Tuesday June 29, 2010
What is it?
The U.S. Army Geospatial Center's Imagery Office (AIO) is the Army's commercial imagery acquisition agent and monitor. The AIO is also designated as the repository of selected commercial satellite/aerial imagery and AGI data pertaining to terrain analysis and water resources operations. Its repository is accessible to Department of Defense users via an online search and discovery application requiring user registration.
What has the Army done?
The AIO was designated by the Office of the Assistant Chief of Engineers in 1990 as the Army's Commercial and Civil Imagery acquisitions monitor. This action was designed to prevent Army agencies/organizations from duplicating commercial imagery purchases. The AIO supports a large and varied customer base, including Army major commands (MACOMs), Army Topographic and Terrain Analysis units worldwide, the Defense Geospatial Intelligence School, the Corps of Engineers, DoD agencies/contractors, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and their subordinate units, as well as the Defense Installations Spatial Data Infrastructure Community of Interest.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
AIO's "cost avoidance" tally, which translates to Army dollars not needed for commercial satellite imagery purchases, totaled approximately $7.5 million for FY09. This level of savings for the Army, resulting from AIO's mission, will endure in the future. Online access to the AIO Imagery Library will remain a priority, with more emphasis on 'streaming' imagery to the customers. Future plans include continued partnership with the DoD installations & environment community and close collaboration with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). AIO anticipates participation in a proposed outreach effort for USACE districts and divisions to raise situational awareness about satellite imagery, requirements and acquisition.
Why is this important to the Army?
Efficient management of the research, acquisition, and dissemination of imagery and imagery products is increasingly important as Army units expand their use of this technology, especially to assist them with overseas contingency operations. The AIO serves several functions, to include acting as the Army's primary point of contact for commercial satellite imagery data sources to support engineer and terrain analysis operations and applications and serving as the repository of selected commercial images/products. The office interfaces with commercial satellite imagery vendors, NGA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other data providers to collect and disseminate commercial satellite imagery/products, aerial photography, and interferometric synthetic aperture radar/light detection and ranging imagery to the Army.
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