According to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) website, the agency is offering $50,000 in prizes for artificial intelligence solutions designed to help detect circles in satellite images.

As part of the Circle Finder challenge, NGA is looking for novel automated approaches to help detect, delineate and describe circular shaped features using satellite images. These features vary in size and physical composition. Examples include agricultural irrigation areas, fuel storage tanks, buildings, traffic circles and fountains.

AI detection algorithms currently require large volumes of data to define a single discrete object. While AI algorithms are maturing, it is still difficult for machines to accurately define specific shapes within an image scene, said Jack Brandy, GEOINT Capabilities Integration Officer at NGA.

“This particular challenge is difficult because many circular features are not going to be perfectly circular nor similar in size,” said Brandy. “Portions might be jagged edges, but are otherwise part of a circle. Or circles may be disrupted or obscured by other objects or materials. The difficulty lies in an algorithm’s ability to property identify any size circular object while rejecting obfuscating elements that could prevent proper detection.”

The Circle Finder challenge is available on, a technical hub for federal incentive prize and challenge competitions. Submission requirements are also provided on the site.

About NGA

NGA delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. Anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, responds to national disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on the NGA. Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) describes, assesses, analyzes, and reports on physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth and uses the intel to support the DoD and the Intelligence Community (IC) during combat, national security and defense monitoring, and disaster relief.

NGA combines intelligence with combat support to form a unique agency. As the world leader in timely, relevant, accurate, and actionable geospatial intelligence, NGA enables the U.S. IC and the DoD to fulfill the president’s national security priorities to protect the nation.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.