June 2010

Executive compass | June 2010

BAE Systems invests in customer-focused testing for GXP software

Robert Cline

Rob Cline,
Product support manager

For the past 18 months, we have been working diligently behind the scenes to expand our global support and training assets. Recognized in the industry for unrivaled customer support, the BAE Systems GXP team has gone the extra mile to create an operation that mirrors the customer environment and emphasizes quality in the development and application of GXP products.

The GXP Product Support group, formerly known as the GXP Test team, has migrated from a traditional requirements-based testing program to one that focuses on customer-derived data and workflows to ensure high-quality product delivery. The Product Support group works closely with the Customer Support group, and directly with customers, to create and exploit a broad knowledge base for resolving unique issues. Customer feedback and issues uncovered using customer data and workflows are cycled into evolving test procedures for future product development.

To sustain its strong user focus, the Product Support group has expanded its staff to include new team members with real-world experience in image and geospatial analysis, GIS and remote sensing, systems engineering, photogrammetry, and automated testing, which allows us to quickly respond to customers’ requests. Many customers are industry drivers such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, ESRI, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, Fugro, Northrop Grumman, and others.

To create a more efficient and effective collaborative environment, we added a Product Support lab with an “open bullpen” area to encourage interaction and communication among the team. The lab has an independent network that allows for greater freedom when testing network issues such as latency. New servers with ample data storage were brought online to help store and easily exploit customer-derived data during testing.

Along with additional staff and a new lab, we have updated all hardware so that test engineers have the right equipment to get the job done. The group now has multiple machines to cover the complete range of platforms, operating systems, and classification levels on hardware configurations that closely mirror those of our customers. To maintain authentic customer configurations, development builds and additional software used in the engineering environment are not permitted on testing machines.

In addition to all of these accomplishments, there’s more to come. The next level of advanced testing includes a rapidly configurable virtual lab and automated test suite to focus on how customers use GXP products.

The Product Support group is pleased with these new directions that will elevate our support services to higher levels. Our goal is to make sure you have the highest quality software that’s right for the job, whether it’s SOCET SET, SOCET GXP, GXP Xplorer, or any of our future products.

Thank you,

Robert Cline

Robert Cline
GXP product support manager

Destinations | June 2010

Join us in beautiful Cambridge, U.K., for the 2010 BAE Systems GXP Regional User Conference: Europe, Middle East, and Africa

GXP Regional User Conference for customers in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region

BAE Systems is pleased to announce the dates for the biennial GXP User Conference for customers in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. Be sure to mark your calendars and save the dates: September 13 to 15, 2010.

The conference is an opportunity for EMEA users to see emerging technology, listen to presentations from industry leaders, network with fellow users, and learn how colleagues are using SOCET SET and SOCET GXP in the field.

For additional details, please visit the GXP EMEA User Conference Web site.


June 2010 | What's the buzz?

Peter Gaska named “2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year” at this year’s
BAE Systems GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange

Peter Gaska named 2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year

Conference exceeds expectations

Once again, BAE Systems’ annual GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange was a big success. Nearly 300 participants — a record that exceeded expectations — attended the conference, held this past April at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in San Diego. Attendees were impressed by the wealth of knowledge presented and found it beneficial to network with other users, while having technical staff available for questions. Information was exchanged throughout the workshops and product specialists encouraged attendees to offer input to improve software capabilities. Unclassified and classified briefings focused on use of in-field GXP products and real-world scenarios from users on the front lines.

During his keynote address, Kevin West, Deputy Director for ISR Enterprise Programs for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon, discussed the importance of connecting users — including various government agencies, coalition partners, and individuals on the front lines — with real-time information sharing.

Another hot topic at the conference was the increase in video processing capabilities. Already an integral part of the geospatial-intelligence landscape, video data continues to become more widely available. GXP product specialists demonstrated current and upcoming video analysis capabilities, and conference attendees shared real-world workflow scenarios that helped BAE Systems better understand customer requirements for future product enhancements.

