BlackSky Presents Pioneering AI Technology to Government S&T Community at Innovators’ Showcase

Company presents break-through methods for transferring deep learning models across satellites in a constellation designed for rapid revisit monitoring

Herndon, VA (May 2, 2019) – BlackSky, a leading provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging, and global monitoring services, today presented its cutting-edge AI technology to leading scientists, technologists, and engineers from the U.S. Government at the Innovators’ Showcase in McLean, VA.

The presentation, given by Dr. Patrick O’Neil, Director of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence at BlackSky, focused on how the company is transferring deep-learning based computer vision models from one imaging satellite to another in order to increase the effectiveness of site monitoring, helping analysts spend less time tracking known activity patterns and more time analyzing developing and emerging threats.

Innovators’ Showcase is an annual forum hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) and Intelligence and National Security Foundation (INSF) for academia and industry to brief independent research and development (IR&D) directly to a public sector audience.     

“Being selected to participate in the Showcase is an extremely valuable opportunity for us to further our conversations with national security experts about artificial intelligence methods used in global monitoring solutions,” said Scott Herman, Chief Technology Officer at BlackSky. “With our rapid revisit constellation of smallsats, BlackSky is in a prime position to tackle these difficult challenges and we’re looking forward to advancing those efforts with the U.S. government.”

Current commercial monitoring services provide limited daily revisit rates with each collection taking place during the sun-synchronous collection cycle of mid-morning or mid-afternoon. This cadence prohibits geospatial analysts from establishing detailed activity patterns because the frequency of observations is too low and patterns are limited to the sun-synchronous collection window. BlackSky is developing key AI capabilities that analyze deep imagery stacks from different satellite sources, highlighting the most important sites and images.

Innovators’ Showcase draws scientists, technologists, and engineers from across the Intelligence Community. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), as well as other agencies that contribute to national security, have attended in the past. The INSA Technology and Innovation Council has hosted the Showcase in collaboration with the ODNI’s Directorate of Science & Technology since 2010.

“The Innovators’ Showcase provides an opportunity for industry and academia to engage government in technical discussions about the most innovative efforts currently underway to protect the nation,” said John Fant, Vice President of Space, Intelligence & Cyber and chair of the INSA Technology and Innovation Council. “On behalf of INSA and INSF, I congratulate BlackSky and all of the presenting organizations on their abstracts and hope they find participation in the Showcase valuable to their ongoing research.”

Earlier this year, INSA sought unclassified, nonproprietary abstracts from academic and private sector organizations on IR&D initiatives related to chem/bio defense; information security and assurance; networking and high-performance computing; nuclear; persona and identity management; traditional mission areas; and other game-changing ideas. Presenting organizations then had the opportunity to brief at the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) level.

To be notified about the topics of interest and abstract submission guidelines for the 2020 Innovators’ Showcase, please contact

About BlackSky:

BlackSky’s premier global monitoring and alerting services provide an easy, affordable way to observe, analyze and act on timely and relevant insights about the planet. BlackSky combines access to high-quality satellite images from multiple sources, including its own planned 60-satellite constellation, with a diverse set of real-time sensor data such as social media, news and other data feeds. Whether you’re tracking economic assets, monitoring illegal maritime activity, or securing troops and borders, BlackSky ensures you have the most current and meaningful information at your fingertips so you can make well-informed decisions. BlackSky is part of Spaceflight Industries and based in Seattle, Wash. For more information, visit


BlackSky PR contact

Christie Melby, Communiqué PR

206-282-4923 x127

Peggy O’Connor

Director, Communications and Policy

Intelligence and National Security Alliance

(703) 224-4672