Experience the power of eXtreme Analysis (XA)
Image analysis (IA) and geospatial analysis (GA) workflows are becoming more integrated. Image analysts need the capability to extract accurate geospatial information, while geospatial analysts require additional analysis resources and increased ease of use. BAE Systems has listened to users who have been using multiple applications to complete their tasks; SOCET GXP was built to address these issues.
IA + GA = XA
The new SOCET GXP v3.0 release represents the convergence of IA and GA into one cohesive software package that reduces the dependency on multiple tools and increases usability: XA.
Figure 1. SOCET GXP provides seamless integration and dynamic viewing and editing with Google Earth.
The eXtreme Analysis capabilities in SOCET GXP allow software users, from novice to expert, to experience the power of real-time image analysis, automated geospatial production, mapping, and 3D visualization in one product. XA is accomplished with an intuitive application that employs a ground coordinate system to record geospatial data, eliminating the need for manual registration. Automated, user-defined workflows characterize the application, eliminating excessive time spent on laborious tasks. The eXtreme Analyst has direct access to geospatial databases to store and retrieve features, a link to Google Earth for enhanced situational awareness, and the capability to create and distribute geospatial data products quickly. See Figure 1. XA's have the best of both worlds—IA and GA integrated into a single application: SOCET GXP.
SOCET GXP at-a-glance
SOCET GXP is a geospatial-intelligence software package that uses imagery from commercial, satellite, and tactical sources to identify and analyze ground features faster and more efficiently. Operators can record measurements, analyze terrain, create 3D models with realistic geographic context, and monitor changes over time. Finished products generated from SOCET GXP include expansive maps, PowerPoint slides, geo-enabled PDF files with editable geographic attributes, and GIS data for future geospatial analysis.
Figure 2. The Ortho On-the-Fly tool streamlines geospatial production while improving accuracy and reducing geometrical measurement errors associated with sensor and terrain modeling. It orthorectifies (stitches together) raw images in real time to produce a continuous, highly accurate image of an expansive area, allowing first responders and analysts in the field to view and analyze imagery without delay.
Figure 3. The automated triangulation process adjusts satellite or airborne sensor models to improve the accuracy of coordinates and measurements derived from imagery. It simplifies the triangulation process so that users who are not familiar with photogrammetry can be assured that all objects in an image, such as buildings, bridges, roads and other features, are represented accurately.
SOCET GXP v3.0 allows operators to automatically measure, annotate, catalog, and retrieve ground features in a series of images to expedite geospatial analysis. With the click of a button, new functionality, such as automated triangulation and the Ortho On-the-Fly tool, can streamline geospatial production, while improving accuracy and reducing geometrical measurement errors associated with sensor and terrain modeling. See Figures 2-3.
Additionally, imagery, terrain, vector, and mapping data are processed in their raw form within SOCET GXP whenever possible, a capability that simplifies workflows. The data can be used to build maps, develop transportation infrastructure, manage utilities and communications networks, coordinate operational missions, and designate troop maneuvers.
The software is used for applications as diverse as finding beach landing sites for combat troops, and helping to land the Mars Rover. See www.baesystems.com/gxp.
ENVI Integrates Image Processing with GIS
ENVI and ArcGIS users can now easily exchange data between the two applications via the geodatabase, including raw imagery, vector layers, and processed geospatial products.
In recent years, GIS professionals across industries such as urban planning, forestry, agriculture, and defense and intelligence have begun to realize the potential of geospatial imagery and the information it can provide. Information from imagery allows GIS professionals to make important decisions more quickly and greatly reduces the extensive fieldwork necessary to gather critical data.
Traditionally used as a simple backdrop to GIS to create visual context, geospatial imagery is now being used in GIS for countless applications. Common applications include finding similar features in an overall image scene, assessing damage from natural disasters, planning urban developments, and determining crop health in rural settings.
ENVI 4.5 (from ITT Visual Information Solutions, Boulder, Colo.) recently introduced new capabilities to facilitate the integration of imagery into existing GIS workflows. ENVI 4.5 provides seamless data exchange with ArcGIS Desktop from ESRI. Now GIS professionals using both ENVI and ArcGIS can easily exchange data between the applications and also generate maps using the full suite of map composition tools available in ArcGIS.
