Stuart Blundell Harris Geospatial  

Stuart Blundell

Stuart Blundell is the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Geospatial Solutions, Space and Intelligence Systems, Harris Corporation. Previous to joining Harris Corporation Stuart was the Vice President of Geospatial Products & Solutions at Textron Systems Overwatch where he oversaw the RemoteView product line in support of the NGA System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG). In 1997, Stuart co-founded Visual Learning Systems (VLS), a nationally recognized Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) company, which was acquired by Overwatch in 2006. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Science degree in geophysical engineering and a Master of Science degree in geology from the University of Wyoming.

21

Jun

2016

Coming soon...EAS

Author: Stuart Blundell

With the first day of Summer 2016 in the books, my thoughts are turning towards the ENVI Analytics Symposium (EAS) and our shared community goals regarding the geospatial analytics marketplace.  As a remote sensing scientist, I know that the 2016 EAS will deliver a vigorous and lively debate on new sensors, collection platforms, cloud technology, data science and algorithms.  We will have that dialogue with world-class research scientists and industry thought leaders discussing how geospatial technology (such as spatial-temporal analytics and Small Sat platforms), is meeting the growing challenges of National Security, Global Climate Change, Health Analytics and Precision Agriculture.

Of particular interest will be an in-depth discussion, led by Dr. Michael Steinmayer of SulSoft, on de-forestation monitoring in the Amazon rain forest using airborne SAR and spectral data.  I am also honored to announce that former NGA Director Robert B. Murrett, a professor on the faculty of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and Deputy Director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), will once again join me on the EAS stage as a moderator for our panel discussions.

This year’s EAS will also explore the business drivers behind the growth in geo-solutions across a wide spectrum of consumer applications.  Our track on Cloud Platforms and Geospatial Markets will feature a diverse group of companies that are investing in online marketplaces and leveraging cloud technology.  Industry leaders such as DigitalGlobe, Airbus Defence and Space, Cloud EO, Harris Geospatial and Amazon will discuss their approaches, success and challenges in getting to the next big growth ring – commercial customers that want answers to business problems. We are adding emphasis to this commercial business theme by including an Industry Solutions track featuring innovative companies, such as exactEarth, FLoT Systems and Highland Agriculture, who will discuss their analytical approaches to maritime, utility and agricultural markets. 

Our line-up of workshops has something for everyone including Deep Learning approaches for geospatial data, an introduction to Geiger-mode LIDAR, SAR Lunch and Learn, Small UAS data processing and many other topics of interest.  Be sure to take a look at the workshops and agenda topics for the event.  I hope you will join us this August 23rd and 24th in Boulder, Colorado, for the next chapter of the ENVI Analytics Symposium!

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Categories: ENVI Blog | Imagery Speaks

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6

Apr

2016

Plain as Day

Author: Stuart Blundell

Or in this case would it be plain as night?

I recently read an article in the New York Times about the “wonderment” a Harvard Economics professor discovered in the global night lights data that is freely available from NASA. The professor, Dr. Sendhill Mullainathan, was gushing about the insights this data provided for global analysis of poverty. Essentially what his analysis came down to was this: No lights, no money.

Having spent the last 30-plus years as a remote sensing scientist I thought: “Really? You didn’t know that?” And I did have moment of feeling rather smug that a Harvard Professor had just “discovered” something that to me was obvious.  

But then I too had an "ah ha!" moment when I stepped back to see the data from this very different perspective. From new ideas spring new services. In this case it would be a global change analysis service using night-lights data at scale. A thousand more of these types of use cases and we can scale-out the type of consumer driven market we all want in this business

And here's the point of this blog. Dr. Mullainathan, and others of his ilk, are exactly the types of people we want to consume geospatial analytics so they can bring their insights, economics in this case, as new ideas into the market. Because while at first his "realization" seemed very rudimentary to me, once I was able to zoom out, I realized it was not a bad idea at all, this night lights stuff.

Too bad the experts like me don't always see what is right under our noses.

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Categories: ENVI Blog | Imagery Speaks

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9

Feb

2016

Big Ideas in Geospatial Intelligence: Smallsats

Author: Stuart Blundell


The small satellite (Smallsat) revolution is fostering big ideas on how we should view the future of geospatial intelligence from a persistence point of view. First off, let’s define what we mean by small so that we can fully appreciate the scale of this new reality in earth imaging. The 2014 SpaceWorks© Nano/Microsatellite market assessment defines five different Smallsat classes on the basis of weight: at the small-end of the spectrum are the Femtosatellites (10-100 grams) and at the heavy-end of the ranges are the Small Satellites (100-500 kilograms). Think of professional boxers weight classes with the “Femtos” being the Pinweights and the “Smalls” being the Featherweights of the group. For earth imaging purposes the majority of the satellites will be Nanosatellites (1-10 kg) – think of Planet Labs as the Light Bantamweights of the global geospatial Smallsat arena (Figure 1).

Figure 1. In this corner in the striped trunks are the challengers: Planet lab co-founders with a Flock 1 Nanosatellite (Planet Labsimage) 


Spaceworks estimates that by 2020 around 2,750 nano/microsatellites will have launched with the majority having some type of earth imaging sensor on them i.e. electro-optical or radar sensor. With that many looks at the earth is there any wonder that the geospatial intelligence community is jacked-up about the future of persistence? The ultimate success of this new paradigm is going to be seeing your kid dial-up an fresh image on their Smartphone when the family wants to know if the beach is crowded. What will the market look like at that point in time? Perhaps Google, Amazon, IBM and MicroSoft owning 90% of the Smallsat images raining down from space. Then what? Tune in next time for the rest of that story.

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