Commercial Innovation Center (CIC)

We Are Better Together

Our Commercial Innovation Center (CIC) is a first-of-its-kind, online development and test platform that provides a secure, virtual, open ecosystem and test sandbox for developers and researchers. We do it by harnessing the combined powers of commercial remote sensing, unclassified open datasets, cloud technologies, in a secure development ecosystem fueled by new, emerging, and seasoned tools, services and data to create solutions that keep our nation safe. The Riverside Research CIC is the place where commercial subject matter experts come together securely to collaborate and create the best commercial solutions to real world scenarios before they're integrated and deployed in the field.

Together, we win

It’s not as much fun to play in the sandbox by yourself, right? We know from experience that it’s the collective work of many people with diverse experiences and backgrounds that create the most effective solutions. By design, the CIC encourages partnerships, increases data accessibility, integrates app development, and facilitates the creation of transition-ready prototypes. Because of our unique position as a nonprofit in the defense space, we can provide the neutral environment where collaborative innovation thrives. As demonstrated on this video, capitalizing on all commercial sensors available improves our progress towards persistent observation.

Access to rich datasets

Data is the one thing that is guaranteed to continuously grow and change. Technology entrepreneurs’ success revolves around access to these data and developing improved AI and machine learning tools creating integrated and advanced applications for businesses in support of (United States Government) USG needs.

Advanced tools and applications

Advanced tools and applications

Technology innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented and virtual reality present significant entrepreneurial opportunities, yet all require geospatial data for development. Early-stage entrepreneurs, academic researchers, and innovators will now have access to the large datasets that are traditionally only available to large, established industry players. Such datasets are often too costly for early-stage entrepreneurs and researchers to acquire, and even if the datasets are made available, they are often not packaged in a manner that allows innovators to work with the data—they are overwhelmingly unwieldy and non-standardized. The CIC data environment seeks to solve that problem, allowing researchers and entrepreneurs new opportunities for experimentation, testing, and training.

The CIC pairs this data with tools and services to streamline development timelines by ensuring flexible licenses are available for your R&D activities within the CIC ecosystem. As new tools and services become available, we negotiate with the vendors for early and shared access amongst our CIC participants to the latest and greatest capabilities from established vendors in the remote sensing market. This visual shows a few or our early integrators, and as new vendors are integrated, we’ll let the community know!

CIC Data Search and Discovery

Your all-access pass

The CIC supports and enables industry, scientific, academic, and governmental R&D activities by facilitating access to commercial remote sensing data. Riverside Research integrates the hardware, software, processes, data, tools, internet accesses, demonstration capabilities, and other IT infrastructure required to execute CIC participant SIBR projects and meet R&D objectives. Our CIC offers:

  • Exposure to diverse and emerging data and data types for more data scientists
  • Increased interaction between content providers and new application developers; enables cloud-hybrid, multi-INT applications
  • Lowered entry barriers by eliminating the need for a user-developed system
  • Integrated orchestration-to-analysis workflow
  • Timely teaming, technology, and tipping
  • Accelerated access and use of commercial remote sensing solutions and innovation
Right where you want it

Right where you want it

Are you looking for a cloud-hosting environment where you can easily access commercial data for development and test—all from one place to safely develop, load, and test capabilities?

Our trusted, unclassified, virtual development platform provides access to R&D-licensed commercial remote sensing phenomenologies (e.g., EO, radar, IR, RF), connects emerging and established vendors with shared application tools and services, and facilitates GEOINT, MASINT, and Multi-INT research and development. The CIC includes:

  • An ecosystem of commercial data providers (CDPs)
  • A network of application developers
  • Common R&D data and COTS/GOTS tools (e.g., loading, discovery)
  • Common testing data (curated, tagged)
  • Robust DevOps environment
  • Hybrid cloud-ready infrastructure
  • Protected intellectual property and data rights
  • Maturing secure data fabric
CIC mission, vision & values

CIC mission, vision & values

Mission: Provide data scientists and algorithm developers with a virtual development and test platform and access to new and diverse commercial remote sensing data to develop algorithms, tools, and services.

Vision: Work in the Nation’s interest to offer proven expertise and experience in commercial remote sensing to solve problems through innovation, agility, and creative thinking.

Values: Encourage partnerships and connect emerging and established users across USG and industry with shared application tools, services, and diverse commercial constellation data.

Participant Agreements: We offer access to a secure, virtual, cloud-based ecosystem to perform R&D using existing and emerging commercial sources to develop and test algorithms, tools, and services accelerating USG objectives.

