Satellite Imagery Analysis

DoD mission planners need the right mix of tools, technologies, and expertise in order to maintain a complete understanding of the mission landscape.

The ability to identify areas of local importance in unfamiliar host nations with a high degree of reliability gives the mission planner the necessary information to take protection of these features into consideration when developing the plan.

Subject matter experts and technology partners at the MilCHAG employ satellite remote sensing and various forms of aerial and satellite imagery to identify archaeological sites and significant cultural features on the ground that must be protected, consistent with Rules of Engagement.

MilCHAG’s SMEs can acquire, interpret and package this aerial and satellite imagery and satellite remote sensing data for use by COCOMs and JF Planners and Engineers for every region where appropriate imagery is available.

In 2012 MilCHAG team member Dr. Sarah Parcak (University of Alabama at Birmingham) completed the DOD Satellite Archaeology Manual for the Middle East ( U.S. Air Force ORCHID Series, Reports of Investigations, Number 3). Prepared by the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands, Colorado State University and Geo-Marine Inc. (Plano, TX) for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this valuable work provides DOD planners and engineers with an overview of the challenges and objectives of this type of data collection with a step by step guide for using various forms of imagery and techniques for interpreting the data. This manual empowers DOD planners with responsibility in all AORs to take cultural property into consideration as a component of effective planning and develop a more detailed and nuanced understanding of mission landscapes in unfamiliar environments.