Research and Development for Image Understanding Systems (RADIUS) is a project of CIA Office of Research and Development, with support from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This highly applications-oriented project is intended to provide image understanding (IU) technology in a fully and semi-automated support system of human-machine interface interactive tools to the photo interpreter and imagery analyst (IA). It is based on the concept of a two- or three-dimensional "site model" that is used by image understanding algorithms for change detection, counting, and visualization. The project focuses on two aspects of Model-Supported Exploitation (MSE), (1) semi-automated and automated site model construction, and (2) exploitation based on site models. Model-supported exploitation (MSE) allows an image analyst to obtain a correspondence between an image and a stored three-dimensional model of a site. Automatic change detection and trend analysis can be performed based on image analyst needs. Three-dimensional site models provide a highly constrained context for applying IU techniques reliably.
The goal of the project is to develop a system that can be transitioned to the image analyst within 5 years. A Phase I study (Hughes, 1993-1994) developed the concept of operations and other requirements. Hughes Aircraft Company teamed with BDM International, Inc. (BDM), Washington, D.C., Control Data Corporation (CDC), Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hughes Research Laboratories (HRL), and the University of Southern California (USC). Using the results of Phase I, a two-year Phase II implementation project was initiated in late 1994 (Martin Marietta). An initial implementation was delivered to the NEL in late 1994, with updates delivered over the next two years.
The RADIUS program produced significant IU accomplishments making use of static structural and cartographic context in site models. RADIUS demonstrated considerable progress in national (or strategic) imagery exploitation applications.