RapidEye Added to USDA/FAS/OGA/IPAD Prime Vendor Contract

Brandenburg / Havel, Germany, September 29, 2009 –  RapidEye, the only geospatial solutions provider to own and operate a constellation of Earth Observation satellites, announced today that they are the latest addition to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), Office of Global Analysis (OGA) and the International Production and Assessment Division (IPAD) Prime Vendor Contract.   

Under the contract, RapidEye will provide the four agencies with their levels 1B and 3A satellite imagery products. The agencies will have the ability to order imagery either from RapidEye’s existing archive (the RapidEye Library), or the option of tasking the RapidEye constellation of satellites if an area they are interested in has not been imaged.

Robert Tetrault, IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA, Satellite Imagery Archive Manager, stated, “The use of RapidEye satellite data should allow our crop analysts to use a finer resolution data set. We look forward to testing this imagery to see how it supports our convergence of evidence methodology. The convergence of evidence methodology is used to develop our crop acreage and yield estimates which is vital to our global food security analysis.”

“We look forward to providing multi-temporal, in-season data collection programs to enhance USDA’s crop and vegetation monitoring efforts,” said John Ahlrichs, Vice President of RapidEye. “This contract will give USDA agencies instant access to our imagery for better monitoring and decision making.”

The IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA is responsible for global crop condition assessments and estimates of area, yield, and production for grains, oilseeds, and cotton. The primary mission of OGA is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural market intelligence information. One of OGA’s key missions is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets (Source: USDA and NASA). The Prime Vendor Contract vehicle allows them to obtain agriculture analysis solutions using satellite imagery and ancillary information quickly and cost effectively.

Derrick Williams, III, Division Director, IPAD, stated, “The purpose of this contract is to promote efficiency. We are making the best use of every taxpayer dollar. The Prime Vendor Contract helps the USDA achieve our goal – which is to have a contract in place that allows us to access products provided by the commercial industry and get the best price and performance possible. The Prime Vendor Contract provides the IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/ FAS/USDA with the best possible imagery based global agriculture analysis solutions at the best possible prices and meets our stringent delivery specifications and our clients needs which range from Global Food Security to Climate Change.”

About IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA:
International Production and Assessment Division (IPAD), Office of Global Analysis (OGA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has the primary responsibility for USDA’s international activities – market development, trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection and analysis of statistics and market information. As such a primary mission of IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural production information. The purpose is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets. For more information contact Robert Tetrault, Satellite Imagery Archive Manager at Robert.Tetrault@fas.usda.gov or call 202-720-1071.

About Global Marketing Insights, Inc.:
Since 1997, this woman-owned firm, Global Marketing Insights, Inc. provides a wide range of geospatial and remote sensing business planning and market research services, including targeted product/service market studies and competitive market research to government agencies and private sector firms seeking to increase their market share. Global Marketing Insights, Inc. is the prime vendor contract vendor liaison for the IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA and is the author of the 2005-2015 International Remote Sensing Study and the 2006-2016 Asian Remote Sensing Study, and the 2008-2018 Africa Remote Sensing Study. For more information contact Sherry Loy, Geospatial Market Specialist at: sherryloy@globalinsights.com or 216-525-0600.

About RapidEye:
RapidEye is an ISO-certified geospatial information provider focused on integrating customized and industry specific solutions into the workflow of global customers in agriculture, forestry, energy, infrastructure, government, security and emergency. RapidEye experts and the satellite system – a constellation of five satellites capable of imaging and downloading over 4 million km² of high resolution, multi-spectral imagery per day, and a ground segment for processing and archiving data – allow for cost-effective customized services. The unique combination of large area coverage, high spatial resolution and the possibility of daily revisit to an area provide for superior management information solutions. Currently, more than 110 experts from more than 20 countries are employed by RapidEye, with plans to grow the team to 140 by late 2009. RapidEye benefits from a public-private partnership with the Space Agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. RapidEye is also cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). For more information on ERDF please contact efreinfo@mw.brandenburg.de. For more information about RapidEye, please visit www.rapideye.de.