The application of optical sensors (photographic, electro-optic, and infrared) to the tactical military reconnaissance scenario is increasing both in number and performance expectations. The resolution and collection rate capabilities of these optical sensors lead to massive amounts of raw data requiring reduction and interpretation. Exploitation of the collected information must be accomplished in near-real-time (immediate to several minutes) to fully realize the sensor's potential in the tactical operating environment. Exploitation delayed hours from collection becomes useless at best and misinformation at worst. Herein, the first objective is to approximately quantify the existing capabilities for data collection, recording, and transmission, both in rate and volume. The second objective is to suggest several means whereby preprocessing may reduce the volume of data without influencing the substantive information. The third objective is to suggest means whereby the sensor utilization is more selective, thereby providing a better focus of the collection process.