Ahead of GEOINT 2017, Textron Systems Geospatial Solutions Senior Vice President and General Manager Daryl Madden discusses technology trends for a variety of mission sets. Learn more during GEOINT at booth #741.
Q: This year’s event will focus on “Advancing Capabilities to Meet Emerging Threats.” How is Textron Systems Geospatial Solutions addressing this theme?
A: Our team is focused on three distinct areas that impact our customers tremendously in all their areas of operation: intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), bomb damage assessment (BDA), and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). Each is a defined mission set in which geospatial analysis can greatly enhance effectiveness.
Q: Starting with IPB, this is an area in which geospatial technologies have been utilized for some time. What are the primary emerging requirements you are seeing from tactical customers?
A: The use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data is growing in importance for 24x7 global monitoring, especially for mission sets such as maritime domain awareness. In addition, SAR data supports faster creation of elevation-driven data sets, which are so critical to effective IPB. We have developed products to support all major commercial SAR formats, enhancing image clarity and allowing pseudo-coloring of images so specific features can stand out.
Q: Moving to the BDA mission set, how do geospatial products enhance the real-time situational awareness provided by the vast number of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets available across the tactical environment?
A: ISR assets remain in high demand, and the real-time operational picture they provide is invaluable. Geospatial analysis adds critical context for better-informed decision making. Precise geo-positioning, imagery analysis and 3-D visualization – all coupled with the ability to build and view extremely large-scale images – give analysts and decision-makers contextually relevant, trustworthy information, not just an overwhelming array of raw data.
In addition, some customers are moving away from a traditional model of receiving geospatial data that they can manually exploit. With increasing volumes of imagery being collected from multiple sensors, information from open data sources such as social media platforms, easy access to historical geospatial data, and advanced computing technologies, the expectation is that they can simply pay for the answers.
Q: The demand signal for geospatial analysis is growing among all HADR stakeholders – to what do you attribute this interest, and is there any differentiation among their requirements?
A: Natural resource monitoring before, during and after environmental events allow responders to understand the landscape and make smart, timely decisions about how and where to deploy their assets. Our products can provide responsive change detection to react faster – or in real time.
Customers experienced with geospatial technologies continue to grow their capabilities, while those newer to the technology may rely on analysis done by others based on limited access to data, tools and experienced talent in the most remote areas around the globe.
Q: How is Textron Systems Geospatial Solutions responding to these technology demands?
A: A big focus for our engineering team is transforming our thick-client products into web services and applications that can be easily tailored and deployed onto the evolving infrastructures of our customers.
We have been incredibly successful in taking the core intellectual property of our RemoteView™ analysis product as a web-based service called RVcloud™, which provides the same user experience while centralizing administration, dynamically scaling in response to changing system load, and supporting users in low-bandwidth environments.
Textron Systems Geospatial Solutions will continue to make investments to support customers that are looking for smart ways to scale geospatial intelligence production, improve the quality and speed of finished products, as well as help automate the workflow to improve the analyst’s efficiency.
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Textron Systems Geospatial Solutions is an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.