GeoEye Awarded Airport Mapping Project

There’s little doubt that satellite technology has transformed aviation. From the widespread use of GPS technology to the in-flight weather updates provided to pilots through services like XM Satellite Weather, satellite-delivered content and information has greatly increased the situational awareness of pilots and, in turn, made aviation safer.

Yet any gadget is only as useful as the underlying information, which is why the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Stereo Airfield Collection program has awarded Dulles-based GeoEye a $3.7 million contract to image 365 airfields and produce Airport Mapping Databases (AMDB) over a 12-month period:

GeoEye is now the world’s largest developer of airport geospatial information support, terrain and obstacle databases with several hundred airfields mapped to date. Matt O’Connell, GeoEye’s president and chief executive officer said, "We are a leader in providing airport geospatial solutions to key customers like the NGA and the USAF at the best price and with the best performance in the industry."

An Airport Mapping Database is a geospatial database that contains significant features of an airport such as runways, taxiways, buildings, obstacles and terrain surrounding an airfield. This information supports the safe movement of aircraft and helicopters on runways and taxiways. These products can also be used to support training, mission or contingency planning and visual simulations for ordinary operations or crisis situations. GeoEye is uniquely positioned to fulfill this contract for North American and international airfields by virtue of its IKONOS satellite’s ability to generate a three-dimensional image from stereo data collected during a single orbital pass. The result is a three-dimensional map-accurate image of an airport that can be quickly and cost effectively acquired.