped foster more substantial foreign capabilities, some of which have outperformed U.S. projects as per the study. A good example is the commercial synthetic aperture (SAR), an all-weather, day-night ability that penetrates clouds. According to MITRE, since 2007, commercial SAR has fifteen orbiting satellites, and more expected in the nigh future than a molo domestic SAR provider on-orbit for the country. 

 The imbalance can be attributed to the country’s licensing policy with strict measures in controlling the operation and disseminating o9f SAR systems and information to commercial clients. The commerce department is trying to rewrite the regulations to make them more favorable, which MITRE sees as a positive step forward. The study further indicated that U.S. commercial imagery entities have been focused mainly on electro-optical and Automated Identification System Sensors and consequently does not have the diversity of sensors available in foreign systems.