eNewsletter November 2010
Lockheed Martin’s Jim Crocker Calls for New Vision for Space
Colorado Space Roundup Keynote
The Colorado Space Roundup was held Dec. 1, 2010, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It was the 7th annual all-Colorado space industry update and networking event presented by the Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR) and the Colorado Space Coalition (CSC).
The keynote address by Jim Crocker, Vice President and GM of Sensing & Exploration Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, was compelling and eloquent. Jim pointed out to the attentive crowd that the U.S. needs an exciting vision for space as we move forward.
April 2011 will be the 50th anniversary for human spaceflight. For most of that time, only two countries were capable of this feat – the U.S. and Russia. In late 2011, there still will be only two countries involved in human spaceflight, but the U.S. will not be one of them. China will take the place of the U.S. The implications of this are immense. The impact on the citizens of the U.S. will be subtle and yet profound.
Right now, 60 countries have space programs, and the most recent to launch a satellite to become a space-faring nation is Iran. The U.S. needs to continue to lead in space; we are falling behind.
It is said that China is in space for two reasons: to protect its citizens with defensive capabilities, and to be perceived as strong and powerful. Space has caché. Once China put a human into space, their entire outlook changed. Suddenly, their industries could charge more money for those products that are mass-produced there; the perception of the country improved dramatically. They had joined the very exclusive ranks of countries putting humans into space. Only the U.S., Russia and China have ever done so.
Crocker’s son is an engineering student at University of Colorado. The students there use an iPhone app that identifies the planets and constellations in the sky, by just pointing it upward! The apps and possibilities are endless, but people don’t appreciate how many things in our daily lives are completely dependent on signals from space – broadcast television, GPS, credit card transactions, ATMs, navigation and timing…
If we could create an iPhone app where people could see the data flowing up and down from all those satellites, we would appreciate them much more. “I really think if we could see how awash in these signals we are, we would really understand how important, yet invisible space has become to us,” Crocker said. “We need a ‘True North,’ an overarching grand space policy” that will last for a longer term, and not be affected by changing administrations. We need to avoid changing direction every few years.
Next year, we are going to pick up the New York Times and on the front page it will say, “Last Space Shuttle lands; What’s Next?” We need to set a goal that we will not back away from, to have some vision that extends beyond a short period of time, and to have a national commitment to continue to do what we have done for a long time—to be number one in space.
In addition to the keynote, four panel discussions were held:
- The future workforce panel highlighted the exciting aerospace work of Colorado engineering students.
- The annual congressional update provided insight into the aerospace policy and agenda of our government leaders in Washington.
- The Colorado economic development panel discussed approaches employed by Colorado and other states to encourage aerospace industry growth.
- Colorado’s larger aerospace prime contractors gave briefings on their current and future plans.
The event sponsors were Lockheed Martin (Platinum), Boeing (Gold), United Launch Alliance (Silver), and at the Bronze level Raytheon, Sierra Nevada, ITT, Northrop Grumman and the Space Foundation.
Edgar Johansson, Chair of CSBR, stated, “Now, if only we could get this message of needing a grand vision for space out to our citizens and elected officials, from here in Colorado.”
by Myrna James Yoo, Publisher/Managing Editor
2010 50 Colorado Companies to Watch Includes 3 Serving Government Clients
The second annual 50 Colorado Companies to Watch features snapshots of businesses that are thriving as selected by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and economic development groups and chambers of commerce statewide. The panel of independent judges selected the companies based on such factors as employee or sales growth, entrepreneurial leadership and sustainable competitive advantage. Specifically, companies selected must be privately held, employ six to 99 workers, generate $750,000 to $50 million in sales or a similar range of working capital and be headquartered in Colorado.
The program was developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, which was created in 1985 by the late creator of Kitty Litter and his wife, Darlene, to promote entrepreneurship. The foundation also has established Companies to Watch programs in Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, upstate California and Wisconsin.
For a list of all the winners, go to:
RED CANYON ENGINEERING & SOFTWARE
Representing Green Manning & Bunch as a sponsor, Warren Henson, President, presented the award to Barry Hamilton, CEO of Red Canyon Engineering on behalf of Colorado Companies to Watch.