Commercial Experts: We offer our commercial experience, data scientists, and phenomenology experts to support efforts using the CIC to perform commercial utility assessments, new sensor development, synthetic data V&V, data value/usability studies, and more.

Products and Services: We offer access to CIC-based products and services such as synthetic data generation, data tagging, AI/ML V&V, data compression, data geo-registration, and more.

Work With the Commercial Innovation Center
Press Inquiries About the CIC

Commercial Innovation in the News: November 2022

  • 01 Nov 22, The Dangers of Iran’s Drones in Ukraine. The use of Iranian drones in Ukraine has sparked concern over the deepening Iranian-Russo ties and the maturity of Iran’s drone program. But for Iran, Ukraine serves as another battlefield to live-test its drone fleet against U.S.- and NATO-provided defensive systems. 
  • 01 Nov 22, Russia’s Threats to Attack Western Satellites Highlights Need for International Laws in Space. Russia’s recent threat to take down Western commercial satellites as payback for aiding Ukraine in the war once again underlines the need to develop and/or strengthen international norms related to space activities for ensuring a sustainable space for tomorrow.
  • 01 Nov 22, What stories can you tell using AI and satellite imagery? Here are some ideas. Satellite-driven stories don’t have to use artificial intelligence (AI)—many can be told using satellite data alone, without. The main advantages of AI include quantifying phenomena, identifying patterns, showing changes or finding a “needle in a haystack” across large territories or different time periods.
  • 01 Nov 22, Large Chunk of Chinese Rocket Comes Crashing Down, Lodges in Field. A gigantic piece of a Chinese Long March 2D rocket has seemingly plummeted back down to Earth and lodged itself in a crop in the northwestern province of Gansu, as seen in images shared on Chinese social media. The images show a massive metal structure lodged vertically in some freshly tilled soil, sticking out some 20 to 30 feet. The piece likely belonged to a rocket China launched on Saturday to deliver satellites into orbit, but officials have yet to weigh in.
  • 01 Nov 22, Russia and Iran expand space cooperation. Russia and Iran are gradually expanding their cooperation in space but doing so without much fanfare. Last August, a Russian-built remote sensing satellite for Iran was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and three more are expected to follow in the coming years. There is also compelling evidence that a Russian company is building a communications satellite for Iran that will be placed into geostationary orbit in 2024. Russia’s efforts to keep the details of these projects under wraps, though, have been largely ineffective.
  • 01 Nov 22, Deep learning underlies geographic dataset used in hurricane response. Over the past seven years, researchers in ORNL's Geospatial Science and Human Security Division have mapped and characterized all structures within the United States and its territories to aid FEMA in its response to disasters. This dataset provides a consistent, nationwide accounting of the buildings where people reside and work.
  • 01 Nov 22, Quantum Approach to Satellite Image Data Compression and Analysis. Due to the rapid development of satellite imaging sensors, high-resolution images are being generated for use. Various image processing algorithms, such as deep learning models, require images of reduced sizes given the computational constraints. Hence, preprocessing the images to reduce their size is crucial for any deep learning model.
  • 02 Nov 22, Bye-Bye Biomass: forest monitoring satellite departs for final testing before launch. Biomass, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) forest measuring satellite has left the Airbus Defense and Space site in Stevenage and is on its way to Toulouse for final testing ahead of launch. Richard Franklin, Managing Director of Airbus Defense and Space UK said: “Biomass will be able to measure the world’s forests on a global scale—a true world first.  It will give scientists vital information about just how much carbon is locked up and also being absorbed by the “lungs” of the planet enabling better decisions to be made on tackling climate change. 
  • 02 Nov 22, Mandala Signs CRADA with the Air Force Research Lab. Mandala Space Ventures, LLC, a Pasadena-based venture studio exclusively focused on the emerging New Space economy, is proud to announce that it has signed a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Air Force Research Lab’s (AFRL) Space Vehicle Directorate, Spacecraft Division on behalf of the U.S. Space Force’s SpaceWERX. The initial focus of the CRADA will be SpaceWERX’s Orbital Prime program. Orbital Prime’s goal is to invigorate the In-Space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) market using Active Debris Remediation as a use case for the foundational technologies. As debris and congestion threaten long-term sustainability of the space domain, Orbital Prime will transition agile, affordable, and accelerated ISAM space capabilities to build the foundation for space logistics while preserving the global commons.
