The DARPA Battlefield Awareness and Data Dissemination (BADD) Phase II Program will provide the next generation multimedia information management architecture to support the warfighter. One goal of this architecture is proactive dissemination of information to the warfighter through strategies such as multicast and 'smart push and pull' designed to minimize latency and make maximum use of available communications bandwidth. Another goal is to support integration of information from widely distributed legacy repositories. This will enable the next generation of battlefield awareness applications to form a common operational view of the battlefield to aid joint service and/or multi-national peacekeeping forces. This paper discusses the approach we are taking to realize such an architecture for BADD. Our architecture and its implementation, known as the Distributed Dissemination Serivces (DDS) are based on two key concepts: a global database schema and an intelligent, proactive caching scheme. A global schema provides a common logical view of the information space in which the warfighter operates. This schema (or subsets of it) is shared by all warfighters through a distributed object database providing local access to all relevant metadata. This approach provides both scalability to a large number of warfighters, and it supports tethered as well as autonomous operations. By utilizing DDS information integration services that provide transparent access to legacy databases, related information from multiple 'stovepipe' systems are now available to battlefield awareness applications. The second key concept embedded in our architecture is an intelligent, hierarchical caching system supported by proactive dissemination management services which push both lightweight and heavyweight data such as imagery and video to warfighters based on their information profiles. The goal of this approach is to transparently and proactively stage data which is likely to be requested by the warfighter in caches which are physically close to the warfighter. Through a global schema and intelligent caching, the BADD DDS architecture will provide a virtual information repository in which warfighter access to information is both fast and transparent with respect to its original source.
The large size and multiple bands of todays satellite data require increasingly powerful tools in
order to display and interpret the acquired imagery in a timely fashion. Pixar has developed two major
tools for use in this data interpretation. These tools are the Electronic Light Table (ELT), and an
extensive image processing package, ChapiP. These tools operate on images limited only by disk
volume size, currently 3 Gbytes.
The Electronic Light Table package provides a fully windowed interface to these large 12 bit
monochrome and multiband images, passing images through a software defined image interpretation
pipeline in real time during an interactive roam. A virtual image software framework allows interactive
modification of the visible image. The roam software pipeline consists of a seventh order polynomial
warp, bicubic resampling, a user registration affine, histogram drop sampling, a 5x5 unsharp mask, and
per window contrast controls. It is important to note that these functions are done in software, and
various performance tradeoffs can be made for different applications within a family of hardware
configurations. Special high spped zoom, rotate, sharpness, and contrast operators provide interactive
region of interest manipulation. Double window operators provide for flicker, fade, shade, and
difference of two parent windows in a chained fashion. Overlay graphics capability is provided in a
PostScfipt* windowed environment (NeWS**).
The image is stored on disk as a multi resolution image pyramid. This allows resampling and
other image operations independent of the zoom level. A set of tools layered upon ChapIP allow
manipulation of the entire pyramid file. Arbitrary combinations of bands can be computed for arbitrary
sized images, as well as other image processing operations. ChapIP can also be used in conjunction
with ELT to dynamically operate on the current roaming window to append the image processing
function onto the roam pipeline. Multiple ChapiP operations can be thus chained.
A videotape showing the use of ELT and ChapIP with multispectral data will be presented.