Spire and Dragonfly Aerospace Partner to Support Australian ONI

Spire has partnered with Dragonfly Aerospace to support the Australian Government’s Office of National Intelligence (ONI) with a second satellite. The second satellite support is a part of Spire’s ongoing National Intelligence Community Satellite (NICSAT) programme.

Consequently, NICSAT2 will see Spire design, build and launch the company’s Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR), a 3U CubeSat platform. The platform will have the capability and processing of onboard computing and machine learning, and artificial intelligence across multi-modal data. To this end, Dragonfly Aerospace will provide a high-performance Gecko camera system. This is in addition to its proprietary hardware and space-proven ruggedised optics for an easy-to-integrate imaging solution for the satellite.

The Australian National Intelligence Community (NIC) launched the NICSAT program to experiment with commercial satellite technologies. This includes the onboard application of advanced machine learning capabilities on CubeSats, like those manufactured by Spire. The ONI will manage NICSAT2 and focus on the miniaturised satellite systems’ application and utility in keeping with its predecessor.

Last year, Spire previously worked on the NICSAT program’s satellite, Djara. The satellite went from concept to launch in just six months and to full operation in nine months. Djara collects and processes data on orbit and then leverages Spire’s cloud infrastructure to downlink, further process, and analyse data.

“The Djara and the NICSAT programme shows the importance of CubeSats’ role in data collection and analysis to government mission success. With our continued work on NICSAT2, Spire and Dragonfly Aerospace will be able to continue to support the Australian government and demonstrate the immense benefit and innovation that private and public partnerships can bring,” said Theresa Condor, Chief Operating Officer at Spire Global.

“Dragonfly Aerospace’s Gecko camera and optics system will elevate the satellite’s imaging capabilities and improve the image quality sent back to the ONI,” said Bryan Dean, CEO of Dragonfly Aerospace. “Spire’s proven success with NICSAT made them an ideal partner to continue to support the Australian government, and we look forward to working together.”