  • 02 Nov 22, D-Orbit Signs Launch Contract with AAC SpaceQuest. Space logistics and transportation company D-Orbit announced the signing of a launch contract with AAC SpaceQuest, the US subsidiary of AAC Clyde Space. The agreement covers the launch and deployment of an initial two (2) satellites, based on SpaceQuest’s newest generation of maritime satellite design, with an option for an additional two (2) spacecraft. The satellites, called respectively Sedna 1, 2 will scale the company’s satellite automatic identification system (“S-AIS”) space infrastructure and validate new, key maritime space-data technologies.
  • 02 Nov 22, Global analysis shows where fishing vessels turn off their identification devices. A new dataset of intentional disabling of Automatic Identification System devices by fishing vessels provides insights into illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity. The new study, published November 2 in Science Advances, presents the first global dataset of AIS disabling in commercial fisheries, which obscures up to 6% of vessel activity.
  • 02 Nov 22, Measuring Air Quality via Multimodal AI and Satellite Imagery. The European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus project satellite, "Sentinel-5P" is a newly launched satellite capable of measuring a variety of pollutant information with publicly available data outputs.
  • 02 Nov 22, Google's wildfire detection is available in US, Mexico, Canada and parts of Australia. At an AI-focused press event today in New York, Google announced that it’s bringing its AI-powered wildfire detection system to the U.S. Canada, Mexico, and parts of Australia. It’s one of several “AI for good” efforts the company detailed this morning, which also included Google’s efforts to expand flood forecasting to more regions around the world.
  • 02 Nov 22, USAID, CRIST and NASA launch Phase 2 of SERVIR-West. USAID in partnership with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Tuesday, launched 'Phase two' of the 'SERVIR', a satellite imagery technology, to empower regional and national actors to use earth observation and earth science for development gains.
  • 03 Nov 22, FCC establishes new bureau dedicated to satellite industry oversight. The Federal Communications Commission has set up a new bureau dedicated to improving the agency’s oversight of the satellite industry. It is one of two new offices to come out of an internal reorganization at the FCC, which has also created a standalone office of international affairs.
  • 04 Nov 22, Google launches FloodHub to forecast and monitor flooding incidents worldwide. Google has alert systems in place to caution against incoming floods, surging wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural calamities. In a significant step towards making many inhabited places safer, the company is expanding its flood forecasting and wildfire tracking services to several new regions.
  • 07 Nov 22, CSPP Geosphere—User-friendly features for GOES imagery. The Community Satellite Processing Package Geosphere is a free, online tool used for viewing and downloading satellite data and imagery. Developed by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, the recently updated CSPP Geosphere features near real-time satellite imagery from NOAA geostationary weather satellites like GOES-East and -West, with the added ability to download image loops.
  • 08 Nov 22, How AI in weather prediction can aid human intelligence. Increasingly, AI models are improving weather, climate and disaster predictions. AI and machine learning models have predictive qualities not inhibited by human errors. Also, new workflows use better weather models to improve business outcomes, operations and responses to weather events.
  • 08 Nov 22, Sapphire in the sky: Space domain awareness is Canadian space commander’s top priority. Replacing Canada’s sole aging space tracking satellite is the top modernization priority for the military’s new space operations organization, according to its commander, Brig. Gen. Mike Adamson.
  • 08 Nov 22, Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center: Ongoing Fissile Material Production and Fall Harvest Activity. Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center indicates ongoing fissile material production. Vehicles and personnel continue to move about the complex and evidence of activity is apparent. It is worth noting that older, outdated and derelict buildings are being razed, and new smaller buildings are being added in their place. This points to a systematic approach to upgrading and modernizing the key facilities around the complex.
  • 08 Nov 22, Lanthanein Resources unearths new ironstones at Lyons; satellite imagery zeroes in on 41 new REE targets. The company analyzed satellite imagery of spectral targets to identify high-potential areas of ironstones and quartz outcropping that may host rare earth element (REE) mineralization, subsequently generating 41 new targets for exploration.
  • 10 Nov 22, Where is the satellite intelligence industry heading next? Noam Segal, CEO of ImageSat International, explained the reasons for the slow development of the satellite intelligence industry.
  • 14 Nov 22, Artha 2022 Kicks Off: Where’s Indian Geospatial Sector Headed? The 2022 Artha Summit in Hyderabad begins with deliberations on the role and scope of the geospatial sector in India, and its enormous untapped potential for economic growth and social well-being.
