Seattle-based satellite-imaging service company, BlackSky, has announced an official partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
In June 2015, BlackSky announced its commercial entry into satellite imagery with initial operating capability in 2017 and plans for a 60-satellite constellation in the coming years.
Using this constellation, UNITAR and BlackSky will work together to leverage imaging for purposes as diverse as humanitarian relief, human security, climate change adaptation, sustainable water management, territorial management, high priority peace-keeping missions and maritime monitoring of illegal activity.
UNITAR, created in 1965, is an autonomous body within the United Nations that was formed to develop capacities to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.
“With BlackSky’s constellation, we not only have access to more information, but we also have access to it much faster than ever before,” said Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and Executive Director of UNITAR. “Our vision as an organisation is to live in a world in which knowledge-empowered people can achieve results to overcome global challenges, and BlackSky’s service enables us to do this better.”
BlackSky estimates its initial operating capability will be realised in 2017 and eventually intends to host a 60-satellite constellation. This will enable the company to provide cost-effective, high-resolution, rapid-revisit satellite imaging services, capturing all of the Earth’s populated area.
BlackSky Executive Vice President and General Manager, Rakesh Narasimhan, stated, “BlackSky is the first satellite imaging company of its kind to jointly explore new ways of leveraging the information collected from our satellite images to help achieve UNITAR’s many missions. This partnership is the first step in establishing a long standing relationship with UNITAR with a commitment to positively impact our joint customers.”