Press Release

NASA Award Recognizes Air Force Remote-Sensing Program

By SpaceRef Editor
February 15, 2011
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WASHINGTON — NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior presented the 2010 William T. Pecora group award to the U.S. Air Force Eagle Vision program Tuesday at a Pentagon ceremony. Eagle Vision was recognized for contributions in the United States and abroad to homeland security, humanitarian aid and natural disaster recovery efforts.

The program consists of five ground stations capable of retrieving real-time satellite imagery from numerous commercial Earth-observing satellites to deliver time-critical precision images to support U.S. global crisis response. The ground stations are deployable worldwide.

The award was presented to James G. Clark, Air Force director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Innovations and deputy chief of staff for ISR. NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati and Anne Castle, Interior’s assistant secretary for water and science, made the presentation.

“Eagle Vision is an excellent demonstration of how Earth observations from space support not only our soldiers and allies, but make a big contribution to our country’s humanitarian efforts at home and abroad,” Abdalati said. “One of NASA’s primary missions, according to our founding charter, is expanding human knowledge of the Earth. Eagle Vision is an excellent example of the great achievements that can be realized in Earth science through inter-agency collaboration.”

The program was created in 1995 in response to the post-Desert Storm need for timely, unclassified imagery the U.S. military could share with our allies. Since then the program has aided natural disaster relief and humanitarian efforts, including fighting wildfires in California and relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

Outside the United States, the Eagle Vision team provided support to 19 different disaster events in six different countries during 2009. Two Eagle Vision units provided Haiti earthquake first responders with images within 24 hours of the quake. Units also were deployed to Africa between 2004 and 2007 to collect commercial satellite imagery of Chad, Mauritania, Uganda, and Niger to build a broad-area geospatial library for humanitarian support.

NASA and the Department of the Interior present individual and group Pecora Awards to honor outstanding contributions in the field of remote sensing and its application to understanding Earth. The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of William T. Pecora, former director of the U.S. Geological Survey and under secretary of the Department of the Interior.

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SpaceRef staff editor.