  • 14 Nov 22, On alert: UN launches new satellite tracking of global methane emissions. Governments and businesses will now be able to respond to increasing climate-warming methane gas, to be measured with a new satellite-based system known as MARS. The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) was announced by the United Nations environment program (UNEP) on Friday evening, Australian time.
  • 14 Nov 22, Satellite MATS takes its first image of the upper atmosphere. By studying the Earth's upper atmosphere, MATS will collect information about atmospheric waves, thus contributing important pieces to the puzzle of the global climate system.
  • 14 Nov 22, NASA Awards Commercial Small Satellite Data Acquisition Agreement. Under this agreement, GeoOptics shall be responsible for delivery of a comprehensive catalog of its commercial Earth Observation data High Resolution Radio Occultation Commercial Earth Observation Data products indicating at a minimum: the data sets, associated metadata and ancillary information; data cadence; data latency; area coverage; and data usage policy.
  • 15 Nov 22, Kayhan and Morpheus Partner to Automate Collision Avoidance. Kayhan Space and Morpheus Space have teamed up to offer their customers automated collision avoidance maneuvers, the two companies announced this morning. By pairing Kayhan’s space traffic management (STM) software, Pathfinder, with Morpheus’ pay-as-you-go propulsion, the companies hope they can make it simpler for satellite operators to prevent space from getting mucked up.
  • 15 Nov 22, China’s ‘Satellite Killer’ SLC-18 Radar Could Make Its Way To Pakistan; Can Detect & Track Multiple Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites. China appears to be considering equipping Pakistan with its cutting-edge SLC-18 space surveillance active phased array radar, which would downsize the Indian military’s dominance over Islamabad.
  • 16 Nov 22, Microsoft & Planet Join Hands to Provide AI, Satellite Data in Africa. Planet Labs and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership to apply artificial intelligence (AI) technology and satellite data to support African climate adaptation projects. 
  • 16 Nov 22, Air Force Research Lab awards $76 million for lunar experimentation. The Air Force Research Laboratory chose Colorado-based Advanced Space to build a spacecraft that will observe, detect and track objects around the moon. 
  • 18 Nov 22, Lockheed Martin and Nvidia Partner on Weather Digital Twin for NOAA. Lockheed Martin and Nvidia are joining forces to develop a global weather digital twin for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the two companies announced Thursday. The AI-driven earth observation system will help NOAA monitor and increase global weather conditions, including extreme events increasing in frequency. 
  • 21 Nov 22, Satellite imagery norms loaded against local firms: MapMyIndia seeks level playing field with Google. Private companies in India using satellite imagery for either consumer or enterprise use cases cannot put out imagery finer than one-meter resolution. However, Google Maps does not comply with this directive and offers even finer and crisper resolution on their maps to consumers. 
  • 21 Nov 22, Using cloud to harness satellite imagery and sensor data for public sector use. In a recent FedScoop panel discussion, Jon Love, vice president of strategic growth at Maxar—a major provider of commercial satellite imagery to the U.S. government—discusses how modern cloud capabilities are improving not just the amount of data satellites collect, the quality of images they provide as well. 
  • 22 Nov 22, JPSS-2 Has a New Name: NOAA-21. NOAA’s JPSS-2 satellite successfully launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Nov. 10 at 1:49 a.m. PST. This week, it was officially renamed NOAA-21. 
  • 22 Nov 22, Philippine Commander Says China Seized Space Debris. On Monday, a Philippine military commander accused China of forcibly seizing a big piece of metal—most likely space debris—that the former nation’s navy was towing through the South China Sea. 
  • 22 Nov 22, NASA Satellite Precipitation Data Joins the Air Force. Rain gauges are plentiful around the United States, but that’s not the case elsewhere in the world – particularly over oceans and sparsely populated areas. That means scientists and other data users have to rely on satellite measurements—such as those provided by NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission—to fill in the gaps. 
  • 27 Nov 22, China poses increasing threat in military space race, top U.S. general says. Rapid advancements in China’s military capabilities pose increasing risks to American supremacy in outer space, the head of the United States military’s space wing said on Monday. Nina Armagno, director of staff of the U.S. Space Force, said Beijing had made significant progress in developing military space technology, including in areas such as satellite communications and re-useable spacecraft, which allow countries to rapidly scale up their space programs. 
  • 28 Nov 22, Phantom Space wins 4 new NASA Task Orders. Phantom Space Corp. has been awarded four new NASA task orders to launch CubeSat satellites into space as part of the new VADR contract. 

Questions about Commercial Innovation Center (CIC)