Spiral Blue wins Australian Defence maritime domain awareness contract

Sydney, NSW - 15th October, 2020 - Spiral Blue today announced it has been awarded a contract from the Defence Innovation Hub to develop Vessel Detect, a lightweight system for processing satellite images to detect vessels in large areas of ocean. Vessel Detect uses machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to detect vessels of different sizes in medium and high resolution satellite imagery. This contract, valued at $640,000, will see Spiral Blue develop and demonstrate Vessel Detect with satellite imagery on the ground. This system offers great potential for ADF, border security, and surveillance operations.

Externally to this DIH contract, Spiral Blue is also developing Space Edge Computing, a system for processing satellite image data as it is collected on Earth observation satellites. Space Edge leads to improvements in affordability, flexibility, and lead times for Earth observation services. The lightweight nature of Vessel Detect enables Spiral Blue to ultimately run Vessel Detect on future Earth observation satellites equipped with Space Edge Computers. In addition to Defence, we are working with geospatial analysts in industries including agriculture, financial services, utilities, and more.

"We are proud to have been selected to develop Vessel Detect," Founder and CEO Taofiq Huq said. "Vessel Detect has the potential to greatly improve sovereign capabilities in maritime domain awareness. Moreover, this contract enables Spiral Blue to invest in developing internal capabilities, particularly in Space Edge computing. Investments such as these from the Defence Innovation Hub are critical in supporting and growing Australian industry in these uncertain times."

The Defence Innovation Hub provides opportunities for academia, research organisations and Australian businesses of all sizes to put forward innovative proposals that can enhance Defence capability. It accepts proposals that are ready to enter different stages of the innovation process, from concept exploration, to technology development, to prototyping, to demonstration and evaluation. The Hub will invest $800 million to 2030 to mature and develop innovative technologies that can enhance Defence capability.

About Spiral Blue

Spiral Blue is a Sydney based Earth observation services startup that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide next generation data analysis for industries including defence, utilities, and agriculture. They are building Space Edge – a computer for future Earth observation satellites that promises to significantly reduce costs of accessing high quality Earth observation data. 

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