ERDAS & SGI Share Empire Challenge Collaboration at GEOINT

Norcross, GA — ERDAS Inc. and SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) announce that they will be showcasing the main server from Empire Challenge 2008 at the GEOINT Symposium later this month. This server hosted indexed metadata for various data stores of imagery, serving data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services.

Empire Challenge 2008 was held at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the high-desert home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, near Ridgecrest, California. In the last five decades, the Navy and Marine Corps have developed or tested nearly every significant airborne weapon system at China Lake. For several weeks in July 2008, a significant number of Australian, British and Canadian military personnel joined the U.S. military for Empire Challenge 2008. The fifth annual exercises, Empire Challenge 2008 demonstrated joint and coalition interoperability among Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, sensors and systems. Empire Challenge is hosted by the Joint Operational Test Bed System (JOTBS), integrating operations, information and technical capabilities around unmanned systems as part of the Joint Functional Concept for Battlespace Awareness.

At Empire Challenge 2008, ERDAS, the Penn State Electro-Optic Center and Geospatial Industries, Inc. executed several Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) missions at Naval Air Warfare Center, supporting the OGC Pilot.  To support data collection and provide dissemination capabilities, the ERDAS OGC-compliant server was set up at Michelson Labs and Reston, VA, where the team supported OGC Pilot services.

ERDAS ran ERDAS APOLLO on an Oracle 10g database, utilizing a SGI® Altix® XE 240 system and a SGI InfiniteStorage NEXIS Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution. ERDAS APOLLO is an enterprise platform for cataloging and serving vector, raster, terrain and map data over the web, via a user-friendly interface. Compliant with the OGC and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ERDAS APOLLO Server implements WMS, WCS, WFS, WFS-T and CS-W standards and the ECW-P and JPIP wavelet streaming protocols. ERDAS APOLLO efficiently stores and quickly shares gridded data throughout the enterprise. The capture platform for the exercise was a partially Sensor Web Enabled (SWE) Tiger Shark UAS provided by the EOC. The ERDAS and SGI server was used for indexing the geospatial metadata of the Tiger Shark imagery, as well as other static data sets available, including CADRG files, Landsat, NAIP and more.

Once captured data and imagery were on the ground, ERDAS’ Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) based services finalized processes and disseminated and exploited the image based products. The OGC services enabled image cataloging and supported the uploading of both imagery and products to the OGC compliant image web archives.

"SGI Altix server and storage architectures are particularly well suited for operating in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and web or internet environment, providing geospatial information." said Robert Robbins, SGI Director of Defense and Strategic Systems" The ERDAS APOLLO solution takes advantage of the SGI performance and flexibility to perform quick and efficient information indexing and sharing in support of important exercise operations and events."

“During the Empire Challenge exercise, the team utilized ERDAS and SGI technology, illustrating the importance of OGC compliant services,” said Christopher Tucker, Senior Vice President, Americas and National Programs, ERDAS. “We are excited to highlight this main server at the GEOINT Symposium later this month.”

GEOINT will be October 27-30 at the Gaylord Palms Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. ERDAS will be utilizing the server used at Empire Challenge, as well as showcasing its full portfolio of solutions at booth #942. For more information about ERDAS, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 877 GO ERDAS, or visit

ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process, and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit