The increased complexity of scientific and earth-operational spacecraft, and the need for rapid dissemination of the resulting data, has produced a severe data management problem. In particular, multispectral-imaging missions impose a significant burden on the present ground processing facilities since they generate vast quantities of high-speed data. One solution to the image data processing problem is to implement onboard processors capable of transmitting useful information rather than raw data, thus reducing ground processing requirements and the turnaround time for users. NASA is currently investigating the feasibility of performing high-speed data processing on board the spacecraft. As a part of this effort, Martin Marietta is under contract to develop an adaptable data system for real-time image processing, the Information Adaptive System (IAS). The IAS, with the necessary test and support equipment, will be demonstrated in a laboratory environment to examine the operational performance of this system in terms of a potential onboard processor. The key system design features are speed, programmability, and adaptability as a function of operator commands or image parameters in the data stream. The processing functions included within the IAS architecture are radiometric correction, data packetization, data-set selection, distortion/coefficient processing, and adaptive system control. Each of these functions will be described in this paper with the test support and demonstration equipment.