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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Imagery Exploitation System (IES)
Modernized Imagery Exploitation System (MIES)

MIES is a Corps and EAC tactical imagery exploitation system capable of receiving, processing, and disseminating national and theater imagery. The MIES provides first phase imagery exploitation for the Indications and Warnings (I&W) missions of Army users. The system provides IMINT reports and Secondary Imagery Dissemination (SID) through an extensive communications section. It travels with its own satellite communications (SATCOM) system that provides the relayed national imagery through the Defense Dissemination System (DDS).

The MIES receives national and tactical imagery, along with exploitation tasking, from other systems in the imagery intelligence architecture. The imagery is exploited in either a digital or hardcopy format to produce textual reports and secondary imagery dissemination (SID), products which are transmitted to a variety of systems and users. By employing standards such as DIAM 57-5 report formats and National Imagery Transmission Format (NITF) SID products, the MIES assures that its products can achieve the broadest dissemination. The MIES contains three state-of-the-art digital image exploitation workstations, three hardcopy workstations, a host database, and a Communications System Processor (CSP) for AUTODIN connectivity.

The MIES consists of three primary operational vans; a satellite communications van, a national input segment van, and an exploitation van. Accompanied with its organic support equipment, power generators and maintenance vans, the MIES is capable of operating anywhere in the world without the need for local support resources. The three segment MIES is manned by ten personnel per operational shift and is run at the system high security level. MIES is air and road transportable.

The current MIES evolved from the Digital Imagery Test Bed (DITB), which was fielded by Army Topographic Engineering Center [TEC] in the early 1980's to prove the feasibility of tactical digital imagery exploitation. The MIES is a modernized version of the system deployed to Saudi Arabia to provide imagery support to CENTCOM during Desert Storm.

Upgrades to the baseline are regularly provided to keep pace with new capabilities of national and tactical sensors and other systems to which the MIES interfaces. On 1 June 1997, the Imagery Exploitation Support System (IESS) was activated at the three operational MIES field sites. The integration of IESS and the MIES system is a major milestone in meeting the Common Imagery Ground/Surface System (CIGSS) migration goal of DARO. The IESS is one of several mandated core standards chosen by DARO to improve interoperability between DoD and National Intelligence systems. Upgrades to the MIES include installation and integration of Imagery Product Libraries (IPL's), COTS workstations and FDDI/ATM LAN's in FY98. These new capabilities are housed in a small tactical 31 foot van designed to be C-130 roll-on/roll-off for a rapid deployment capability. MIES will be CIGSS compliant at the completion of these upgrades.

All planned MIES upgrades are intended to be directly applied to the Army's Tactical Exploitation System (TES). MIES will function as a TES (Main) prototype for risk mitigation until TES is fielded in FY00. MIES will be phased out, on a one-for-one basis, as TES is fielded.

Funding and program direction is provided by the Materiel Developer, the Army Space Program Office. Engineering and contract support for both research and development (R&D) and operations and maintenance (O&M) is provided by the TEC Space Systems Division.

This system will migrate to the IESS standard by 1998, and subsequently converge to the ESS configuration by 2001. The Exploitation Support System (ESS) will be the community's common imagery exploitation support system. Both the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) Exploitation System (NES) and IESS will migrate to ESS by the end of FY01. Agency Program: The DoD is in the process of establishing a simplified baseline of the best, common information systems across the business functions of the Department. These migration systems represent a stage of process improvement designed at achieving a common set of automated processes and practices in DoD.

Deployment

The system has been upgraded several times over the years and is now an operational asset to three Army users. By 1994 two MIES systems were fully operational and supporting the mission of Army users. In 1994, the Army was directed to build a third MIES to replace a similar system which will be defielded. U. S. Army Topographic Engineering Center awarded a contract in August 1994 to enable this third MIES to be fielded in June 1994 to support the mission of the 513 MI BDE at Ft. Gordon, GA. Currently there are three MIES.

Related Programs

Imagery Exploitation System (IES)

Modernized Imagery Exploitation System (MIES)

Sources and Methods



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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Wednesday, January 26, 2000 3:37:29 PM