Debut of the ‘XA Cup’

At this year’s conference, the GXP team sought to find the most eXtreme Analyst (XA) of 2010. One lucky analyst walked away with product knowledge, insight, and the stunning silver “XA Cup” trophy. The XA Cup, new to the conference this year, is an exciting, interactive tournament that tests eXtreme Analysis skills. Contenders fired up their XA skills as they vied for the title of “2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year” and bragging rights until the 2011 conference. Team GXP challenged competitors with a short quiz, trivia questions, and an online scavenger hunt. Those extreme enough to make it to the final round were given one final chance to show off their skills in the closing session. The finalists, Pete Gaska and Candida Allen, went head-to-head in the intense final game-show round. Audience members cheered on their favorite contenders as Pete and Candida competed against each other by answering questions, some humorous, posed by Team GXP, lending the audience comic relief from the extreme experience that is the XA Cup!

To win the title of 2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year, finalists answered questions about XA processes, XA terminology and acronyms, and GXP history. The audience also joined in the fun as each finalist was given the option to use one lifeline to poll audience members during the final round of questions. The competition was exciting and entertaining, and in the end, Pete Gaska was named the 2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year. The competition was stiff, but Pete pulled through and walked away the reigning champion. So from all of us on Team GXP, congratulations, Pete!

All in all, the 2010 conference offered knowledge, the ability to build relationships, exchange invaluable information — and plenty of amusement, proving that learning and fun can coexist. This year will be hard to top, but we hope that next year is even better. And more important, we hope to see you at the 2011 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange.

In the final round, Candida Allen challenged NGA collegue Pete Gaska for a chance at the title.
Congratulations to the top ten 2010 XA Cup competitors

June 2010 | Tips and tricks

What to do with unwanted edge pixels

In a virtual mosaic, sometimes areas are obscured by overlapping images with void pixels. Void pixels are gaps between valid imagery and the actual image edge. These often are black but can be other solid colors. When displayed in a virtual mosaic, this kind of image can cause undesirable breaks in the coverage.

SOCET GXP provides functionality to make these void pixels transparent.

To control void pixel behavior:
  • In preferences, select Multiport > Virtual Mosaic Display panel, select the Hide Void Pixels check box to turn void pixels on, and the underlying images in the mosaic fill any black areas.

This process cleans up visible artifacts when the mosaic inputs have solid border pixel areas. If the void areas have a range of pixel values, set a minimum and maximum value. In most imagery, void pixels typically have the same minimum and maximum value set. For example, 0 is a very common pixel value used to represent transparency in imagery.

Hide void pixels off.

Hide void pixels off

Hide void pixels on.

Hide void pixels on

June 2010 | Resolutions

Free SOCET SET and SOCET GXP training classes

Plan ahead!

The complete 2010 training calendar for SOCET GXP and SOCET SET courses is now available online: http://www.socetgxp.com/content/events/training-courses

The interactive training calendar features all courses scheduled for the remainder of 2010 in a month-by-month view. Course calendars include class times and duration, descriptions, location maps, and options to register online and add the course to your calendar.

We want to hear from you.

If you feel that combining agendas from different classes would be more beneficial, class materials from any of our GXP training courses can be customized. To discuss customizing a class, contact:

Nikki Spirakis
GXP training manager
Office: 813 979 4392
Cell: 813 514 5232
nikki.spirakis@baesystems.com

All scheduled SOCET SET and SOCET GXP training courses held in our regional training centers are FREE for current and prospective customers. Classroom seating is limited, so please register online in advance to secure your space!

We regret that we cannot accept walk-in registrations.

