National Reconnaissance Office programs explore cutting-edge technological innovations. In existence for more than 50 years, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has a long history of innovation. NRO innovations have influenced developments not only in the intelligence community and for national security, but also in space exploration, agriculture, meteorology, communications, medicine and technology. Innovation continues to be a cornerstone of the NRO today. “We truly believe that innovation for the mission defines the real spirit of the NRO. It is the foundation of everything we do,” said Frank Calvelli, NRO principal deputy director. “Whether it’s a next-generation satellite with state-of-theart payloads, or ground processing systems that integrate IMINT and SIGINT data to provide the analyst with a multiINT view, I am constantly amazed and impressed by the products, services and tools we provide for the mission.” To support its mission—innovative overhead intelligence systems for national security—the NRO works closely with the Department of Defense, industry, laboratories, universities, and foreign partners to use and develop cutting-edge technology and deliver innovative ideas that save lives every day. Two NRO programs specifically exist to utilize these relationships and to explore cutting-edge technological innovations: the NRO Director’s Innovation Initiative (DII) and the Tactical Defense Support Reconnaissance (TacDSR) Program.
Director’s Innovation Now in its 16th year, the DII provides a risk-tolerant environment to invest in cutting-edge technologies and high-payoff concepts relevant to the NRO’s mission. Managed by the
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