HySpeed Computing and Exelis VIS Partner to Provide Online, On-demand Image Processing

HySpeed Computing has partnered with Exelis VIS to develop the HICO Image Processing System, a prototype cloud computing framework that will provide online, on-demand, scalable remote sensing image processing capabilities. “We want to put the power of image processing and data visualization within the geosciences into the hands of the global user community,” said James Goodman, President/CEO of HySpeed Computing, LLC.

  The project to develop the HICO Image Processing System is funded by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and uses imagery from the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO), an imaging spectrometer on the International Space Station (ISS) that is optimized for acquisition of aquatic targets. “The coastal ocean can be a particularly challenging remote sensing environment,” said Goodman.
“It’s optically complex, so with that in mind, the HICO sensor was developed with a very high signal-to-noise ratio over its full spectral coverage in the visible and near infrared.”

HySpeed Computing has implemented a collection of coastal remote sensing algorithms for deriving information on water properties, water depth, and habitat characteristics. These example applications are directed at deriving critical information regarding the conditions and characteristics of our vulnerable coastal environment. The project leverages the ENVI Services Engine as the framework for all image processing tasks, and is designed to readily accommodate the rapid integration of new algorithms and processing tools. Users will only need a web browser and internet connection to perform advanced analysis. According to Thomas Harris of Exelis, “The future of remote sensing is leaving big data like HICO in the data center and providing advanced analytics to end users via tools like ENVI Services Engine. The original data isn’t transferred to the end user, only smaller output products that can be easily visualized in a web browser.”

The prototype is scheduled for release in mid-2014, and will be freely available for testing and evaluation by the community for a period of at least 6 months. Interested users should visit the HySpeed Computing website, where links will be provided to access the system once it is available. Although not required for using the prototype processing system, HICO data is available directly through NASA or by becoming a registered HICO data user with Oregon State University.

Imagery Experts On Call at the Esri UC

Do you have remotely sensed data that you’d like to use to solve problems, but you’re just not sure how? Maybe you’ve got questions about data, tools, or algorithms? Exelis VIS imagery experts are going to be available at this year’s Esri International User Conference for remote sensing consultations to answer your questions. Bring us your data, your questions, your hard-to-solve problems. Whether you’re an advanced user or just starting out, we can help. Fill out this form to request one of the 20 minute consultation spots we have available. We’ll contact you to let you know what time slot is yours. You can find more information on what Exelis VIS has in store at the UC here.

A Hands-on Approach to Teaching Remote Sensing

Stewart Bruce, who is the GIS Program Coordinator at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, has found that the best way to teach remote sensing is hands on. “I lecture a little bit, then have students turn the computers on and jump in,” said Bruce, who is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Anthropology, and Assistant Director, Center for Environment and Society at Washington College. “Our mission here is to provide experiential learning opportunities for students,” he added.

Bruce has been facilitating students learning how to analyze imagery using software and then applying it to a real-world project since he arrived on the scene at Washington College in 2007. “The first research project a student worked on was the Tanyard Branch Watershed,” said Bruce. According to Bruce, the town of Easton, MD, subcontracted with the College with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The student used WorldView-2 imagery and did an analysis of the near IR reflectants from a scene taken in March, right before the grass starts growing,” said Bruce. “The grass that had a high near IR reflectant had too much fertilizer on the lawn,” said Bruce. The town then used that information to send marketing info to those specific home owners saying they might want to get soil tests for fertilizer levels because they could save money by using less fertilizer on their lawns.

Bruce has been teaching with ENVI since 2002 when he was with Penn State. “We evaluated both ENVI and ERDAS back then and determined ENVI was the better software because it provided more algorithms and programs to process data,” according to Bruce. “When I got to Washington College, one of the primary determinants to stick with ENVI was the interoperability with the Esri product. The fact that you can access ENVI tools within the ArcGIS interface is really helpful,” he added.

The Washington College GIS Program is what Bruce calls a “full service education provider.” “We teach college courses, but we’ve also designed curriculum for third graders, middle and high school students, and even courses geared toward professional development,” says Bruce. The curriculum they’ve developed is available, free of charge, for anyone to use at Washington College developed curriculum for Dover Area High School in Dover Pennsylvania and Exelis VIS donated an ENVI lab license to the school’s program. Dover Area High School was awarded the 2013 Academic Achievement Award from the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) using ENVI.

Bruce and Washington College are currently preparing for their Summer Institute of Geospatial Technology. Running August 4th through 22nd, the Institute will feature workshops on GIS, crime analysis, 3D modeling, ENVI, and LiDAR that are designed for adult professionals looking to sharpen their skills.

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See us at these upcoming trade shows:

Toulouse Space Show
June 30-July 2, 2014
Toulouse, France

Esri International User Conference
July 14-18, 2014
San Diego, CA


2014 Esri UC
Meet the Exelis VIS team attending the 2014 Esri UC, find out who to follow during the event, or learn more about our scheduled in-booth presentations.
Watch Now

The Whiteboard Bloggers Series
Bridging the GIS - Remote Sensing Gap

Digital Number, Radiance, and Reflectance

It's Not Just Analysis, It's a Transformer!


Extending ENVI LiDAR to Create Custom Analytics
This webinar will focus on out-of-the box ENVI LiDAR functionality as well as the ability for users to extend its 3D feature extraction capabilities with new processing methods and other feature types.

July 8, 2014 | Register Now


Accelerate Big Data Processing Speeds
This webinar looks at the use of GPU capabilities to accelerate orthorectification, atmospheric correction, and transformations for big data.

View all recorded web seminars.


Imagery Speaks
Sharing Ideas and Methods on Data

Free Remote Sensing Data

Why Hadoop is Kind of a Big Deal

IDL Data Point
DebuggerHelper - A Handy Debugging Class for IDL Developers

Testing Arrays for Invalid Values

Threaded Processing In IDL


See all Exelis events and training.

IDL 8 for Advanced Users
July 1, 2014 - Gilching, Germany

Extending ENVI with IDL
July 9, 2014- Bracknell, UK

Exploring ENVI
July 15, 2014 - Herndon VA

Introduction to IDL
July 16, 2014 - Bracknell, UK

Extracting Information from LiDAR Data
July 18, 2014 - Herndon VA

Exploring ENVI
July 22, 2014 - Boulder CO

Extracting Information from LiDAR Data
July 25, 2014 - Boulder CO

Introduction to IDL
August 6, 2014 - Boulder CO

Extending ENVI with IDL
August 12, 2014 - Herndon VA

Washington College Summer GIS Institute
August 4  – August 22, 2014

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