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

Monday, June 30, 2014

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.

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. Furthermore, although not required for using the prototype processing system, if you don’t yet have access to HICO data, it is available directly through NASA or by becoming a registered HICO data user with Oregon State University.

This partnership has been a win-win for all those involved. NASA and CASIS are seeing new applications emerging from the valuable data coming from the ISS, and the resulting processing system is providing access to an amazing new web-based platform for conducting remote sensing research. Exelis VIS is also demonstrating the value of the ENVI Services Engine to a broad user community interested in remote sensing. 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.”

As for HySpeed Computing, Goodman has a vision. “There is a distinct gap in technology transfer between remote sensing research and the development of applications for the geospatial marketplace,” said Goodman. “Thousands of very innovative, thoughtful algorithms are developed every year by researchers, which get published in scientific journals but typically see limited use in the broader community. I see geospatial apps as an avenue to accelerate technology transfer in this domain – to create an easier workflow for transforming algorithms into functional applications.”

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