Today's military environment requires timely and accurate information as the "situation unfolds." In the past, tactical aerial reconnaissance met this requirement using film-based camera systems in high-speed, dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. This method of gathering intelligence involves time lags which have been stretched to their limits. These delays occur in both the time required to perform the reconnaissance mission and the time required to process the information gathered. Additionally, dedicated reconnaissance aircraft and the chemical processing required for film cameras are not practical in a transient, tactical situation. A better method must be found to increase the efficiency of intelligence gathering. Developments in speed and electronics have given us the Charge Coupled Device (CCD), wider bandwidth recorders, improved data link systems and computer-based exploitation techniques. These developments are bringing us closer to a real-time capability. Prior to making a total commitment to this technology, a pilot program was initiated to test the validity of the concept. This paper discusses the system used to test the technological base for near real-time reconnaissance.