Spire Global and Ball Aerospace to improve Arctic maritime domain awareness


American satellite data provider Spire Global has partnered with Ball Aerospace to help the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) improve maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Arctic region.

The collaboration will see the companies develop a data collection and analysis platform for monitoring maritime traffic in the Arctic, which current estimates suggest will become 250% more crowded by 2025.

The platform will also enable improved awareness of vessel activity and behaviours.

Ball Aerospace strategic operations and commercial aerospace business unit vice-president and general manager Debra Lepore said: “Ball and Spire's collaboration demonstrates our abilities to seamlessly deliver to NGA relevant and actionable information critical to security, safety, the economy and the environment.

“For more than 30 years, Ball has delivered data analysis software and systems expertise to the US Government, and the synergies with Spire will result in commercial solutions that continue to drive maximum effectiveness and affordability for our customers.”

"Ball and Spire's collaboration demonstrates our abilities to seamlessly deliver to NGA relevant and actionable information critical to security, safety, the economy and the environment."

Ball and Spire will use their two existing commercial capabilities to create accurate, near real-time pictures of maritime activity in the Arctic under the new partnership agreement.

The capabilities include the automatic identification system (AIS) vessel-tracking data captured by Spire's constellation of nanosatellites and Ball's cloud-based data analytics architecture.

AIS data will be fed into Ball's cloud-based data analytics platform once captured, and fused with other commercial Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) data to produce detailed profiles of vessel activity and establish benchmarks in vessel behaviour.