3d model of a city (IARPA)

3-D models from satellite data on the fly

Because geospatially accurate 3-D data is critical to global situational awareness, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has been looking for a way to automate the construction of those models.

IARPA's Creation of Operationally Realistic 3-D Environment (CORE3D) program is developing automated systems that can quickly build complex 3-D models from commercial, satellite and airborne imagery.

While manually created models are accurate, reliable and better at "extracting mission relevant information and understanding scenes …  the process to create them is time-consuming," said CORE3D program manager Hakjae Kim. 

Automated modeling also is necessary because it is difficult to predict when or where a crisis might occur that could be informed by an accurate 3D model. Having such a capability would allow the government to quickly model locations anywhere on Earth and update them as satellite data is refreshed and video or images become available.

Through a competitive broad agency announcement, IARPA awarded CORE3D research contracts to teams led by Applied Research Associates, General Electric, Kitware and Vision Systems Inc.

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