June 2010 | SOCET GXP | Software update

SOCET GXP June patches

June 2010 patch highlights for SOCET GXP v3.1.1 Export

  • GXP00018980 – Fix identification of WorldView-2 images
  • GXP00019078 – Fix NCRD sensor model for WorldView-2 images
  • GXP00018981 – Fix MAPLOB problem
  • GXP00019152 – Added config file option to restrict DQR usage to Profile 1 J2K codestreams
  • GXP00019168 – Fix patch installation issues on Windows 7

June 2010 patch highlights for SOCET GXP v3.0.2 Export

  • GXP00019213 – Update quality when roaming speed is reduced for visible and off-screen tiles
  • GXP00019213 – DQR updates on screen tiles when roaming is slowed
  • GXP00019152 – Added DQR config file option to allow DQR on non Profile 1 J2K codestreams

Fix from Patch v302.201005

  • GXP00018958 – DQR only enabled for JPEG2000 codestreams that are ISO IEC Profile 1 compliant

For a comprehensive list of all patch line items and instructions on how to access the patches from the GXP FTP site, visit our Web site:
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/category/support/software-patch-updates

June 2010 | SOCET SET | Software update

SOCET SET v5.5.0 supports new Earth Gravitational Model 2008

The Earth Gravitational Model 2008 (EGM2008), developed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), has been released. The model provides worldwide coverage of gravity data at 5’x5’ mean resolution with geoid accuracy of 15cm.

EGM2008 is constructed from a combination of GRACE satellite data, topographic data, altimetry on sea, and gravity observations on land areas. EGM2008 is developed up to degree/order 2160 with some additional terms up to degree/order 2190.The EGM2008 model coefficients and related products are freely available from the following Web site:
http://earth-info.nima.mil/GandG/wgs84/gravitymod/egm2008/index.html

SOCET SET v5.5.0 supports the EGM2008 model using USG supplied grids of pre-computed geoid undulations at 1×1-minute resolution. The grid files translated into SOCET SET terrain file format are available for download from the GXP FTP site. Please contact your GXP customer support representative for instructions.

GXP Xplorer | June 2010 | Software update

GXP Xplorer

GXP Xplorer Desktop product

GXP Xplorer Desktop product

GXP Xplorer is a new BAE Systems software data library that makes it easy to find and share geospatial data on a local network and across an enterprise.

The product is ideal for users in work groups who are searching for images, terrain, features, videos, documents, and other files. It is a SOCET GXP add-on module, and also is available as a stand-alone application. GXP Xplorer is the replacement for GXP’s legacy Visual Coverage Tool (VCT).

Released in June, GXP Xplorer v1.0 includes capabilities for cataloging, sharing, and delivering geotagged images in NITF, GeoTIFF, and TFRD formats; and indexes text and formats such as Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, video, JPEG, and any other types of files. GXP Xplorer v1.0 enhances collaboration by allowing users to perform federated searches of multiple GXP Xplorer catalogs. It creates GeoRSS feeds and KML formats and sends data to SOCET GXP, Google Earth, ArcGIS Explorer, and PowerPoint.

GXP Xplorer v2.0 is scheduled for release at the end of the year along with SOCET GXP v3.2. It expands on these capabilities to catalog and deliver more geospatial products, including CADRG, ADRG, CIB*, DTED, SRTM, and DPPDB*. Geotagged video support will be added so that MPEG2, MPEG4, and AVI files can be discovered and cataloged using areas of interest on the map.

New delivery options also are planned for GXP Xplorer v2.0. Users will have the option to receive selected data as JPIP, which is a JPEG2000 compressed-stream format useful for low-bandwidth connections — only the data of interest is streamed into a viewer, versus downloading the entire file. Users can order raw or orthorectified images. Terrain and ortho Web processing services will be added to the GXP Xplorer catalog Web services process for orthorectification.

GXP Xplorer v2.0 features in development are designed to save users time and manual steps:
  • A subscription option lets users subscribe to an area of interest and specify data requirements, such as cloud cover percentage or certain product formats, and receive downloads automatically as soon as data meeting their subscription criteria becomes available.
  • A connector to data sources can be queried via the NATO Standard Image Library Interface — STANAG 4559.This interface is an implementation profile of the Geospatial and Imagery Access Services Specification. To save time, the GXP Xplorer Connector allows permitted users to search many existing libraries in a single search, rather than searching each source individually.

