Four companies to help U.S. intelligence analysts determine the locations of photos and video


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 9 March 2012. Photo analysis experts in the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence in Washington are working with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to develop quick ways for intelligence analysts to determine the locations and camera angles of intelligence imagery and video as part of the Finder program of the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA).

Intelligence experts in the Air Force Research Lab awarded four contracts this week collectively worth $54.7 million for the first phase of the IARPA Finder program to develop technology that, with the aid of an intelligence analyst, geolocates an outdoor image or video from anywhere on the land surface of the world, via the use of publicly available information.

The Air Force Research Lab is managing the Finder research program on behalf of the IARPA Office of Incisive Analysis. IARPA is the research arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Air Force Research Lab has awarded Finder phase-one contracts to Applied Research Associates Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M.; the BAE Systems Electronic Systems sector in Burlington, Mass.; Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Corp. in Arlington, Va.; and ObjectVideo Inc. in Reston, Va. Applied Research won a $15.3 million contract, BAE Systems won a $13.8 million contract, SET won a $9.9 million contract, and ObjectVideo won a $15.6 million contract. The Finder program should extend through April 2016.

Even consumer-grade cameras today have the ability to tag images and videos with the location of the image on the Earth's surface. This tagging ability is called geolocation.

Some imagery, however, does not have a geolocation tag, which taxes intelligence analysts who typically want to know the location of the camera, image, or objects in the scene. Without geolocation tagging, analysts try to deduce as much as they can using reference data from sources such as overhead and ground-based images, digital elevation data, existing well-understood image collections, surface geology, geography, and cultural information. This approach is laborious, time-consuming, and sometimes unsuccessful.

Researchers have developed automated ways to use techniques such as large-scale ground-level image acquisition, crowd-sourcing, and sophisticated image matching, which tend to work best in well-traveled areas with large populations where the image or video of interest contains notable features such as mountains or buildings.

The Finder Program aims to build on this kind of existing research to augment the analyst's geolocation abilities, such as integrating the analyst's abilities with automated geolocation technologies; fusing open-source data; and expanding automated geolocation technologies to all terrain and large search areas.

The Finder program seeks to maintain the human analyst as an essential part of the process, as well as to understand the extent to which publicly available information can help intelligence analysts gelocate images and video.

For more information contact the Office of the Director of National Intelligence at, IARPA at, Applied Research Associates at, BAE Systems Electronic Systems at, SET Corp. at, ObjectVideo at, or the Air Force Research Lab at

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.

The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Leon Woo, VP of Engineering at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!


Military & Aerospace Photos

Related Products

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

Related Companies

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles


Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles