Maps Employ Remote-Sensing Images

SPOT Image Corp. is providing the Defense Department with satellite image coverage of Bosnia. The Reston, Va., company operates three satellites offering images with 10-meter resolution.

The Air Force receives SPOT imagery through a portable satellite receiving station called Eagle Vision. Eagle Vision, built after the Persian Gulf War, has been operational since 1994. Designed for mobility, Eagle Vision's hardware fits in two trucks. "They receive [the imagery] nearly in real time as the satellite passes," said Colleen Hanley, a marketing and communications specialist at SPOT.

The Air Force merges the SPOT imagery with elevation and other data to produce a 3-D map that can be displayed on workstations running Cambridge Research Associates' PowerScene visualization software. The Air Force uses the enhanced imagery for mission planning and mission rehearsal, according to Hanley. Using the 3-D perspective, pilots can become acquainted with terrain and anti-aircraft threats.

SPOT imagery is also converted into hard-copy maps for use by ground troops for such tasks as clearing mine fields, according to Hanley.

SPOT officials also anticipate that their imagery will be used to help rebuild Bosnian infrastructure destroyed during the war. "We anticipate [the imagery] will be used fairly extensively for some kind of reconstruction phase," Hanley said.

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--John Moore

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