GXP Xplorer v2.0 will be available on Solaris x86 platform, Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows Server platforms of GXP Xplorer v1.0.

For more information, visit the GXP Xplorer product page

*SOCET SET Digital Point Positioning Data Base (DPPDB) format production module [which uses MIL-PRF-89034, March 1999 format specifications] and SOCET SET Controlled Image Base (CIB) format production module [which uses MIL-PRF-89041, May 15, 1999, format specifications].

June 2010 | SOCET Services | Software update

SOCET Services

SOCET Services is a suite of software Web service products that can be combined with other applications and services into enterprise-wide processing flows that expedite critical tasks

SOCET Services and GXP Xplorer are examples of online enterprise solutions offered by BAE Systems. Enterprise solutions move some capabilities from individual desktop applications that can support all aspects of the entire organization. These online capabilities can be served across the organization’s internal network (intranet), or the Internet.

SOCET Services is a suite of software Web service products that can be combined with other applications and services into enterprise-wide processing flows that expedite critical tasks. Each service is an adaptable, reusable component with an open interface.

The SOCET Services Data Reformatting Service (DRS) reads and extracts details (metadata) from image files in many military formats including TFRD, NITF 2.1 and 2.0, GeoTIFF, and MPEG video. The details are output in XML with built-in transformation capabilities through XSLT. The DRS generates overview images and thumbnails and creates image chips, video galleries, and reduced-resolution data sets using prescribed methods. Image compression and decompression of TFRD, NITF, and JPEG2000 NPJE and EPJE formats are supported. Reformatting from one format to another is provided and additional formats including MrSID and ERDAS files are planned for future versions.

The SOCET Services Web Publishing Services (WPS) add Web-centric geospatial content publishing to existing data libraries. Data can be published in a variety of configurable formats including JPIP, WMS, WCS, FTP, and HTTP. Published content can be located using standard interfaces such as GeoRSS and KML for easy integration with standard clients. A WPS Web interface also is available. Using the Web interface, users can see where published data is available and access it.

In a disaster scenario, such as a hurricane or flood, an organization might publish all of the newly acquired imagery in its library as JPIP to rapidly stream it to fielded users with low-bandwidth connections. As new images come in, they are automatically compressed and published, and users are sent a notification. Users go to the Web interface URL, see the locations of new images on a map, click the location, and view the image that is streamed to them. WPS has services that automatically purge published data after a given period to make room for newer images.

SOCET Services DRS and WPS are building blocks that provide data service solutions to many users across an enterprise. Additional services are in development. With their loosely connected design, these capabilities also can be extended to applications that deliver data to handheld devices.

Future SOCET Services development plans include:
  • Web-enabling
  • Automating tedious but time-critical processes such as data finding, reformatting, and accessing
  • Processing large volumes of data
  • Scaling up to more users and tools
  • Scaling down to smaller devices

June 2010 | What's the buzz?

The new generation of stereo monitors

Stereo monitors have come a long way in the past few years, spared mostly from the popularity of 3-D gaming and movies. Most everyone who views stereo imagery has had the joy of using a CRT either with the heavy and awkward active glasses or the very delicate Z-screen that covers the front of the CRT monitor. Although there are other viable, current stereo technology solutions available, this summary discusses the configuration and benefits associated with the new 120-Hz LCD monitor technology now available.

BAE Systems has been evaluating new technology for stereo viewing, and we are impressed with the resolution and cost of the stereo NVIDIA 3-D vision solution. This package includes an infrared (IR) emitter box and active glasses that are not heavy or awkward when used with a 120-Hz LCD monitor.

Tests included configuring workstations with two graphics cards. After initial troubleshooting and configuration changes, the NVDIA 3-D vision seems to be a solid solution.

Test one

HP Z800 workstation, 12 GB RAM, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 operating system
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 graphics card with 1 GB of memory:

This graphics card requires the use of an additional three-pin adapter to sync with the IR emitter box. The FX3800 has one DVI output and one display port output that uses the display port to DVI adapter that came with the workstation to run a secondary monitor.

