A Boeing-backed remote-sensing based information service venture, RESOURCE21, L.L.C., has been awarded $5 million by NASA to develop business and technical plans to support the Landsat Earth-observing missions that provide significant scientific and agricultural data to government and industry.
RESOURCE21 provides information products and services from satellites and other imagery sources. Government and commercial markets, including the agriculture industry, use the data it provides for such applications as municipal planning, management of land and natural resources, and crop evaluation. The Boeing Company through its business unit Boeing Space and Communications (S&C) is a major owner of RESOURCE21, L.L.C., with members BAE Systems, Farmland Industries and the Institute for Technology Development. In addition, Ball Aerospace (BATC), which is developing the RESOURCE21 satellite, is planning to join the venture.
RESOURCE21 is one of two companies that will receive $5 million each from NASA to further develop their proposals over the next nine months of the contract’s formulation phase. After completion of the formulation phase, one company will be selected to execute the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) implementation phase early next year, which will include requirements to provide five years of satellite imagery data.
Working in partnership with NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, the RESOURCE21/government team will develop applications for information products as well as a new information collection system. In addition to traditional users of Landsat data, “the capabilities of this system have exciting applications to emerging commercial markets, homeland security efforts, and environmental research,” Prosser said.
The Landsat (Land Remote-Sensing Satellite) series of Earth-observing missions has a rich 30-year history. Landsat is a series of satellites designed to gather data on the Earth’s resources in a regular and systematic manner. The scientific community, government agencies, commercial enterprises, educational institutions and private citizens worldwide use the data collected from those missions for observation and analysis of land cover and land cover change.