By John Rhea
WASHINGTON - Under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), engineers at Laser-Scan Inc. of Sterling, Va., have developed an object-oriented digital mapping software package for military and commercial applications.
The system, which costs about $250,000, consolidates data from three bands into a single image and is analogous to spatial data running on UNIX or Windows NT on a Sun workstation - in each case data independent. Under terms of the CRADA, in which no money was exchanged, Laser-Scan and NIMA officials formed an integrated product team to develop the system.
Leaders of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency in Washington have bought the system to generate electronic navigation charts using global positioning system positional data for displays on ships to warn navigators of dangers.
Another user is the Mexican agency Nacional de Estadistica, Geografia e Informatica. Laser-Scan officials are discussing military applications with the British and Spanish defense forces.