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eNewsletter October 2009

WorldView-2 Eight-Band Multispectral Imagery Available from DigitalGlobe


On October 8, DigitalGlobe, a provider of commercial world imagery products and services for defense and intelligence, civil government, and commercial customers, launched and deployed WorldView-2, its latest high-resolution, remote sensing satellite. The satellite launched on a Boeing Delta II 7920 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The DigitalGlobe ground station received a downlink signal confirming that the satellite successfully separated from its launch vehicle and automatically initialized its onboard processors.WorldView-2 is currently undergoing a calibration and check-out period. Imagery was available the week of Oct. 19.

Click here to see first images of WorldView-2.

Once commissioned, the new satellite will double the company's collection capacity, enabling it to provide at least annually updated coverage of the world as well as intra-day revisit.Additionally, WorldView-2's eight spectral bands will enhance its ability to provide feature identification, change detection, and other services. WorldView-2 will collect eight-band multispectral imagery at 1.8 meter resolution and panchromatic imagery at .46 meters. The additional band capability supports improved levels of feature identification and extraction and more accurately reflects the world's natural color.

The satellite was built by Ball Aerospace and the imaging sensor was provided by ITT Corporation's Space Systems Division.

National Public Radio (NPR) Series Describes
the Role of UAVs in Fighting IEDs

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) now account for nearly three-quarters of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan. To deal with these hidden killers, U.S. forces there are relying increasingly on remote sensing. National Public Radio recently described how in a series on IEDs: "Battle Against IEDs Spreads From Iraq To Afghanistan," by JJ Sutherland, broadcast on October 28 (read now), and "Despite High-Tech Help, Marines Confront IEDs," by Tom Bowman, broadcast on October 29 (read now).

The Pentagon, NPR reports, is sending more equipment to Afghanistan to detect IEDs and setting up special centers to sift through intelligence information. When U.S. troops are being hit with IEDs along a stretch of road, they set up an intensive watch, using off-the-shelf, wide-angle video cameras and special radar loaded onto modified civilian planes, which fly over the road for hours or days — just looking for something out of the ordinary. When they spot something suspicious, the military sends in an unmanned drone, like a Predator, to check it out more closely, then another manned system, such as attack helicopters. To try to figure out who placed a bomb, the U.S. military can either "rewind the tape" after an explosion or observe the area in real time.

According to Bowman, "Part of the effort against IEDs in Afghanistan is run in the United States. The Air Force in the past few years has set up what are known as ‘intelligence fusion centers' to pull together snippets of information — drone pictures, intercepted cell phone conversations, interviews with Afghan sources… A growing part of the effort to destroy the networks and protect American ground troops comes from the sky. Massive TV screens show live drone feeds from Afghanistan — streaming video of roads and suspected Taliban hideouts. Those images are sent by drones and piloted surveillance aircraft. The Air Force has enough of these planes to provide 37 continuous patrols in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."

Read the feature story on UAVs from the Fall issue.



GeoInt Symposium 2009 News Roundup

Intergraph Introduces Motion Video Exploitation Solution


To help manage the growing deluge of live video and sensor data from unmanned aerial systems (UAS), Intergraph has introduced its Motion Video Exploitation solution, which enables analysts to geospatially integrate video with multiple intelligence sources to enhance situational awareness and strategic decision making capabilities.The solution fuses and displays video data, including data from UAS, with satellite imagery and geo-intelligence, delivering actionable intelligence in real time. It supports military and civilian agencies' intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance activities by providing a workflow for collecting, extracting, analyzing, and maximizing video data sources.

The solution also allows for the storage of video so that it can be queried with all other geo-referenced enterprise content, correlates annotations and clip marks within a video, conducts queries based on those annotations, detects change between frames, and enables advanced analysis by fusing aerial motion video with other intelligence sources such as satellite or ground-based imagery and sensor data.