The 120-Hz LCD Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ monitor was tested using this setup. This monitor has a very good resolution; I kept it at the recommended 1680 x 1050 resolution. To properly run the IR emitter box, the monitor comes with a USB cable for power and requires a three-pin adapter to sync with the graphics card. The active glasses are lightweight, with a battery that can be recharged by a USB cable from the workstation. This is a much more efficient solution than having the equivalent of enough batteries to power a small town’s energy consumption in your desk drawer, as required for the old active glasses.

The initial steps required to get this monitor configured for viewing stereo imagery in SOCET SET or SOCET GXP with the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 were difficult, but successful in a short amount of time. The following steps can be used to configure this workstation for stereo viewing:

  • Remove all the NVIDIA drivers on the workstation.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Install the 197.59_Quadro_win7_winvista_64bit_english_whql.exe driver.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Install the Quadro_3D_Vision_197.03_USB driver, which is important for allowing the IR emitter box to run properly.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Launch the NVIDIA control panel.
  • Select Manage 3-D settings.
  • Scroll down to Stereo-Enable and select On.
  • Directly above that is Stereo – Display mode; select On-board DIN connector (with NVIDIA IR Emitter).
  • Click Apply at the bottom and close the NVIDIA control panel.
  • At this point, you can launch either SOCET SET or SOCET GXP and load a stereo pair. You will notice that your IR emitter box has an icon that goes from dark green to bright green. This means that everything is working properly and you should be able to see stereo imagery through your NVIDIA active glasses.

Test two

HP xw8600 workstation, 8 GB RAM, 64-bit Windows Vista operating system
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700 graphics card with 512 MB of memory:

This graphics card has a three-pin plug already built into the graphics card and dual DVI output. The dual DVI output can run two 120-Hz monitors at the same time; dual stereo monitors also are an option.

To configure a stereo setup on the HP xw8600 workstation, follow the steps as outlined above for the HP Z800 workstation. I used the same drivers and selected the same settings on the NVIDIA control panel to view stereo on a single monitor. To enable a dual monitor stereo configuration, a few extra settings must be selected on the NVIDIA control panel:

  • Select Change resolution and make sure the refresh rate is 120-Hz for both monitors.
  • Select Manage 3D settings and select Base profile under global presets.
  • Scroll down to Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration and select Compatibility performance mode.

These settings allow you to view the stereo imagery properly on both monitors. If this was not selected and it was left on the default Multiple display performance mode, it would show one stereo pair on one monitor as inverted and the other stereo pair as not inverted.

Graphics cards that support the new 120-MHZ LCD stereo viewing:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_pro_graphics_boards.html

Additional resources for 3-D vision drivers supported for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP:
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/support/knowledgebase/samsung-syncmaster-2233rz-120hz-lcd-hardware-drivers
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/?p=3655

Latest supported NVIDIA drivers for NVIDIA 3D Vision using SOCET SET and SOCET GXP:

  • NVIDIA Quadro FX series graphics drivers
  • Windows 7, Vista 64 bit – 197.59_Quadro_win7_winvista_64bit_english_whql.exe
  • Windows 7, Vista 32 bit – 197.59_Quadro_win7_winvista_32bit_english_whql.exe
  • Windows XP 64 bit – 197.59_Quadro_winxp_64bit_english_whql.exe
  • Windows XP 32 bit – 197.59_Quadro_winxp_32bit_english_whql.exe
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision USB drivers
  • All Windows Operating Systems 32 or 64 bit use – Quadro_3D_Vision_197.03_USB_driver.exe

To ensure you have the correct graphics card to run 3-D vision, please refer to http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_pro_graphics_boards.html, which identifies the Quadro FX graphics cards that support 120-Hz stereo.

Current supported drivers for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP are on our FTP site. To gain access to these drivers, please fill out the FTP request form:
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/support/request-for-ftp-site-access

Please state “NVIDIA 3D vision drivers” and the operating system you are running in the comments section of the form. For example, “NVIDIA 3D vision drivers using Windows XP 64 bit.”