This innovative development is a significant advance in streamlining imagery and GIS workflows, a vast improvement over previous processes that required importing and exporting imagery among multiple software packages to achieve results. Now, GIS professionals have access to high performance image processing capabilities, allowing them to add rich geographic information to the geodatabase for a host of applications. See www.ittvis.com/ENVI.
GeoEye-1 First Image: Kutztown University, Penn.
Highest Resolution Imagery is Here
Kutztown University, located midway between Reading and Allentown, Penn., was literally the first image taken by GeoEye-1. The image shows the campus academic buildings, parking lots, roads, athletic fields and the track and field facility.
On Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, GeoEye-1 was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The first color 0.5-meter image was taken on Oct. 7 while GeoEye-1 was moving north to south in a 423-mile-high (681 km) orbit over the eastern seaboard of the U.S. at a speed of 4.5 miles per second.
This first image was produced by fusing the satellite's panchromatic and multispectral data to produce a high-quality, true-color 0.5-meter resolution image. It captures what was in fact the very first location the satellite saw when the camera door opened.
GeoEye-1 was built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Ariz. The imaging system was built by ITT in Rochester, NY. ITT also built the imaging system for DigitalGlobe's WorldView-1 and is buildling it for GeoEye-2, slated for launch in 2011. See www.geoeye.com.
RapidEye: Small Commercial Solution, Large Defense Capability
MDA develops and delivers operational small satellite solutions to address the operational needs of commercial and governmental customers at a lower price point, with manageable development risk. The company's operational small satellite approach aims to provide the economic benefits of small satellite technology with the programmatic rigor and data delivery capability of traditional space missions. This new generation of commercial satellites can provide the defense and intelligence communities with powerful broad area monitoring and surveillance capabilities, high revisit cycles, and lower costs.
The RapidEye mission was delivered on orbit, with associated ground infrastructure, under a firm, fixed price contract of less than $170M (Canadian dollars). MDA is the prime contractor for the RapidEye mission, responsible for the design and implementation of a turnkey system that includes space and ground segments, launch, on-orbit commissioning, calibration of the spacecraft constellation, and training and support to initial mission operations.
Figure 1. Rendering of RapidEye in orbit.
Figure 2. RapidEye spacecraft prior to launch.
Late August 2008 saw the simultaneous launch of the five RapidEye satellites from a single launch vehicle into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of approximately 630 kilometers. The satellites operate in a single orbit plane, equally spaced and following each other approximately 19 minutes apart. On-orbit commissioning will take approximately four months before RapidEye AG assumes full commercial operation.
Each satellite weighs 156 kilograms and carries a five-spectral band push broom optical imager that provides a swath width on the ground of 78 kilometers at 6.5 meter ground sampling distance (at nadir; see See Figures 1-2.) The imager's field of view can be oriented across track by rolling the spacecraft up to +/-25 degrees to provide the necessary coverage capability. Image data is stored in 48 gigabits of onboard mass memory storage before being transmitted to ground stations. Dual redundancy of key bus components ensures reliability and availability.
The RapidEye system can collect 4 million square kilometers of raw data per day and can generate more than 2.1 million square kilometers of orthorectified images per day from the raw data, to provide users with high-quality, timely imagery tailored to their specific intelligence needs. This high revisit cycle is relevant for warfighter support.
RapidEye satellites have a daily revisit capability anywhere on Earth, providing a rapid turn-around, from a customer request for information products, to digital delivery. The system has been designed to provide large area coverage, with frequent information updates from RapidEye AG. A very large data capacity enables the population and maintenance of an extensive database of information pertaining to large areas of interest, which directly supports intelligence work such as change detection.
MDA's RapidEye ground system is comprised of a dedicated Mission Control Center, a ground segment containing data processing, archiving facilities and a customer interface, commercial downlink sites, and an interface to the RapidEye AG product processing facility. The ground systems are designed to the same rigorous engineering standards and throughput levels as the headquarters systems MDA has delivered to DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, and RADARSAT-2, and the U.S. Air Force Eagle Vision transportable system.
RapidEye represents a powerful new geospatial intelligence gathering capability using MDA's operational small satellite solutions. It is a major new data source for global broad area change detection, and represents a significant technological leap in satellite capability at a considerably lower price point than previously thought possible.
