Vricon: A new, U.S.-based joint venture to expand Saab’s 3D technology

On May 26, 2015, Saab and U.S. company DigitalGlobe, Inc., a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery, announced a joint venture known as Vricon, Inc. The mission of Vricon is to create an unparalleled foundation of 3D geospatial data and digital elevation models of the globe, along with the world's most agile and complete 3D visualization platform.

"After years of partnership with DigitalGlobe, Saab is very excited to take our collective capabilities to the next level," said Vricon CEO Magnus Brege. "Vricon's technologies will provide our corporate and government customers in the geospatial market with unprecedented coverage, scalability and speed."

Vricon unites Saab's industry-leading and scalable 3D technology, know-how and production capacity with DigitalGlobe's unrivaled archive that contains billions of square kilometers of the highest quality satellite imagery. These combined capabilities allow Vricon to deliver exceptionally precise and immersive geolocation information that can be integrated into military systems for precision engagement, situational awareness and mission planning. The Vricon technology also enables imagery content to accurately represent all visible objects on the earth, in 3D.

"The scale and detail is beyond what anyone has ever done before," said Craig Brower, Vice President of Vricon. "The resolution will be at 50 centimeters or better, with an absolute accuracy of three meters. At these levels, our technologies can process entire countries, regions and the globe in 3D."

Vricon's elevation models surpass aerial-derived models in coverage, and other satellite-derived models in fidelity and availability. The fully automated technology is sensor agnostic, does not require ground control points, and provides data of a quality and scale that will revolutionize the market.

Vricon, based in McLean, Virginia in the United States, will take over production of the 3D technology from Vricon Systems AB, a company owned by Saab since 2012, and based in Linköping, Sweden. Vricon will also focus on U.S. sales and U.S. government support, while Vricon Systems will continue to support European sales, the Swedish government, and research and development.

"Moving production to the United States, closer to the source data, will greatly improve our production volume – and thus, our ability to provide for our customers," said Mr. Brower. "We will be turning out two million square kilometers of product per month." (For comparison, the entire area of the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan are roughly 1,100,000 square kilometers.)

Establishing the Vricon joint venture is another step forward in Saab's long-term plan for U.S. growth, according to Saab North America's President and CEO, Michael Andersson.

"We continue to grow our presence in the United States, and, at the same time, apply more of Saab's global portfolio locally to our customer base in North America," said Mr. Andersson.

Regarding future business expansion, Mr. Brege believes that Vricon is laying the foundation upon which several other products and services can be built. "We are bringing a consistent 3D global database to the market, which other systems and technologies can use for planning purposes, including the correlation of other data sources," he said. "There are so many possibilities for further innovation, and we are excited to lay that foundation."

Learn more at vricon.com.