SNAPSHOT: Red Canyon is a NASA contractor and subcontractor to top military and government agency prime contractors that specializes in real-time flight and ground software, hardware and system design.
LEADERSHIP: Barry Hamilton has been president and CEO since 2000.
WORK FORCE: The Denver company had 35 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to add 15 more in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "Red Canyon Engineering and Software (RCES) has carved a niche in the heavens by specializing in the design and development of cutting edge software that flies interplanetary spacecraft. Since its inception in 2000, RCES has written, tested and integrated over 300,000 lines of real-time flight and ground software for 13 NASA missions."
SOLUTIONS: In 2001, RCES won the Deep Impact contract with Ball Aerospace during which RCES engineers worked on flight and simulation software for altitude determination and control, inertial reference unit, and Deep Space Simulator. The contract more than doubled its employees and enhanced its reputation in the Colorado aerospace arena.
GROWTH CURVE: RCES has doubled both its revenue and number of employees over the past two years and is projected to grow by another 80 percent to 100 percent in 2009. See www.redcanyonsoftware.com.
ADVANCED DISTRIBUTED SENSOR SYSTEMS (ADSS)
SNAPSHOT: Advanced Distributed Sensor Systems is an end-to-end systems integrator that develops, fields, manufactures and maintains advanced situational awareness sensor products and communications systems for defense, homeland security, force protection and commercial applications. The Littleton company's sensors and communications networks deliver mission critical and real-time information for a wide range of military and civilian uses.
LEADERSHIP: Mark Seglem has been president and chief executive officer since 2009.
WORK FORCE: The company, founded in 2008, employs 15 full-time equivalent people and expects to add three people this year.
STRONG ON DEFENSE: ADSS started as a government-funded "science project" and developed into a fast-growing small business. Although remote environmental sensors have been around for years, ADSS took state-of-the-art technology, made it smaller, less energy intensive and integrated it with satellite technology so that the information the sensors supply can be transmitted to a central data repository and disseminated to those who need it.
A BIG STEP: A pivotal moment for ADSS came when it made the leap from product research and development to systems engineering, development and manufacturing. "Most R&D companies are good at R&D but typically not good at systems engineering, systems development and program management," the company says. See www.distributedsensors.com.
RTL NETWORKS INC.
SNAPSHOT: RTL Networks Inc. delivers a full range of products and services focused on helping its Department of Defense, Federal Government and commercial customers increase productivity and maximize performance and security of their operational assets.
LEADERSHIP: Richard Lewis is the owner, president and CEO.
WORK FORCE: The Denver company had 54 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, expected to reach 62 in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "RTL Networks Inc. has significantly differentiated itself by creatively and intelligently utilizing customizable, collaborative technologies like Microsoft SharePoint to provide additional functionality and tools for every customer engagement. One popular implementation of SharePoint is to provide a Customer Engagement Portal, which allows clients to better monitor contract progress, compliance and review areas of concern, including vacancies/hires, problem resolution, training materials and schedules."
SOLUTIONS: A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system has been implemented and configured, better enabling RTL front-line employees and executive staff to track opportunities from the initial "Prospecting Phase," all the way to the "Deal Closing" stage.
GROWTH CURVE: RTL's average annual growth rate from 2003 to 2009 has been more than 100 percent. See www.RTL-networks.com.
Geospatial Revolution Project Update
Episode 2 is here of this Penn State Public Broadcasting project that is all about geospatial technology applications! Episode 2 features Portland, Oregon, in the segment, “Creating an Interactive City.” UPS is featured showing the power of using geospatial information in “Powering Business,” The third segment is “Finding a Healthy Future,” about how activists got a supermarket into a neighborhood where it was sorely needed using a GIS map. Go to geospatialrevolution.psu.edu.
In case you missed it, Episode 1 includes segments on the power of GPS for car and mobile navigation (“How We Get There”), and on “How We Got Here,” you see how mapping has come so far, and how location and search are coming together. As Michael Jones of Google states, “With mobile devices, you are the center of the map.”
