Virgin Orbit signs AI software deal with BigBear

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne spacecraft.

Commercial launch service provider Virgin orbit will now be able to deliver AI-powered information and data to its government and business customers under a new software deal the company has entered into with BigBear.ai (Big bear).

BigBear operationalizes artificial intelligence and machine learning at scale with its end-to-end data analytics platform, Decision Dominance. His clients include the US intelligence community, the US Department of Defense, and various other agencies of the US federal government.

The AI ​​software company announced its new contract with Virgin Orbit on September 17 and said it has already started working to support Virgin Orbit and its customers through the real-time deployment of AI-powered software for mobile assets in the field. BigBear is also developing applications capable of identifying objects, analyzing ground materials, mapping land and monitoring the climate in space, and merging data from multiple intelligence data sources, including satellites launched by – and, in some cases, owned by – Virgin Orbit.

“By combining our launch capability, our satellite constellation partners, and the unmatched technology of BigBear.ai, we can empower end users of space systems to interpret rich data, identify changes, take rapid making informed decisions and taking action, ”Virgin Orbit President and CEO Dan Hart said in a statement. “The powerful combination of rapid launch, low cost satellite technology and powerful AI is having a huge impact and enabling us to turn capabilities that have been dreamed of for decades into a practical and achievable reality for our customers. civilian, national security and commercial. . “

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

In late August, Hart and Virgin Orbit announced the company was going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal that values ​​the company at $ 3.2 billion. of dollars. The launcher’s PSPC news also included an announcement that it plans to move to data and analytics, along with Internet of Things (IoT) and Earth Observation (EO) services. The company plans to launch two IoT satellites and two EO satellites in early 2023.

Hart also recently appeared alongside Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson for a fireside interview at SATELLITE 2021, in which he explained why Virgin Orbit is integrating spatial data analysis into his portfolio.

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