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IARPA Is Investing in AI That Constantly Analyzes Worldwide Satellite Images


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The government agency envisions a system that can stitch together archived and real-time data from satellites, and link it to footage from planes, drones and other aircraft.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity has released a draft solicitation for an advanced analytics tool that could stitch together satellite images from around the world and detect human activity on the ground.

Credit: Ammit Jack/Shutterstock

The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity (IARPA) released a draft solicitation for an advanced analytics tool that can combine satellite images from around the world and detect human activity on the ground.

U.S. intelligence agencies plan to use the technology's "broad-area search" capability to monitor worldwide construction projects in real time.

IARPA's Space-based Machine Automated Recognition Technique (SMART) program aims to ease the workload of human analysts currently swamped with data.

The SMART program will run in three phases and take roughly four years to complete.

Said IARPA officials, "SMART seeks to bridge an expertise, infrastructure, and data preparation gap by developing easy-to-implement tools for [geospatial intelligence] analysts to efficiently analyze, assess, and utilize big data."

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