The 3rd segment of Episode 1 is called “Why we need it.” It is a dramatic depiction of the impact of social media combined with location data, used by the people on the ground after the Haiti earthquake. Crowdsourcing/Community Remote Sensing/Citizen Mapping are three terms used for this kind of effort. Ushahidi set up their crisis platform for Haiti very quickly. Sources say that OpenStreetMap had the most accurate map within days, since most maps of Haiti were outdated. The power of this user-generated data is something that Imaging Notes covers regularly. See Citizen Science, Citizens Awaken for the Gulf Oil Spill, Myanmar Cyclone Relief and Coral Reef Monitoring, Caribbean Island Maps On- and Off-shore Habitats, Bill Gail’s Take on How CRS Will Fill the Data Gap.
Check out the Spatial Roundtable Blogs from Esri
Esri's current Spatial Roundtable focuses on sustaining geographic information with fewer resources – moving national mapping organizations from surviving to thriving. National mapping, charting, and data production organizations (NDPs) are turning to efficient solutions like geographic information systems (GIS) to continue providing authoritative data for citizens and organizations in a time of global economic cutbacks. The data is used for country-wide and transnational mapping activities that support economic activities, emergency response, security, and environmental monitoring.
Faced with reduced resources and staff cuts, many NDPs are struggling to maintain the quality and accuracy of data necessary to support these activities. Mark Cygan, map, chart, and data production and spatial data infrastructure (SDI) industry manager for Esri, takes a closer look at this issue at the Spacial Roundtable blog. "Doing more with less is a necessary way of doing business in today's economic climate," states Cygan. "Even though NDPs are seeing significant staff cuts and reduced budgets, they continue to demonstrate their strategic value in helping solve national issues and justifying funding."
The value of authoritative data created by NDPs was officially recognized in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit—officially called the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recently, organizations such as the Group on Earth Observations and the United Nations Economic and Social Council Statistics Division have also emphasized the importance of authoritative data in addressing global issues. Cygan argues that supporting NDPs in their mission of providing data is critical and asks the community to come together and join the conversation about how NDPs can continue to be successful and thrive in the face of reduced resources at spatialroundtable.com.
Imaging Notes Fall Issue Links
The Fall issue of Imaging Notes includes several excellent in-depth stories. We now have so much remotely sensed data... and this means more choices. More data does not mean necessarily that better decisions are being made. The article by Rich Heimann about this Data Paradox looks at this challenge, especially for the intelligence community.
RapidEye's five satellites work for the DLR, China and many other clients. Read about this 5-meter imagery being collected very quickly, five of which are published here, including on our front cover.
Aerial cameras offer increased productivity, with larger area coverage and higher resolution. Read quotes from several companies in this comprehensive story by Matteo Luccio.
We regularly cover issues relating to climate change, and this issue includes three: One on Sustainable Development for Foresty, Hydropower and Mining; one on a project of Planet Action about Dr. Mauri Pelto's work on Disappearing Glaciers; and one on the User Registry Requirements for GEOSS, published in time for the next meeting in China in November.
Our report on the IGARSS meeting includes a note about how far we have come in the past decade, and comments from NASA, JAXA and ESA about Earth Observations.
GeoInt Symposium News Roundup
At the 2010 GeoInt Symposium (a gathering of GEOINT professionals), new NGA Director Trish Long outlined her vision and mandate for NGA moving forward. She stated that the agency is committed “to providing online, on-demand access to the GeoInt knowledge, and to providing deeper contextual analysis of places informed not only by the earth’s physical features and imagery intelligence, but also by human geography.”
The Winter issue of Imaging Notes, to be released in January, will include an assessment of this new NGA vision and the implications on the future analytical process from Josh Hartman, principal with the D.C.-based Center for Strategic Space Studies. The vision will attempt to converge multiple data sources in near real-time. This can only happen if significant changes are made to the analytical process. In the Winter Imaging Notes, Mr. Hartman will lay out the necessary changes and discuss the potential impact on the GEOINT community.
