Stanford researchers use geospatial imagery and machine learning technology to gain real-time insights
HERNDON, Va. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — July 7, 2021 — BlackSky Holdings, Inc. (“BlackSky”), a leading technology platform providing real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring that has announced a planned business combination with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: SFTW), today shared that its geospatial imagery was used in a groundbreaking intelligence study that tracks and monitors activity at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran.
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BlackSky’s high-revisit satellite imagery enabled researchers at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) to monitor the pattern of life at the Natanz nuclear facility and gain a better understanding of activity and events at the site. BlackSky’s satellites provide high, intraday revisit capabilities, allowing CISAC’s research team to receive multiple images a day, throughout the day, rather than just one image collected at roughly the same time each day.
BlackSky satellites are also capable of capturing a sequence of up to 20 images within a matter of minutes, known as a burst collection, and then splicing them together. Instead of a single picture, burst collections are geospatially normalized and joined together to generate a moving sequence of activity. With BlackSky’s assistance, the research team was able to witness trucks emerging from the facility’s underground tunnels.
“Observations that provide real-time, activities-based insights have the potential to change the world,” said Dr. Patrick O’Neil, chief data scientist at BlackSky. “The BlackSky/CISAC research team demonstrated the power of combining rapid revisit satellite imagery, human domain expertise, and AI/ML techniques to identify and understand activity at Natanz, which was previously unknown to much of the world.”
Allison Puccioni, a renowned imagery analyst and BlackSky consultant, assembled a leading research team at Stanford University, with help from Rose Gottemoeller, an internationally recognized diplomat, former NATO Deputy Secretary, and current visiting professor at Stanford. The pair enlisted two highly skilled principal research assistants in geospatial science to develop a sophisticated and innovative situational-intelligence program to monitor the Natanz nuclear facility.
Natanz is Iran's primary facility for advanced uranium enrichment and is an active political and military location driven by concerns about the country’s nuclear operations. The BlackSky/Stanford research team set a leading example for using high-resolution satellite imagery, AI/ML, and deep analysis to deliver first-to-know geospatial intelligence for the world’s nuclear proliferation communities.
About BlackSky Holdings, Inc.
BlackSky is a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence. BlackSky monitors activities and facilities worldwide by harnessing the world’s emerging sensor networks and leveraging its own satellite constellation. BlackSky processes millions of data elements daily from its constellation as well as a variety of space, IoT, and terrestrial-based sensors and data feeds. BlackSky’s on-demand constellation of satellites can image a location multiple times throughout the day. BlackSky monitors for pattern-of-life anomalies to produce alerts and enhance situational awareness. BlackSky’s monitoring service, Spectra AI, is powered by cutting-edge compute techniques including machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and natural language processing. BlackSky’s global monitoring solution is available via a simple subscription and requires no IT infrastructure or setup. On February 17, 2021, BlackSky entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination (the “Merger Agreement”) with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. (“Osprey”) (NYSE: SFTW) that would result in BlackSky becoming a publicly listed company. For more information visit www.blacksky.com.
Osprey is a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, that was established as a collaboration between investment firms HEPCO Capital Management, led by Jonathan and Edward Cohen, and JANA Partners, led by Barry Rosenstein and with its SPAC initiative led by JANA Partner David DiDomenico, who serves as Osprey’s CEO, President, and Director. Osprey was formed to consummate a transaction with one or more transformative companies that have developed innovative software delivery platforms. For more information visit www.osprey-technology.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws with respect to the proposed transactions between Osprey and 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, including but not limited to: (i) the risk that the transactions may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the price of Osprey’s securities, (ii) the risk that the transactions may not be completed by Osprey’s Business Combination deadline and the potential failure to obtain an extension of the Business Combination deadline if sought by Osprey, (iii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transactions, including the adoption of the Merger Agreement by the stockholders of Osprey, the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following redemptions by Osprey’s public stockholders and the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iv) the lack of a third-party valuation in determining whether or not to pursue the proposed transactions, (v) the inability to complete the PIPE Investment, (vi) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Merger Agreement, (vii) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transactions on BlackSky’s business relationships, operating results, and business generally, (viii) risks that the proposed transactions disrupt current plans and operations of BlackSky, (ix) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against BlackSky or against the Osprey related to the Merger Agreement or the proposed transactions, (x) the ability to maintain the listing of Osprey’s securities on a national securities exchange, (xi) changes in the competitive and regulated industries in which BlackSky operates, variations in operating performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting BlackSky’s business and changes in the combined capital structure, (xii) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the proposed transactions, and identify and realize additional opportunities (xiii) the performance of our third-party service providers, including our satellite manufacturer and launch providers, (xiv) risks related to delays or cancellations from current or expected customers, (xv) the risk that redemptions by Osprey’s public stockholders may require the combined company to seek additional equity and/or debt financing to fund its business plan, and (xvi) the effects of natural disasters, terrorist attacks and the spread and/or abatement of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, on the proposed transactions or on the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the proposed transactions. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of Osprey’s registration on Form S-1 (File No. 333-234180), the registration statement on Form S-4 discussed below and other documents filed by Osprey from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Osprey and BlackSky assume no obligation and do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Neither Osprey nor BlackSky gives any assurance that either Osprey or BlackSky, or the combined company, will achieve its expectations.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
This document relates to the proposed transactions between Osprey and BlackSky. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or exchange, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or exchange, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or exchange would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. On May 13, 2021, Osprey filed a registration statement on Form S-4 with the SEC, as amended on June 25, 2021, which included a document that serves as a prospectus and proxy statement of Osprey, referred to as a proxy statement/prospectus. A proxy statement/prospectus will be sent to all Osprey stockholders. Osprey also will file other documents regarding the proposed transactions with the SEC. Before making any voting or investment decision, investors and security holders of Osprey are urged to read the registration statement, the proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transactions as they become available because they will contain important information about the proposed transactions.