ERDAS Introduces IMAGINE Feature Interoperability


ERDAS has introduced IMAGINE Feature Interoperability and IMAGINE SAR Interferometry, as well as a technology preview of LPS eATE. IMAGINE Feature Interoperability is a new module supporting DGN direct-read, write and edit, including symbolization colors, cells (points with shapes assigned to them), text, and links to external attribute sources, such as Oracle tables and the use of spatial indexing and caching for roaming, zooming, etc.

With intelligent defaults and optimized processing, IMAGINE SAR Interferometry is fully integrated into ERDAS IMAGINE, the company's solution for manipulating, processing, and understanding imagery and vector data. IMAGINE SAR Interferometry, a part of the IMAGINE Radar Mapping Suite, includes new interpolation techniques that increase the quality and fidelity of radar data, IMAGINE Coherence Change Detection, and IMAGINE InSAR.

Appistry and NJVC to Deliver Secure Intelligence, Defense Clouds

www.njvc.com, www.appistry.com

Appistry, a provider of private cloud computing for the enterprise, and NJVC, a large provider of information technology solutions supporting the U.S. Department of Defense, recently announced a joint cloud computing solution addressing the security requirements of the intelligence and defense communities. The joint solution helps intelligence and defense enterprises to overcome the challenges associated with delivering mission-critical applications via legacy data center architectures. By implementing a secure, reliable, and cost-effective private cloud solution powered by Appistry, CloudIQ Platform, joint customers are able to transform networks of commodity-grade servers into an agile cloud environment that can be easily scaled and managed to support Web, SOA, and analytical applications.

NJVC brings to the solution experience in deploying IT enterprise management in very secure environments, allowing its customers to concentrate resources on their core missions. To gain more complete knowledge about the private cloud in a real-world environment, NJVC recently undertook a secure cloud computing pilot study at its Center for Technology Integration facility, which simulates the enterprise environment of a large intelligence community network. Pilot result analysis showed very significant performance gains.

SGI Releases New Servers, Data Centers, and HPC Solutions

SGI has released the latest version of its SGI servers, storage, data center, and HPC solutions. They include ICE Cube, a 40-foot modular data center that provides extreme, containerized server and storage densities as well as deployment advantages and reduced operating costs, and the MobiRack, a mobile, all-in-one data center optimized for field deployments, available in 5U, 11U, 14U, and 16U configurations.

SGI's latest releases also include the Octane III, a new personal supercomputer; the CloudRack C2, a unified cabinet design that delivers extreme densities with significant energy efficiency; the SGI Altix 4700, a standards-based design for the most demanding data intensive workloads, incorporating shared-memory NUMAflex architecture, which simplifies software development, workload management and system administration; the SGI Altix XE 500, an ultra-dense 1U server that delivers data center density and reduced infrastructure costs without sacrificing performance or functionality; the LiveSAN block-level storage virtualization suite, which enables complete control over any SAN environment and virtualizes all of the available blocks of existing storage across the enterprise; and the SGI InfiniteStorage 15000, a high-performance storage unit with great scalability, density, and energy efficiency for bandwidth-intensive applications.



Fugro Provides GeoSAR Mapping for Pipeline Corridor In Peru


Perenco, an oil and gas exploration and development company, recently contracted with Fugro to provide detailed topographic mapping of a proposed oil pipeline route in northern Peru. Fugro acquired data for this project using its airborne GeoSAR radar mapping system. Delivered products will support geological interpretation, slope analysis, wetlands delineation, and pipeline routing.

In selecting Fugro for the project, Perenco cited the company's ability to meet an aggressive delivery schedule using GeoSAR, which is unique in its ability to collect dual-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) data through clouds and foliage for detailed terrain mapping in equatorial regions.

New Jersey Office of GIS Adopts LizardTech Product to Distribute Data


The State of New Jersey's Office of Geographic Information Systems (OGIS) has purchased Express Server, one of the products in the LizardTech Express Suite, to stream orthophotos throughout the state in an easier and faster way. LizardTech, a division of Celartem, Inc., provides software solutions for managing and distributing geospatial data.

