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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

United States Imagery and Geospatial Information Systems Architecture [USIGS]

With the formation of NIMA in October 1996, the USIS Architecture was replaced by the United States Imagery and Geospatial Information Systems Architecture [USIGS]. The USIGS is the set of cooperating commands, services and departments and their systems involved in the acquisition, production and use of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information. The USIGS has a common information management framework that enables sharing of data, services and resources among its members and customers.

The USIGS is the extensive network of systems used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Intelligence Community that share and exploit imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information. These systems provide capabilities involved with the integrated information management, collection, production, exploitation, dissemination and archive, and infrastructure of this information. Organizations which have some level of interface with USIGS, but are not part of DoD and the Intelligence Community, are considered participants in USIGS if they adhere to the technical and system standards.

The Imagery & Geospatial Community (IGC) is the composition of cooperating commands, services, agencies, and departments within the United States Government, foreign governments, and private sector organizations involved in the acquisition, production and exploitation, and dissemination of imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information. The IGC fosters extensive partnerships with others, including commercial and academic institutions, to collaboratively work together to share information [NSP97]. The IGC represents a domain of specialization and a corresponding community of specialists that cut across organizational boundaries.

USIGS capitalizes on two revolutions that change operations with Imagery and Geospatial Information [IGI]: distributed data storage and internet-like data navigation. Through an extensive network of processes, services and systems, users share and exploit the imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information needed to achieve information superiority. The USIGS network provides a common framework and core capabilities involved with the integrated information management, collection, production, exploitation, dissemination and archive, and infrastructure of this information. This network facilitates the merger of imagery and geospatial functions and/or products.

The United States Imagery and Geospatial Information Services (USIGS) provides automated capabilities, common applications, and access to digital IGI for authorized customers at all organizational levels. Applications will include management, dissemination, and exploitation tools. The applications will be user-friendly, supported by contextual help functions and where possible, self-taught using on-line training. Servers and libraries, which contain IGI, will be configured so that they appear to the customer to be a single, virtual library. USIGS libraries will be accessible through a variety of communication paths to ensure the most responsive use for all customers based upon the priority of their requirement, and their individual infrastructure and communications support capabilities. The acquisition of IGI from the libraries will be fully integrated with the acquisition of other operational and intelligence source data.

The United States Imagery and Geospatial Information System (USIGS) Architecture Framework document (UAF) provides a common framework of terminology and products needed to build the USIGS Architecture. The UAF responds to the Director of NIMA's responsibility to establish a system of end-to-end architectures related to imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information, in compliance with National and Defense Information Infrastructure guidance and standards. The UAF supports NIMA's role as a Combat Support Agency, as established in DoD Directive 5105.60, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). The UAF also provides for the development of an integrated set of operational, system and technical architectures which will be applied to determine interoperability requirements, promote standards and security, and achieve a common operating environment as part of the Defense Information Infrastructure.

The Geospatial Information Infrastructure Master Plan (GIIMP) documents a broad range of initiatives needed to manage the transition from standard hardcopy products to an information-based environment capable of supporting global readiness, as well as, providing responsive support to localized mission operations. A geospatial framework provides the information and services needed to achieve an integrated and interoperable view of the mission space. The NIMA sponsored Order Entry & Tracking (OET) system, supported by the workflow management tool using Shared Requirements Database (SRDB), provides a seamless requirements tasking and information management system from brigade through to national level, controlling all imagery and geospatial data.

The USIGS Objective System Architecture Description portrays the physical and functional segments and components comprising the target USIGS architecture in the 2005-2010 timeframe. It portrays the USIGS functionality for (1) archive and dissemination of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information, (2) exploitation of imagery intelligence and geospatial information, (3) management of NIMA information requirements, information collection, delivery and exploitation activities, (4) collection and processing, and (5) communications infrastructure. The description of the Collection and Processing Element related to National collections is classified and is contained in Appendix E, which is available under separate cover.

The USIGS Migration Plan defines the migration steps that support the evolution of USIGS throughout the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) period FY00 through FY05, with particular emphasis on the budget years FY00 and FY01. This plan, unlike the USIGS Objective System Architecture Description, is constrained by the existing budget and available schedule. It defines the migration steps that can be realistically achieved within those funding and timeline constraints.

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Friday, March 03, 2000 8:48:31 AM