Vexcel Corporation, a leader in remote sensing ground systems products and services, announced the completion of a field exercise conducted at the Space Imaging Center in Norman, Oklahoma for the Canadian Joint Space Support Team (JSST). The JSST is a branch of the Canadian Forces tasked to acquire space-related capabilities to support its worldwide deployments in joint and combined operations. The demonstration was requested by the JSST to evaluate the concept of requesting and receiving commercial satellite images directly from satellites on the battlefield during field exercises.

For the exercise, Vexcel partnered with Space Imaging (Thornton, CO) to provide a 3.6-meter transportable antenna and front-end radio frequency (RF) hardware. Vexcel provided the data capture system, data catalog and archive system, and the processing systems. Additionally, Vexcel negotiated the agreements between all parties involved, including downlink agreements with the data providers.

Over the course of a week, Vexcel successfully downlinked, processed, and catalogued Radarsat-1, Spot-4, and ERS-2 data. A key requirement was for the equipment to be capable of ingesting raw satellite data and processing it into a usable image within two hours of data acquisition by the satellite. Vexcel's system easily met this requirement and a follow-up demonstration for a next level of military staff is planned for this fall in Ottawa, Canada.

"The exercise proved to be very successful," said Darren Simpson, Warrant Officer for the JSST. "Vexcel's hardware and software was certainly a key factor in making it a total success. I was very impressed with how user-friendly the software seems to be. I look forward to working with Vexcel in November for the Ottawa exercise."

Source: Vexcel Corporation, August 29, 2003