Every five years, OGIS flies over the entire state to update the several sets of orthophotos it has archived over the past decade and a half. This has resulted in more than 900 gigabytes of compressed JP2 files, which were created with LizardTech GeoExpress, another Express Suite product, and are stored on a storage area network (SAN). OGIS needed an extensible solution that would provide easy WMS access to this imagery as well as to all future datasets for state residents, the GIS community, and the online public.

Italian Agency Implements ERDAS APOLLO at Select Locations for Biomass Plants


The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and the Environment (ENEA) has implemented ERDAS APOLLO to help define the optimal location of energy plants to produce biomasses — a renewable energy source consisting of biological material derived from wood, waste, and alcohol fuels. ENEA, a public agency supporting sustainable development, is an existing customer of Planetek Italia, ERDAS' authorized distributor in Italy, and is already using several other ERDAS desktop authoring solutions.

In Italy, several studies on how biomasses can be used for alternative energy have been done. However, the studies often use different methodologies and lack geocoding information, digital maps, and adequate supporting aerial imagery. ERDAS APOLLO is an out-of-the-box, standards-based Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) solution that manages and serves massive amounts of geospatial data located and distributed across organizations. It simplifies the utilization of vector, raster, and terrain data, seamlessly integrating with existing GIS environments, leveraging business systems, and supporting almost any kind of data input (including ArcSDE, PostGIS & Oracle).

Earthstar Geographics Releases Next Generation of TerraColor 15-Meter Satellite Imagery


Earthstar Geographics, LLC, has released TerraColor PLUS, the next generation of its 15-meter global satellite imagery dataset, which includes many enhancements over the original version released in 2005 — such as the addition of 15-meter imagery for Antarctica to 82.6 degrees south. The product also removes clouds, ice, and image edges from all ocean areas using Earthstar's 15-meter global ocean mask, and fills the oceans with a consistent blue color.

TerraColor is a precision orthorectified global imagery basemap built primarily from Landsat 7 satellite imagery that can be used for a wide variety of applications — including Web-based mapping; GPS tracking; 3-D visualization; GIS backdrops; television, print, and film images; military/defense logistics; flight simulation; and accurate cartographic mapping. TerraColor images provide colorful, detailed, and visually pleasing views of Earth at medium resolution and are suitable for mapping at scales of 1:60,000 and higher. Earthstar Geographics, LLC, specializes in products and services for the geospatial data industries and has more than 20 years of experience in remote sensing and image processing.

NGA Supports Samoan Island Recovery Efforts


The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with analysis, unclassified commercial satellite imagery, and geospatial intelligence products of the Samoan Island areas devastated by the recent earthquake and the resulting tsunami on Sept. 29, 2009. NGA is also providing public access to some of the images, through its crisis response portal, NGA-Earth, www.nga-earth.org, which includes a map viewer.

FEMA, a component agency of the Department of Homeland Security, has been appointed as the lead federal agency for the crisis and in that role is supported by NGA. The NGA-Earth site is updated as new images are made available and also provides links to other federal agency sites and is an access point to leverage other NGA geospatial expertise and products.

Originally established in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the NGA-Earth site uses the Internet to provide the public a single, easy-to-use entry point for locating timely, relevant, unclassified geospatial information in the event of a natural disaster or crisis. The site is also a means to communicate critical information to first responders, as well as to allow the public the ability to broadly assess property damage without having to physically return.

In addition to the images, NGA has also provided geospatial intelligence products to FEMA, the U.S. Pacific Command, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other government agencies. The products have included graphics of major infrastructure, such as the locations of airports, hospitals, police and fire stations, emergency operations centers, hazardous material locations, highways, and schools. The products have also included damage assessments. These types of products greatly assist first responders and those coordinating and planning relief efforts. The graphics have provided a common operating picture that has helped enable local, state, and federal government elements to work effectively together since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

NGA is a Department of Defense combat support agency and a member of the national intelligence community. The agency's mission is to provide geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), which is the exploitation of satellite or airborne images fused with other intelligence and geospatial information such as mapping, charting, and geodesy, to help warfighters and national decision makers visualize what they need to know.

New Technology by Pictometry Enables Users to Visualize Building Interiors


Pictometry International Corp., a provider of aerial imagery for police, fire, and 911, has developed a new visual technology designed for building interiors, called Pictometry Critical 360. It combines the company's aerial oblique imagery with an image capture system designed to produce 360-degree views of building interiors in an intuitive system. Utilized by municipalities, schools, and universities across the country, Pictometry Critical 360 shows high-resolution oblique imagery of building exteriors and surrounding areas and enables users to overlay critical building information.

Pictometry has captured more than 130 million digital aerial images in more than 700 counties in all 50 states, representing 80 percent of the U.S. population. Using its proprietary imaging process, Pictometry captures geo-referenced, high-resolution oblique and orthogonal images, within which users can measure structures and land features. Pictometry customizes and markets these technologies for government and commercial applications, offering non-traditional software solutions to aerial imaging needs.

Extractor for LP360 Released with Version 1.7 by QCoherent Software


QCoherent Software has released a new LP360 module, Extractor, now available with the latest LP360 and Classify release, 1.7. Users of LP360 now have the option of manipulating LiDAR in both LP360 for ArcGIS and LP360 Standalone. Both versions are included in all LP360 installations.

LP360 version 1.7 includes a revamped breakline collection tool suite and the point cloud task framework, a new user-friendly interface for generating point cloud statistics, and for executing basic classification filters, height-from-surface filters, height filters, and macro filter stacks. With Extractor, the executable point cloud tasks are extended to include building point classification and building outline generation. The LP360 Point Cloud Task interface incorporates a "preview window" where parameters and operational results can be manipulated and analyzed prior to wide-scale deployment.

LP360 Version 1.7 and Extractor continue the tradition of the Limitless LiDAR architecture, allowing virtually unlimited amounts of LiDAR to be loaded and processed, and do not require a 64-bit operating system. A free evaluation of LP360 is available at www.QCoherent.com.

Pixxures, Inc., Completes Ouachita Parish, Lousiana, Parcel Rectification Project


Pixxures, Inc., a division of XēDAR Corporation that provides critical infrastructure geospatial services, including data acquisition, processing, image analysis, data storage and Web services, has completed a parcel rectification project for Ouachita Parish, Louisiana.

The parish covers approximately 611 square miles and is located at the hub of northeast Louisiana. The parish's assessor's office maintains its data in a geodatabase comprisingmultiple related annotation layers, polyline layers, and polygon layers. Due to budget constraints, the parish's original data layers were built on digitized U.S. Geological Survey Quadrangle Sheets. Since the digitized quadrangle sheets were not very accurate, the resulting data sets were not accurate either. "Once we placed our data layers on accurate imagery, we could see the magnitude of the problem we were facing," said Morgan Herring, IT Director for the assessor's office. "In certain areas, we were unable to locate properties and measure improvements because of the discrepancies between the data layers and the imagery."

In total, the Parish parcel layer group comprises 60,949 parcels. Pixxuresused its proprietary vector alignment software, LineWorks, to spatially adjust theparcel vectors to 1-foot pixel resolution, color aerial imagery. Pixxures aligned the parcel data to the imagery on a block basis, using the road rights-of-way (ROW) to move entire blocks of parcels to best fit the imagery at the ROW edges. Pixxures used features visible in the imagery to identify where the parcel vector data should reside and from this created a vector realignment solution that was then applied to 17 annotation layers, 9 polyline layers, one point layer, and two polygon layers, completing the project in 60 days.

Pixxures, Inc., is a provider of critical infrastructure geospatial services focused on developing new mapping and photogrammetry solutions. It serves a broad base of clients, including oil and gas; utilities; civil and environmental engineering; telecommunications; real estate; forestry; and federal, state and local governments.

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