North Andover, Mass. – 6 August 2007 – Flight Landata Inc., a provider of digital remote sensing technology, has received the 2006 U.S. Army Greatest Inventions of the Year award for its BuckEye imaging system. The award recognizes technologies that have a significant impact on the readiness of the Army and on the effectiveness and safety of its soldiers.
For the past two years, the airborne version of BuckEye has been deployed by the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. There it has successfully collected over 23,000 square kilometers of high resolution geospatial information and detected hundreds of battlefield threats before they could harm U.S. military personnel. In fact, the BuckEye has been so effective that the specifics of its operation remain classified.
Awarded in June 2007, the 2006 U.S. Army Greatest Inventions of the Year honor was shared by Flight Landata, the U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center (TEC), the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), and three other companies – all of which collaborated in developing BuckEye. The Army selection is but the latest accolade recognizing the effectiveness of the technology. The BuckEye was also honored with the Geospatial Intelligence Award for the government sector at the geospatial intelligence conference in November, 2006.
The BuckEye system enables soldiers in combat to identify potential threats by acquiring ultra-sharp, geo-referenced images of ground features using a digital airborne imaging device. Flown aboard conventional aircraft, the system analyzes rapidly-delivered imagery and automatically compares it with prior imagery on a pixel-by-pixel basis. BuckEye is capable of resolution as fine as 2 cm. Soldiers use the change detection analysis to identify minute topographical features that reveal the presence of roadside dangers and other hazards.
“BuckEye technology has detected numerous lethal conditions on the battlefield and saved the lives of many U.S. troops in a short period of time,” said Donald Florence, President & CEO of Flight Landata. “For the first time, soldiers have timely access to highly detailed geospatial imagery and change detection data that lets them plan how they are going to carry out their missions safely and successfully. The saving of lives is by far our greatest reward; but on behalf of our entire team, I am pleased and gratified that we have received this award from the Army.”
Prior to the deployment of the BuckEye system, the military used a variety of older airborne imagery for mission planning, but that older technology lacked the combination of high resolution and precise geospatial information that makes it possible to accurately and consistently identify deadly ground-based dangers from the air. The older technology also had a significant latency in image processing and delivery, which prevented it from being a real-time tool for solders in the field.
“The BuckEye system has proven invaluable as a key element in tactical combat operations,” said General Richard A. Cody, Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army. “This technology has been used over every major urban area in Iraq, and it has quickly become a critical element in enabling our soldiers to detect threats as they plan their missions and respond to events in the field. This technology has not only saved countless lives but has also increased the effectiveness of our soldiers.”
About Flight Landata
Headquartered in North Andover, Mass., with an office in Lawrence, Mass., Flight Landata, Inc. designs and builds compact remote hyperspectral, multispectral and high-resolution digital imaging systems. Used in light aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the technology has a variety of military, government and commercial applications. Imagery acquired by Flight Landata’s aerial sensor systems is employed to create extremely detailed photogrammetric images, digital elevation models and rapid change detection analyses. These have compelling applications in military combat, surveillance & reconnaissance, urban planning, environmental protection and numerous commercial applications. For more information about Flight Landata and its products, visit www.flightlandata.com.