Intergraph Launches GeoMedia 3D
Intergraph introduced GeoMedia 3D, a GeoMedia add-on product that extends the functionality of Intergraph’s geospatial solutions through an integrated 3D visualization and analysis environment. GeoMedia 3D allows users to visualize, navigate, analyze, and interact with 3D data natively in GeoMedia. (skip to site here) Users can dynamically integrate surfaces, imagery, feature data, and vector data to provide a 3D view of all data sources in a GeoMedia 3D map window. It fuses multiple elevation sources into a unified 3D model, improves force protection and situational awareness and increases the reliability and effectiveness of geospatial data. See www.intergraph.com.
Intergraph Government Solutions (IGS) Created to Serve U.S. Federal Customers
People were still speculating on how the Hexagon acquisition of Intergraph would play out. One major announcement at GeoInt was that Intergraph Government Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intergraph, was created to serve U.S. Federal and Classified Business. This new, independent subsidiary will contain all of Intergraph’s federal agency and Intelligence community classified businesses: Defense & Intelligence; Federal Solutions and Intergraph Services Corp.
As a result of the Oct. 28, 2010 acquisition of Intergraph by Hexagon AB, a leading global measurement technology company headquartered in Sweden, IGS was created to ensure compliance with U.S. laws, to protect U.S. government information and to support the current and future requirements of its U.S. federal and classified customers. Intergraph Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I) will continue to provide Intergraph defense and intelligence solutions internationally. “Intergraph has been a trusted partner of the U.S. Department of Defense, intelligence and federal civil agencies for 40 years,” said Brig. Gen. Jack Pellicci, U.S. Army (Ret.), president and CEO, IGS. “The creation of IGS allows Intergraph to continue serving these agencies with solutions and a range of on-site services to meet their unique organizational and performance objectives.”
As required by law, all operations of IGS will be controlled and overseen by a special proxy board consisting of three or more outside and fully independent directors who hold security clearances with the U.S. government. The proxy board is under review by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The new directors will be U.S. citizens with strong experience in U.S. government or with the Department of Defense. See www.intergraph.com.
GeoEye Launches EyeQ for Business
EyeQ managed services by GeoEye integrate secure, timely and accurate location information into your current business environment with global, 24/7 access. They offer unparalleled capabilities to discover, visualize, and share geospatial information across the enterprise. Combining GeoEye’s multi-source imagery products with on-demand tools for managing information and project-based collaboration, we empower our enterprise clients to search, organize and share geospatial data while reducing the total cost of ownership with a supported annual subscription for hosting and content. (skip to site here) EyeQ’s easy-to-use, standards-based interface and GeoEye-hosted resources allow both advanced and non-technical users to interact with business-critical location intelligence. Our services include EyeQ Content Services, EyeQ Hosting Services, and EyeQ Web Services.
ITT Delivers Actionable Intel with Imagery and Video Solutions
ITT brings warfighters end-to-end integrated imagery and video data solutions by combining their COTS software with customized imagery and video management system. ITT Visual Information Solutions releases ENVI 4.8, the latest version of its premier software solution for extracting information from geospatial imagery. This release significantly streamlines the process of adding image analysis to the workflows of image analysts, researchers, and GIS professionals across industries, allowing users to take advantage of the important information imagery provides. ENVI 4.8 delivers complete integration with the ArcGIS platform from Esri, now making image analysis tools accessible directly from within the ArcGIS interface. In addition, the release includes functionality for viewing LiDAR data in a high performance 3D display, as well as a new, automated process for viewshed analysis, giving users situational awareness from fixed vantage points.
ENVI for ArcGIS Server was also released at GeoInt. It delivers ENVI image analysis tools to users across entire organizations using ArcGIS Server. ENVI 4.8 completes the third phase of ITT’s integration effort with ArcGIS from Esri and makes it easier than ever to update a GIS with valuable information from geospatial imagery. This ENVI release allows ArcGIS users in both desktop and server environments to access ENVI image analysis tools from a familiar ArcGIS toolbox.
Also demonstrated at GeoInt was the WAAS (Wide-Area Airborne Surveillance Sensor System), allowing for huge data collections over small communication links. It can be generated over days and nights in a scalable, open architecture, creating and “unblinking eye” to adversary movements and actionable intelligence.
AGILE (Advanced Geospatial Imagery Library Enterprise), the deployable, enterprise-ready imagery management and dissemination system, and the Airborne Geospatial Processing Solution, the intelligent streaming of geospatial information from airborne platforms directly to disadvantaged ground users were there as well.
ENVI 4.8 and ENVI for ArcGIS Server are available for download. See www.ittvis.com/ENVI.
Intelligent Software Solutions Offers Touch Screen Visualization and Adobe Technology
Intelligent Software Solutions (ISS) demonstrated at GeoInt a number of innovative touch-screen visualization and mobile, Android-based geospatial technologies. The demonstrations showed how ISS is using Adobe technologies such as Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR to put real time geo-temporal analysis into the hands of its U.S. government and military customers.
ISS displayed its Tactus Touch Screen product that uses TouchFiltering to create multi-dimensional, personalized views of data, white-boarding and distance measurements for a unique yet practical geo-temporal analysis solution that leverages Adobe Flash 10.1. The company is also using a lot of open-source technologies to help the Pentagon cut its budget, as mandated by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and as outlined by new NGA Director Tish Long. Open-source and government off-the-shelf (GOTS) applications are playing an increasingly important role because of the move to cut defense spending, and most of ISS' products are based on open-source code.
The company also demonstrated its Motus mobile intelligence visualization product for visualizing rich, geospatial data on Android hand held devices. Using Adobe Flash and Adobe Air technologies, Motus enables bi-directional, contextually rich data views, even in the harshest environments. More information can be found at www.issinc.com or www.adobe.com.
GeoExpress 8 Available with MrSID Generation 4
LizardTech launched GeoExpress 8 image compression software, introducing the MrSID Generation 4 (MG4) format. GeoExpress 8:
- Introduces MG4, the new version of the industry standard geospatial image format;
- Compresses up to 255 bands to the MrSID format with support for hyperspectral imagery;
- Adds true transparency control through support for alpha channels;
- Enables speedy creation and fast viewing of imagery via new mosaicking options;
- Provides powerful image editing tools, including advanced color balancing, reprojection, cropping, area of interest encoding, despeckling and more.
A free, 30-day trial of GeoExpress 8 is available now. For more information, see the Winter issue of Imaging Notes (releasing in January), and also get your free trial at www.lizardtech.com/products/geo.
Overwatch Launches RemoteView 3.2 Featuring Enhanced 3D Pro Extension
Overwatch released their latest satellite image analysis software, RemoteView 3.2, at GeoInt. RemoteView is an imagery intelligence product for the defense and intelligence community. The most significant enhancements made to RemoteView 3.2 are in the new Geo-Confidence and Elevation Coverage Indicators. These tools work together to provide analysts with an instant color-coded display and description of the validity and accuracy of geographic coordinates, and information on how much of their image is covered by valid elevation data. The new features are added to the product’s existing integration with precision positioning and mensuration packages.
The new version of RemoteView also includes the ability to visualize and utilize Light Detecting and Ranging (LIDAR) point cloud data. This allows analysts to leverage the high resolution elevation information that LIDAR offers and to visualize point clouds that contain hundreds of millions of points.
Additional RemoteView 3.2 enhancements include custom sorting of folder contents by specific criteria, bookmarking view settings for particular scenes and magnification without obscuring the original target area. It offers support for the Web Coverage Service (WCS), for publishing to Google Earth and portable document file (PDF), and for visualizing the severity of slope to conduct mobility analysis.
The improved 3D Pro extension expands RemoteView's 3D visualization and analysis tools, providing warfighters and decision makers with realistic mission insight. 3D Pro provides the ability to visualize, fuse, analyze, and disseminate extremely large and diverse data sources into a compelling, real-time 2D or 3D view of the data and situation. 3D Pro includes a highly sophisticated data management system that is capable of rendering and manipulating multiple large data sources simultaneously. Once the data has been loaded and rendered, users have a suite of tools at their disposal to perform real-time analysis of the data including radial line-of-sight, buffer zone analysis, landing zones, and 3D mensuration. See www.overwatch.com/products/remote_view.htm.