See www.rapideye.de. Also see story on MDA's RADARSAT-2.
SPADAC's EarthWhere Finding Home in More Defense and Civilian Organizations
SPADAC (McLean, Va.) a leading provider of spatially-enhanced technology solutions, has established new partnerships over the past several months with both defense and civilian government organizations through the sale of licenses for its EarthWhere product. Organizations now implementing EarthWhere include the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), U.S. Department of State and U.S. Marine Corps.
EarthWhere's "Zoom to Image" function allows users to zoom past the low resolution thumbnail of an image into higher resolution source data, bringing sharper, cleaner images of the areas of interest into focus.
EarthWhere is a spatial content management system that streamlines the organization, provisioning and disseminat-ing disparate data for fast organization-wide access in required formats.
"SPADAC is eager to support both NAVAIR and the Marine Corps by helping both organizations to maximize the value of their spatial assets in a way that achieves substantial, long-term cost savings while simultaneously enhancing the quality of their systems," said Mark Dumas, founder and CEO of SPADAC.
The recent release of EarthWhere 4.3 marks an important milestone for SPADAC. Since acquiring EarthWhere last year from SANZ, SPADAC has grown customer installations of the product by 79 percent while maintaining a 100 percent retention rate.
EarthWhere 4.3 features expanded support for a variety of input and sensor formats, an updated and more intuitive user interface, and the addition of new reporting capabilities. The software now automatically detects, catalogs and notifies users when new imagery is available on the system.
The three new sensor models that the 4.3 version supports include FORMOSAT, WorldView-1 and GeoEye-1. New file formats include NLAPS, NITF 2.1, TFRD, and DPPDB. More than 200 new HARN projections are now possible. Also, numerous enhancements have been made to ActiveIngest, which is a powerful cataloging engine that quickly and easily catalogs and ingests imagery data.
SPADAC has been recognized recently as a fast-growing private company nationally and in the greater Washington area. See www.spadac.com. See also "Information Warfare".
DigitalGlobe Sets the 'Gold' Standard
This summer's Olympic Games marked several historic firsts. A total of 958 medals were awarded to athletes from 87 countries — the most medals and medal recipients in Olympic history. Michael Phelps won the most gold medals ever in a single Olympic Games. A lesser known first of the 2008 Summer Games was that NBC's broadcast marked the use of the highest-fidelity three-dimensional (3D) virtual representations of Beijing and the Olympic venues that have ever been created.
Satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe teamed up with modeling- and simulation-service provider AEgis Technologies Group to equip NBC Universal with a 3D digital model of Beijing for worldwide broadcast and Web distribution during the Olympic Games.
Figure 1. The Ming Tomb Reservoir (triathlon venue) is shown using the fused product of DigitalGlobe imagery and AEgis 3D technology.
Figure 2. The Olympic Green is shown using DigitalGlobe imagery and AEgis 3D technology. The Olympic Stadium is in the foreground with the National Stadium (Bird's Nest) in the post-ground next to the Watercube. Behind that is the National Indoor Stadium, and behind that is the Convention Center.
The collaboration between AEgis' simulation technology and DigitalGlobe's satellite imagery library allowed virtual content databases to be rendered in just days. Viewers of NBC's broadcast experienced a virtual simulation of Beijing and the sensation of "flying" through the city from Olympic venue to venue. The debut of this remarkable technology during the Olympics generated so much industry interest that DigitalGlobe and AEgis will introduce a new 3D satellite image-based product based on the collaborative technology later this year.
The Olympics imagery is just one example of DigitalGlobe's continuing commitment to exploring new ways to provide affordable solutions for imagery discovery and viewing. Key to this strategy is making high-resolution satellite imagery available via the Web.
At the August ESRI conference, DigitalGlobe launched ImageConnect: Global, an imagery subscription service that provides GIS professionals with instant online access to 30.5 million km2 of premium imagery, with in-depth coverage of 36 countries worldwide. Through ImageConnect: Global, GIS professionals can quickly, easily and directly access high-resolution global imagery, much of which is not available through other Web services or commercial portals. Imagery content is constantly updated with new images collected from DigitalGlobe's sub-meter constellation of high-resolution satellites and aerial networks.
