A Spying Eye in the Sky – An IMINT Introduction

In December 2020, the French military launched its CSO 2 optical reconnaissance satellite, which is set to provide the highest-resolution Earth observation images ever produced by a European satellite.

As the second of three satellites for this program, the CSO 2 launch came about from a signed agreement between Belgium and France – with a large part of the satellite being developed and built in Belgium.

Being Belgian, I certainly took pride in my native country’s efforts to help such an ambitious effort to provide geospatial imagery and data to the French Armed Forces and its partners. However, working in the geospatial sector, this launch made me realize how this program could benefit tremendously from an end-to-end solution that transforms raw data into operational visualization for advanced decision-making.

This is why we are launching a new blog post series that focuses on Hexagon’s Geospatial division’s Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) capabilities. Fuelled by ever-increasing amounts of imagery data, IMINT has the unenviable task of seeing the details within millions of pixels.

With imagery data becoming vastly more available and the quality increasing rapidly, the need to process, manage, distribute, and utilize this data is growing equally. These types of reconnaissance satellites can do repeat passes over regular and on-demand areas, and provide high quality imagery where even individual people can be distinguished.

With data being the main driver, Hexagon’s information technologies serve as the foundation behind many of the transformative solutions shaping IMINT. For many years, we have provided end-to-end solutions for IMINT – from image processing to operational use of information derived from this imagery.

In the coming weeks, we will be publishing new IMINT-related blog posts in the series from other Hexagon thought-leaders. These blog posts will cover everything from data processing, distribution and intelligence to Hexagon’s history in the defense domain.

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