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Op-ed | How to increase the intelligence community’s geospatial innovation

16 Oct 2019, 13:18 UTC
Op-ed | How to increase the intelligence community’s geospatial innovation
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Recent articles outline a general dissatisfaction with geospatial innovation in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Part of the issue, contracting for commercial imagery purchases, resides with the National Reconnaissance Office. Both agencies face challenges in dealing with the volume of geospatial data from space, increasing mission complexity and incorporating software, hardware, and data being created by the smallsat industry.
How both agencies determine price and value for the geospatial dollar and the geospatial data remains unclear to industry, oversight and other government agencies. Once, in an earlier time of big data, both agencies cooperated innovatively in creating a scale that removed subjectivity and brought clarity to an important aspect of satellite imagery.
In 1971, a new satellite system, the KH-9, was launched. Its scanning camera returned 16-times the amount of data on film than the KH-4, but parts of each KH-9 scanned frame had varying utility for the imagery analysts. Along with the vastly increased and variable data, a new national intelligence mission arose at this time, treaty monitoring, based on the ongoing SALT negotiations. This new mission meant that negotiators and monitors outside the imagery intelligence profession had to understand resolution, or what could be expected to be seen on ...

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