Any GIS professional who has experienced the frustration of not finding historical images and current views all in one place immediately understands the advantages of having both instantly available from a single source. With ImageConnect: Global, online imagery access for precision mapping, government programs and infrastructure projects is just one click away, enabling a constant flow of advanced imagery for integration into any ongoing project — instead of managing multiple imagery providers and data sources and their associated technical inconsistencies and cost inefficiencies. Extensive metadata, including acquisition date, resolution, accuracy and a worldfile, are also part of the ImageConnect: Global package, giving users the flexibility to select from a range of projections and image acquisition dates to customize their needs.
Demand of premium, highly accurate imagery is growing exponentially as more and more professional and government users and developers require real world perspective, in real time, to do their jobs. DigitalGlobe is meeting this challenge by continuing to provide premium satellite imagery in an accessible and affordable way to all businesses. See www.digitalglobe.com.
USGIF Encourages Geospatial Intelligence Education
When the U.S. Department of Labor lists a technology is "high growth," it wouldn't be a stretch to conclude that the workforce in this sector is robust and expanding. That, however, is not necessarily the case in the geospatial intelligence arena.
In 2004, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, with the help of its membership, formed the USGIF Academy to help ensure a workforce of highly-qualified geospatial intelligence professionals. The Academy—through outreach to academia and academic institutions—supports lifelong learning and professional development in the skills and compet-encies associated with the geospatial intelligence profession and tradecraft.
One of the immediate concerns of the academy was to establish a Geospatial Intelligence Accreditation Program that would ensure colleges and universities are orienting students to a broad set of technical and critical thinking skills and knowledge relevant to entering and fostering a career in the geospatial intelligence profession.
Since that time, three national universities have received accreditation for their geospatial intelligence programs. University of Missouri at Columbia, Pennsylvania State University and George Mason University became the first schools to be accredited under USGIF's Geospatial Intelligence Accreditation and Certificate Program—the first and only program of its kind.
The Geospatial Intelligence Accreditation and Certificate Program complements a college degree, supports career development and provides professional recognition to the students in the form of a completion certificate. To gain accreditation, the schools applied to the USGIF Academy and were evaluated based on the criteria established by the foundation's review panel. The panel of leading experts from industry, government and academia spent more than a year establishing curriculum guidelines, accreditation standards and processes for the geospatial intelligence program.
Colleges and universities interested in creating a geospatial intelligence program or applying for accreditation are encouraged to submit applications. The USGIF Academy will review applications twice this year. Curriculum guidelines, requirements, applications and additional information are available on USGIF's website at www.usgif.org.
NJVC Expanding HQ and Approved for GPO Schedule
Some call it growth. NJVC (Vienna, Va.) calls it transformation. In less than eight years, NJVC has grown from a small company with less than 30 employees to one of the largest information technology solutions providers supporting the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), with a team that's more than 800 strong. Today, NJVC is preparing for further major expansions in new business and talent acquisition.
The company has welcomed several new members to the NJVC management team at its headquarters. These key industry professionals include: Nick Aleyanis as senior vice president of engineering, formerly of BAE Systems; Paul Davis as chief technology officer, formerly of CSC; Vito DiNapoli as vice president of operations, formerly of CSC; Mary Jo Lampe as vice president of strategic marketing, formerly of Olive Group North America; and Darlene Connelly as general counsel, formerly of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. The company recently promoted Jill Bruning to chief operating officer. Bruning, previously with CSC, joined NJVC in 2007 as information technology program manager.
NJVC is actively seeking to recruit 100 individuals with clearances to support its current contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in the area of information technology, including Oracle and UNIX database administrator positions. More than 90 percent of NJVC current employees hold security clearances.
NJVC also just announced its approval as a vendor on the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) schedule. NJVC will provide printing services and published information in all forms, supporting and managing projects from books and pamphlets to maps, charts and posters, to CDs and DVDs.
Since its founding in 2000, NJVC has evolved into a leader within the government services industry, with annual revenues of approximately $400 million. Today, NJVC offers a full lifecycle of IT solutions to help solve the critical challenges of leading intelligence, defense and geospatial organizations with highly secure IT requirements, including its largest customer NGA. NJVC supports NGA's extensive technology needs by providing comprehensive IT infrastructure, secure communications, and IT support for the agency's locations around the world. See www.njvc-llc.com.