Index of eNewsletters
- #43 - Announcing Apogeo Spatial! News from Hexagon’s Leica and Intergraph, LBx Journal, and Sensors & Systems
- #42 - Top News of 2012, Predictions for 2013, New Issue of LBx Journal: Business Cases
- #41 - News via Sensors & Systems from LizardTech, Valtus, Astrium, and Forbes.com
- #40 - Earth Observing from ISS and China, Privacy Issues, Announcements
- #39 - News from GeoDigital, ITT (Exelis), Pictometry, Merrick, ILMF
- #38 - Astrium Launches GEO Elevation Product Suite, News from Esri and Hexagon User Conferences
- #37 - Watch for LBx Journal Newsletter Signup, RapidEye Restructures, MDA Monitors Ice
- #36 - Live Midwest Flood Map, 20 3D Cities on Ovi Maps, Maps of Japan, News from Merrick, MAPPS, Woolpert, Microsoft, Esri, Fugro
- #35 - DigitalGlobe Names CEO, ILMF Summary, News from RapidEye, MetaCarta, Merrick, Hexagon, Aerometric & Tuck Mapping, GeoCue & LizardTech
- #34 - Implications of Privacy Laws for Geolocation Companies, DigitalGlobe 8-Band Research Results, George Clooney Satellite Project for Sudan
- #33 - News about Solar Maps, CompassData, SPADAC, Astrium, Environmental Monitoring, LizardTech
- #32 - Jim Crocker of Lockheed Martin Speaks, GeoInt News, Colorado Companies to Watch Awards
- #31 - GeoInt Symposium and Fall Issue Previews
- #30 - IGARSS Summary, News from NGA, ITT, Merrick, ERDAS
- #29 - Hexagon buys Intergraph; News from ESRI, Intermap, ITT, PCI Geomatics, Pictometry
- #28 - Trimble Acquires Definiens, Infoterra's TanDEM-X Launches, News from Merrick, MapMart, EarthData, Intergraph
- #27 - Obama's CTO to Keynote IGARSS, News from InfoTerra, Intermap, ERDAS, RapidEye
- #26 - Space Data Center Formed for SSA; Vexcel and ERDAS News; Join the Forum for EO in June
- #25 - News from Intermap, MDA, Merrick, and Reports on Haiti's Disaster Relief
- #24 - Director Announcement, Updates on Haiti, and More Imaging News
- #23 - Imagery focuses on Haiti + Deforestation Tool, NGA SAR Contracts
- #22 - Climate News from Copenhagen
- #21 - News Roundup from GeoInt Symposium Intergraph, ERDAS, DigitalGlobe, Appistry & NJVC
- #20 - Iranian Nuclear Facility Image
- #19 - Remote Sensing GIS Summit Summary from ESRI U.C.
- #18 - ESRI User Conference News Roundup
- #17 - Intermap's AccuTerra Wins Apple Design Award
- #16 - Reports on 3 Conferences: NSS, GITA and SPAR
- #15 - RapidEye First Image and Conference Deadlines
- #14 - Northrop Grumman Buys 3001; National Geographic Closes MetaLens; GeoEye-1 Launches
- #13 - Climate Change Implications for National Security
- #12 - LiDAR Advances and Challenges
- #11 - ASAT Missile Hits Satellite Target
- #10 - Launch of RADARSAT-2 and Ball’s Opticks Open Source Software
- #9 - United Nations, Google and Cisco Partner to Monitor Progress on UN Millennium Development Goals
- #8 - ESRI and Spot Image Are Co-founders of Planet Action
- #7 - WorldView-1 Launch & Digital Earth Final Overview
- #6 - Google Earth Enterprise Announcements & Digital Earth Technical Advances
- #5 - Senate Committee Hears Remarks on Earth Science Research
- #4 - The Weather Channel's Use of Satellite Imagery
- #3 - Earth Observations Decadal Study Released
- #2 - MicroSatellite Successfully Launched for U.S. Air Force
- #1 - Microsoft Virtual Earth™ 3D Releasing Tuesday