I hope this helps alleviate some of the stress involved in getting new stereo monitors configured for use with SOCET SET and SOCET GXP. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact a customer support representative at 877 762 3873 or socetgxp.support@baesystems.com.

GXP in the news | June 2010

BAE Systems and Geosemble integrate geospatial technologies

Two companies demonstrate an integrated system that highlights BAE Systems’ high-quality image analytics while integrating Geosemble’s text visualization technology

Original press release issued April 12, 2010

Two companies demonstrate an integrated system that highlights BAE Systems’ high-quality image analytics while integrating Geosemble’s text visualization technology

EL SEGUNDO, California. April 12, 2010 — Geosemble Technologies, Inc., and BAE Systems announced today that they have integrated their respective technologies to bring users greater utility and efficiency in geospatial decision making. The companies will demonstrate the technology at the 2010 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange in San Diego, April 19 – 22. Geosemble has created a text visualization plug-in that can be used with BAE Systems’ SOCET GXP software.

SOCET GXP is a geospatial-intelligence tool that uses imagery from commercial, satellite, and tactical means to identify and analyze ground features. With SOCET GXP, users can automatically measure and store properties such as scale, elevation, latitude, and longitude in a series of images to expedite geospatial production, image analysis, and map creation. The data then can be used to perform before-and-after site comparisons, coordinate operational missions, assess navigation safety, and monitor changes over time.

Geosemble’s product is a geographic data visualization tool that automatically integrates various textual sources into aerial imagery. The system, known as GeoXray, allows users to click on buildings and locations and automatically see the events and activities associated with those locations. The GeoXray plug-in is targeted to enterprise customers and is currently being used by two U.S. federal government agencies and several municipalities.

When implementing GeoXray into SOCET GXP as a plug-in capability users gain the benefit of broad, contextual knowledge about geographic areas. The information can come from current, internet-based information sources as well as proprietary, internal data that an organization may have that relates to a geographic location.

Using the GeoXray plug-in with SOCET GXP offers greater interoperability among image analysts, geospatial production technicians, and decision-makers at all levels. The combined technology enables informed, geographic-based decisions earlier in the geospatial-intelligence lifecycle.

For more information or a demonstration of the integrated capability contact Geosemble Technologies, Inc.

About Geosemble

The company’s technology is used in a range of government agency and military applications, as well as by several municipalities. It also provides enterprises and vertical commercial markets with enhanced geographically-enabled business intelligence software. The company is a strategic Google Earth Enterprise Partner, developer in the Oracle PartnerNetwork, an In-Q-Tel portfolio company, and a DARPA Phase II contractor. Geosemble Technologies, Inc. is privately held. Learn more at http://www.geosemble.com.

Bits and pieces | June 2010

BAE Systems presents awards for excellence in photogrammetry

BAE Systems Award
United States Military Academy, West Point

Dr. A. Stewart Walker presents BAE Systems Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry to West Point cadet Augustine Paulo.

Stewart Walker presents BAE Systems Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry to West Point cadet Augustine Paulo.

Stewart Walker, GXP Product initiatives director for BAE Systems, presented the company’s annual Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry to West Point cadet Augustine Paulo at the GIS graduation awards ceremony in May. Cadet Paulo, an incoming senior majoring in Geospatial Information Science, has earned an overall GPA through three years at the Academy of 4.13, based on a 4.0 grading scale, which means he has received an A+ in several courses.

The BAE Systems Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry is presented to one outstanding photogrammetry student from a pool of more than 50 cadets who participate in the Geospatial Information Sciences program at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

BAE Systems Award
American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS)

Jaehong Oh, a doctoral student at Ohio State University, received the second annual BAE Systems Award, presented at the ASPRS conference to reward top-quality research and publication by young students at the master’s or doctoral level. The award is designed to encourage researchers to use the ASPRS annual conference as a vehicle to publish and present their findings. Oh’s paper, “Automatic georeferencing of aerial images using high-resolution stereo satellite images,” may be published in Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, the official journal of ASPRS.