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MU Partnership with Harris Corporation Supports Advanced Mapping Program for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Release produced by the MU News Bureau.

U.S. military service men and women deployed around the world rely on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to provide them with timely geospatial data and information services that are critical for their mission planning and daily operations. The Center for Geospatial Intelligence (CGI) in the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering has partnered with the Harris Corporation to provide advanced geospatial products and services to meet NGA’s needs under its five-year Foundation GEOINT Content Management (FGCM) program. MU announced today that the CGI was just awarded its sixth delivery order from Harris in support of NGA’s FGCM program. The new order brings the total awarded value to $2M over the last two years.

Under this program, MU staff and students are utilizing advanced geospatial methods to process and integrate a wide variety of new geospatial datasets while also enhancing the spatial accuracy and improving the information content of existing geospatial datasets. To date, MU has or currently is working on geospatial datasets from more than twenty countries spanning the globe from South America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. All work must meet very stringent government requirements for quality, accuracy, and schedule to ensure that the U.S military and other government users have the most up-to-date and accurate geospatial data to meet their operational needs. 

“The information that NGA provides to members of the U.S. armed services on a daily basis is vital to our national security, and we are very pleased to be working with Harris on this important five-year program,” said Curt Davis, director of the CGI and professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

A unique aspect of the MU effort is that it has employed more than 40 undergraduate students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds on this project, and another 10-15 new students will be hired this summer to continue the work on the new delivery order.

“Our ability to use large numbers of undergraduate students on this important effort gives them real-world training and experience that enables them to land very high-paying jobs in both industry and government once they graduate from MU,” Davis said.

“MU is the only university supporting us on this challenging NGA program,” said Mike Gourley, director of government geospatial programs at Harris.  “We partnered with the CGI because of their long history of working with NGA and their deep technical expertise needed to meet the government’s requirements. An added bonus for Harris is that we have a hired a number of MU students and staff after they finished working at CGI on this program. These new hires are very well prepared and can immediately be productive working on this complex program.”

“This partnership with Harris highlights the strong commitment we have in the College of Engineering to actively engage and work with industry on cutting-edge technologies,” said Elizabeth Loboa, dean of the College of Engineering. “The research capabilities and skills of our brilliant faculty and students in this area align perfectly with the experience and resources of industry partners such as Harris.”

About the MU Center for Geospatial Intelligence (CGI): The CGI was founded in the MU College of Engineering in 2004 with a primary mission to engage in research and development efforts in support of U.S. defense and intelligence agency objectives and related industry. The CGI is an interdisciplinary research center that has involved more than twenty faculty and dozens of other researchers in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Geography, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Geological Sciences. The CGI conducts interdisciplinary research in a wide variety of areas including, but not limited to: satellite, airborne, and ground-based remote sensing; high performance computing for geospatial data analysis; automated feature extraction; change detection; pattern recognition; machine learning; video processing and surveillance; and human geography and modeling.  

About Harris Corporation: Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately $6 billion in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems and Electronic Systems.  

About the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA): NGA provides geospatial-intelligence, imagery intelligence, and geospatial data and information for planning, decision-making and action in support of national security. It represents a unified community of geospatial-intelligence producers and users, leveraging expert tradecraft, regional expertise and strength in numbers, in the delivery of multi-source, multi-intelligence services to policy makers, military decision makers and warfighters, and tailored support to civilian federal agencies and international organizations.