Herndon-based BlackSky, whose next-gen satellites see through clouds, sees big demand for imagery

Herndon-based BlackSky is reporting increased demand from intelligence agencies globally for its detailed imagery.(Courtesy BlackSky)
Herndon, Virginia-based BlackSky, whose small imaging satellites collect high-resolution images for government and commercial customers, saw a 26% year-over-year gain in quarterly revenue, driven by growing demand by intelligence agencies globally for its detailed imagery.

The company also reported its first quarterly profit since going public.

BlackSky’s low earth orbit small satellite constellations capture real-time and high-frequency geospatial intelligence, used to monitor defense and economic interests by its clients globally.

The company posted third quarter revenue of $31.3 million, and a net income of $700,000 — compared to a net loss of $13.1 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company is on track for $83 million in full-year revenue, four times its revenue three years ago.

“Increased customer demand worldwide for BlackSky’s space-based intelligence drove record revenues in the third quarter. New contracts and renewal agreements primarily supporting U.S. and international government agencies illustrates growing demand and demonstrates how BlackSky is increasingly relied upon by some of the most demanding customers around the world,” said CEO Brian O’Toole.

Its satellites are being used to monitor military movements in both Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war.

In addition to new and renewed contracts with U.S. and international intelligence agencies, BlackSky won a U.S. Air Force contract last quarter to track mobile assets in real-time.

BlackSky launches its third generation of satellites next year, which will be capable of capturing images at night and through clouds using shortwave infrared technology. Its customers use the real-time images for everything from climate monitoring and weather disasters to military conflicts. Its small satellites can revisit a given location for imaging several times a day.

Earlier this month, BlackSky was named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list of fastest-growing tech companies in North America.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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