NGA wants industry info for cloud-based architecture plans

NGA's eastern headquarters in Springfield, Va.

NGA's eastern headquarters in Springfield, Va. Photo courtesy National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

A proposed system would allow the agency to automate how it processes a range of data and shares it throughout the intelligence community.

The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has plans to develop an overarching cloud-based enterprise management system capable of automating its data collection and dissemination, according to a request for information issued Monday

The proposed Source Content Dissemination Services System would allow the agency — which is tasked with collecting, analyzing, and distributing satellite-based intelligence data — to automate how it processes a range of data and shares it throughout the intelligence community.

"The legacy NGA Gateway architecture is filled with disparate, monolithic systems that store and manage a plethora of Foundation GEOINT content including Safety of Navigation products, elevation products, imagery products, targeting products and foundation feature data in both file and vector-based formats housed in a geospatial databases and associated file systems," the RFI said, noting that a cloud-based, automated system would "drastically reduce the entire process from weeks to hours."

The RFI further outlines plans for a system where direct digital upload would eliminate the handling of hardcopy media and manual loading, reducing errors and processing time, eliminate repetitive data loading and enable speedy data dissemination to other intelligence agencies through microservices and application programming interfaces. 

NGA officials said in the RFI that SCDS would ultimately replace legacy systems overseeing the overall Foundation GEOINT storage and management process. 

The proposal envisions a contract for operations and maintenance support over a 12-month base period, followed by four 12-month options. 

Other contracted work would also likely include modernization, patching, adaptive/corrective maintenance, maintaining Security Technical Implementation Guides and conducting tech refreshes and patches. 

The primary place of performance for the future contract "will be the contractor facility, preferably within close proximity to NGA East [in the National Capital Region] as well as possibly NGA West [in St Louis]. The specific location will be provided in an official RFP and agreed upon at contract award."

The move comes as NGA has expanded its use of emerging technologies, disclosing in April that it would take over Project Maven, the Pentagon's key artificial intelligence program designed to identify individual objects out of a massive amount of surveillance data, within fiscal 2023. 

The contract award is anticipated for November 2023.