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DigitalGlobe Helps Pilots Fly to Safety with the Alaskan Aviation Safety Project


Industry: Location-based Services (LBS), Business GIS, Demographic Data, Geographic Data, Remote Sensing & Image Processing, GPS, Photogrammetry & Aerial Surveying, Satellite Image Data, Location Technology, Geospatial Technology, Location Intelligence
Location: Longmont, CO, United States of America

DigitalGlobe, provider of the world’s highest- resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, has teamed up with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), NASA and the Medallion Foundation to launch a new research and development project designed to help improve aviation safety in Alaska. Alaska is one of the world’s most aviation-dependant regions in the world, with approximately 600 public airports and more than 3,000 airstrips.

Using cutting edge high-resolution satellite imagery, the DMVA will be able to develop 65,000 square kilometers of extremely accurate terrain datasets for Alaska’s most deadly mountain passes and transportation corridors in order to reduce the number of aircraft accidents.

“High-resolution imagery is a vital resource in situations that involve extreme conditions,” said Marc Tremblay, vice president and general manager of DigitalGlobe’s commercial business unit. “To survive, both pilots and emergency responders require the most up-to-date and accurate data, and we are proud to be a part of this life changing project.”

Additionally, with the help of the Medallion Foundation, the AASP is developing advanced training technologies. Pilots now have access to state-of-the-art flight training that will help prepare them for navigating dangerous passes with three dimensional simulations of the exact mountainous terrain. Prior to the AASP, Alaska had generated 35 percent of the nation’s commercial aviation accidents. The DMVA is forecasting that by 2008 that statistic will drop to 20 percent.

“There isn’t a person in Alaska that doesn’t know someone that has died in an aviation related accident,” said Steve Colligan, President of E-Terra. “So when you talk to the pilots that have used the training resources and you see how grateful they are - that’s when it really hits home.”

About AASP
In June 2001, Senator Ted Stevens requested research proposals supporting the use of remote imaging to improve environmental issues, ocean fisheries and aviation issues in Alaska. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) applied for a $3 million grant to demonstrate that it was possible to use remote imaging and digital elevation models to map the 12 most dangerous mountain passes in Alaska and create a 3-D virtual fly through of these passes. The renderings would be used for training General Aviation pilots and assisting the Air National Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center’s (RCC) rescue of downed pilots. In 2003, the completed 3-D visualizations of both Lake Clark and Merrill Passes received national recognition. In June 2004, NASA awarded the department $2.8 million to continue the research and purchase an ortho-imaging process to create 3-D renderings for the remaining 10 aviation mountain passes.

About DigitalGlobe
Longmont, Colo.-based DigitalGlobe ( is the clear leader in the global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information market. The company’s technical superiority and innovation, unparalleled commitment to customer service, extensive business partner network and open systems philosophy make DigitalGlobe the preferred supplier of imagery products to government and commercial markets. DigitalGlobe is the only geospatial content provider to take an end-to-end approach to geospatial imagery, from acquiring proprietary high-resolution images through a leading- edge satellite and aerial network, to integrating and distributing that data through GlobeXplorer, a proprietary web-based search and retrieval system that makes it easy to find, purchase and download global imagery. DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird satellite is the world’s highest resolution commercial imaging system. The company’s next-generation WorldView 1 satellite is scheduled to launch in mid-2007, and its WorldView 2 satellite is anticipated to launch in late 2008. The company’s updated and growing ImageLibrary contains over three hundred million square kilometers of satellite and aerial imagery suited to countless applications for people who map, view, navigate and study the earth.

About E-Terra
Founded in 1994, E-Terra has a skilled team of technology professionals with wide-ranging expertise in computer solutions and products. E-Terra’s knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Enterprise databases, Internet and CAD systems provides clients with complete solutions customized for their specific needs. E-Terra is an authorized reseller and solution provider for DigitalGlobe. E-Terra, LLC specializes in providing imaging processing services including: DEM Utilization, Georeferencing, Orthorectification, Color Balancing, Pan- sharpening, Custom Reprojections, Image Compression, Tiling, Image Atomization, File Format Conversion, Image Web Services, Animations & 3-D Visualization.


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