SMC awards $32.5 million to Palantir Technologies Inc for Data-as-a-Service

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  • By SMC Public Affairs
  • Space and Missile Systems Center

The U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center’s Cross-Mission Ground & Communications Enterprise (ECX) has awarded a firm-fixed price contract totaling $32.5 million, to Palantir Technologies Inc. on April 30, 2021. 

This sole source award provides a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) Platform and converges three separate mission areas (Space C2, NORAD-NORTHCOM, and Project Brown Heron) using the same tech stack called Warp Core. It supports the Project Brown Heron effort under the U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, by providing a common data foundation that improves readiness information, which is a critical component of DAF-wide COVID-19 analysis and decision-making effort.

“Mastering the data environment is more critical now than ever and it’s only growing more important. Tomorrow’s wars will be won – or lost – based on our ability to dominate future decision cycles and that all starts with data,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff General David Allvin. “Project Brown Heron represents a significant leap forward for the Department as we transform how we create, fuse, and leverage our growing mountains of data to create true decision superiority and win against peer competitors in the digital age.”

This award also enables the NORAD-NORTHCOM Command and Control Center to ingest data into the platform from across functional and geographic domains to support ongoing planning and operations for Joint All-Domain Command and Control. Lastly, this effort will provide mission-critical Space Domain Awareness (SDA) and C2 capabilities to operational users at the National Space Defense Center and the Combined Space Operations Center. 

DaaS is data management strategy that centralizes data sets where it is cleansed and enriched for a broad audience of applications. This enterprise approach enables speed and improves trend analysis to help facilitate enhanced strategic decision making for leadership. “By integrating this commercial product into our architecture, we have been able to accelerate our ability to make real-time data driven decisions. Information that would take 'man-years' to pull together and try to synthesize and analyze now takes minutes” said Col. Jennifer Krolikowski, senior materiel leader for Space C2 in ECX. 

Warp Core leverages Palantir Gotham, a fully-featured, highly customizable commercial off-the-shelf solution for data integration, analysis, visualization, and knowledge management, deployed worldwide by government agencies and commercial enterprises. Palantir’s powerful back end and flexible front end address all aspects of data integration and analysis within a unified, easy-to-use platform. It also connects with the USSF Unified Data Library to integrate data from across the space enterprise.

Space C2 program, also known as Kobayashi Maru, under SMC's ECX provides capabilities that bring critical services to our warfighters to facilitate timely, quality driven battlespace decisions for the space domain fight. The program provides infrastructure and enterprise services, as well as develops mission applications to enable responsive, resilient operational-level Space C2 capabilities for space operations centers. Kobayashi Maru’s mission product lines include Battle Management, Command and Control (BMC2), Space Domain Awareness, Data Analytics and Visualization, and Theater and Coalition Support. These efforts all focus on developing the operational echelon of Space C2 mission applications to deliver multi-domain effects. The operational C2 layer that Kobayashi Maru provides, underpins foundational offensive and defensive space control capabilities for the USSF space enterprise.

"Palantir is excited to build on the success and continued partnership in delivering capabilities to operational customers served by the Space and Missile Systems Center,” said Doug Philippone, global defense lead for Palantir Technologies. “We're honored to provide our transformational software capabilities to Kobayashi Maru as they continue to deliver mission critical software and to accelerate the creation of a truly digital force."

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, a meteorological satellite control network, range systems, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.