Technology to implement very high speed digital signal processing has experienced rapid growth during the last decade. Techniques using this technology to reduce the data channel width required by an imaging reconnaissance system to achieve the timely transmission of data from sensor subsystems to remote exploitation subsystems are being developed at an increasing rate. The incorporation of these techniques into imaging reconnaissance systems promises payoffs in performance and co-operability with other collection systems within the restrictions imposed by existing and near-term projected data channels. This paper presents a summary overview of techniques available to designers using current technology. An analysis performed on a hypothetical system is used to illustrate the sensitivities of various algorithms to characteristics of and errors in individual system components; an analysis of the impact of the techniques considered on system performance. The techniques treated are restricted to lossy algorithms which preserve the essential imaging nature of the system to the end user i.e., the system output is in image form, not alphanumeric. Performance is defined as the ability of th system to collect and reconstruct scene image information. DPCM, ADPCM, and DCT compression techniques will be considered in the detailed treatment.