Boeing recently delivered the final installment of Digital Terrain Elevation Data to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, completing work on the most complete, medium-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.
The data, used to make detailed maps for the defense community and used commercially by the private-sector, is significant because it was produced from a single continuous source – the space shuttle Endeavour's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), which took place in 2000.
Using the two radar antennas on board the shuttle, astronauts collected a high-quality, seamless elevation data set of the Earth – at a resolution three times the density of previous global measurements.
"Our efforts to complete highest resolution data set of Earth's terrain will support everything from homeland security to economic development to aviation safety," said Brian Knutsen, general manager of Boeing's Space and Intelligence Systems Mission Systems.
"Boeing is grateful for the opportunity to support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's goal to provide a consistent global reference model for government and private users. We are continuing to provide data processing services that will enable the agency to extend the use of this information."
Boeing produced over 9,100 cells – about 66 percent of all the Digital Terrain Elevation Data produced for the SRTM project. The Company recently received a $4 million follow-on contract to make enhancements to the SRTM elevation data.
The enhancements include the removal of certain rare radar processing anomalies and filling of missing areas with data from alternate sources.
Boeing Mission Systems is responsible for the overall project management of the void-fill project, and developed the interactive editing system interface and software being used to produce the data.
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