Imagery modernization gets boost

Despite the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's $1 billion plan to develop

mapping and digital imagery products for the intelligence community, funding

for NIMA's long-term modernization plan remains "woefully inadequate," according

to a Senate report on the fiscal 2001 intelligence authorization bill.

Although the exact figure remains classified, the Senate Select Committee

on Intelligence recommended several budget increases to boost NIMA's efforts

to modernize the tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TPED)

of imagery intelligence products. The committee made the recommendations

in a classified annex to a report on the fiscal 2001 intelligence authorization

bill, released last week.

NIMA grew out of the merger between the Defense Mapping Agency, the

Central Imagery Office, the National Photographic Interpretation Center

and imagery support offices within the CIA, the Defense Information Agency

and the National Reconnaissance Office.

The Senate plan would increase funding for the first phase of NIMA's

three-phase, multibillion-dollar modernization plan.

The first phase of TPED covers modernization efforts from fiscal 2001

through 2005, particularly development of an enhanced imagery system, future

imagery archive, airborne system upgrades and infrastructure "hooks" into

the world of commercial imagery.

The second and third phases, which cover imagery and architecture integration,

respectively, are scheduled for completion between 2007 and 2009.

"Preliminary indications are that each phase will carry a significant

price tag over and above the funding range currently estimated for Phase

1," the committee report stated. The committee also concluded that the funding

proposed by the Clinton administration for Phase 1 of TPED modernization

is only 25 percent of what is required to fund the most important modernization

efforts alone.

MORE INFO

"NIMA charts new course" [Federal Computer Week, May 1, 2000]

"NIMA plans massive outsourcing project" [FCW.com, April 26, 2000]

"Ready to map the world" [FCW.com, Feb. 14, 2000]

"Commerical imagery prompts NIMA doubts" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 18,1999]

National Imagery and Mapping Agency

BY Dan Verton
May 10, 2000

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