Imagery modernization gets boost
- By Dan Verton
- May 10, 2000
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