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IARPA Selects BlackSky Spectra® Software Platform as Leading Space-Based AI Approach for Bringing Speed and Scalability to Broad Area Search Mission

BlackSky AI tools developed under SMART program now analyze more than 20 percent of the Earth’s surface every month

BlackSky Technology Inc. (NYSE: BKSY) won a contract from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to move forward into the third and final phase of the multi-year Space-based Machine Automated Recognition Technique (SMART) program. Phase III emphasizes the transfer of SMART broad area search technologies into other U.S. government programs.

“BlackSky built a high-performance machine learning operations (MLOps) architecture for the SMART program that was originally designed to manage the analysis of one million square kilometers of land,” said Patrick O’Neil, BlackSky chief technology officer. “That foundational technology is now generating value elsewhere on other U.S. government search and discovery efforts, where we are analyzing more than 30 million square kilometers - more than 20 percent - of the Earth’s surface every month.”

Focused over large areas of the Earth’s surface, broad area search and discovery techniques help intelligence organizations get a wide-angle, baseline picture of aggregate change over time. For the SMART Program, all participants’ artificial intelligence (AI) change detection tools were deployed and evaluated for performance, cost and scalability within BlackSky’s MLOps architecture.

“BlackSky is using AI to reshape the broad area search mission with industry-leading speed and economics,” said O’Neil. “We have taken the lessons learned from SMART Phases I and II, folded them back into BlackSky Spectra, and quickly proven these investments can excel in an operational setting.”

With the core technology developed under the SMART program, BlackSky’s AI tools have detected and classified more than two million change observations with a high degree of accuracy over 120 thousand distinct sites after having analyzed five years of historic broad area satellite imagery from government and commercial sources.

About BlackSky

BlackSky is a real-time, space-based intelligence company that delivers on-demand, high frequency imagery, analytics, and high-frequency monitoring of the most critical and strategic locations, economic assets, and events in the world. BlackSky owns and operates one of the industry’s most advanced, purpose-built commercial, real-time intelligence system that combines the power of the BlackSky Spectra® tasking and analytics software platform and our proprietary low earth orbit satellite constellation.

With BlackSky, customers can see, understand and anticipate changes for a decisive strategic advantage at the tactical edge, and act not just fast, but first. BlackSky is trusted by some of the most demanding U.S. and international government agencies, commercial businesses, and organizations around the world. BlackSky is headquartered in Herndon, VA, and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as BKSY. To learn more, visit and follow us on X (Twitter).

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws with respect to BlackSky. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections, and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this document. If any of these risks materialize or underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect our expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this communication. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause their assessments to change. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in BlackSky’s disclosure materials filed from time to time with the SEC which are available at the SEC’s website at or on BlackSky’s Investor Relations website at


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