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MARCH-APRIL 2021 » VOLUME 11 » ISSUE 06 | ISSN 2277–3134
























The growing realization about the power of ‘where’ is resulting in geo-intelligence gaining greater significance in the field of defense and security globally.

In Conversation



In Conversation


VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT SHARP Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Special Feature


GPS VULNERABILITY By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development at the Department of Transportation

R.N.I No - UPENG/2010/34153; Registration no: UP/GBD-136/2017-19 Publication: 10th of every month I Posting: 15th / 20th of every month







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Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Kumar

08 / A ir Chief Marshal

Managing Editor Prof. Arup Dasgupta

Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB DL Chairman, NATO Military Committee 12 / L ieutenant General Chandi Prasad Mohanty Vice Chief of the Army Staff 16 / V ice Admiral Robert Sharp Director, NGA

Contributing Editor Geospatial Infrastructure John Kedar Contributing Editor Global Defense and Security Keith J. Masback


20 / J uergen Dold

President, GSI, Hexagon AB 34 / S ajid Mukhtar Chairman & Managing Director Roter Group of Companies 36 / A lex Fox Executive Vice President, HawkEye 360 50 / P ayam Banazadeh CEO & Founder, Capella Space EXPERT OPINION

24 / T he Reverberating

Rhythms of Geopolitics By Commodore C Uday Bhaskar (Retd) 26 / W orking for and with the GEOINT Community By Robert Cardillo CASE STUDY

39 / A Picture Worth Thousand Words

Consulting Editor Spatial Analytics and Location Intelligence Nicholas Duggan

28 / G PS Vulnerability

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth


Consulting Editor Nishi Malhotra

42 / 3 D Geospatial for Defense Spectrum Management By Pavan Kumar

44 / I t Starts with a Good Defense (and Intelligence) By Melisa Harder

46 / C apturing Real-time Echoes of Earth’s Heartbeat By Brian E. O’Toole

48 / G eospatial Information to

By Guy Buesnel

By Max Craglia & Henk Scholten

58 / F lying Concerns

Analyzing Indian Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021


04 / Editorial 05 / From the Guest Editor 06 / Product Watch

Chief Designer Subhash Kumar


52 / P rotecting GNSS


Sr. Assistant Editor Defense & Intelligence Meenal Dhande

Visualizer Pradeep Chauhan

Tackle Hybrid Threats By Dr. Josef Schroefl

54 / G etting a Grip on That Data

Associate Editor Policy & Public Affairs Avneep Dhingra

Geospatial World does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in the publication. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. Geospatial World is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided. Owner, Publisher & Printer: Sanjay Kumar Printed at Virtika Offset Printers, G-14 Sector 3, Noida - 201 301, G.B. Nagar (UP) India Publication Address A - 92, Sector - 52, Noida - 201 301 India. Geospatial World: The edition contains 64 pages including cover. Geospatial Media and Communications Pvt. Ltd. A - 145, Sector - 63, Noida, India Tel + 91-120-4612500, Fax +91-120-4612555/666 Price: INR 150/US$15

March-April 2021 | | 3


Disarmament in Space


pace has always been a great ‘asset’ for the military. The ability to conduct reconnaissance without dangerous clandestine forays in foreign airspace is a big attraction. While optical sensors on satellites were a big step forward from ultrahigh altitude spy planes like the U2, radar satellites provide information of a class beyond the capabilities of optical and IR sensors.

100 Km, also called the Kárman Line, where the speed of an aircraft has to be higher than the orbital speed in order to generate sufficient lift. In effect, everything below 100 Km is aeronautics, while everything above is astronautics. Many countries strenuously objected to this as it would restrict ICBMs, which spend a considerable time of their flight above 100 Km in a sub-orbital trajectory, and thus would violate the Outer Space Treaty. The treaty mentions ‘place’ and ‘stationing’ but is silent about ‘passage’. Thus, ICBMs and ASATs merely passing through outer Space on their mission do not violate the Treaty.

Yet another class of satellites are the ELINT satellites which can pick up radio chatter. Then there are the GNSS for location, navigation and timing used for guiding Prof. Arup Dasgupta offensive forces in the air, sea and on the ground. Conventional On December 4, 2014, the communications satellites are also General Assembly of the UN passed two more resoused for strategic communications in C4ISR. lutions on preventing an arms race in outer Space. In a classic spear and shield paradigm, powerful The first one calls on all States, in particular those with major Space capabilities, to contribute actively lasers have been used to blind optical spy satelto the peaceful use of outer Space and prevent an lites and jammers have been used to temporarily arms race in Space. The second one talks about no incapacitate radar, ELINT, GNSS and Comsats. first positioning of weapons in outer Space. ASATs are another approach for a more permanent solution by eliminating such satellites. But ASATs However, this has not prevented countries from create a mess of debris which threaten other Space looking at Space militarization and setting up Space assets. Nearly 250 trackable debris resulted from Commands — China and Russia in 2015, France in the Indian ASAT test on March 27, 2019. 2019 and the US in 2020. While such commands cover defense rather than offence, the dividing In 1967, anticipating such a scenario, the United line is thin. In a war situation, C4ISR uses all these Nations, in its Outer Space Treaty, specifically technologies for both offence and defense. Denial stated that “States shall not place nuclear weapons of GPS service, for example, in the Gulf War and or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or allegedly during the Kargil conflict are examples of on celestial bodies or station them in outer Space such offensive use. It is also alleged that a Russian in any other manner”. Note the use of the words satellite shadowed a US spy satellite and fired a ‘place’ and ‘station’. projectile at it. An interesting point much argued in the UN was Clearly, disarmament is not only needed on the definition of where outer Space begins. After Earth, but as the UN anticipates, in Space as well. much wrangling, it was decided that it begins at 4 | | March-April 2021


Change is the Constant


t’s truly my pleasure to have had the opportunity to perform the duties of Guest Editor for this edition of Geospatial World. There is rich content herein, provided by a broad range of professionals with a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. However, even in the broad spectrum of perspectives there are a few common themes.

Lieutenant General Mohanty speak about the realities of the current geopolitical milieu. Both of these distinguished military leaders share their perspectives on the increasing interest in the Indian Ocean region, drawing China, Russia, and the United States into reimagining their respective interests, with India playing a paramount role.

Finally, this edition chronicles several companies that are leading First, it’s clear that the only exciting advances in Remote constant in our business is change. Sensing: BlackSky, HawkEye360, In almost every piece that follows, and Capella Space. Brian E. O’Toole the authors articulate the changing of BlackSky shares their vision for nature of the people, processes, aggressively building out downand technology related to geospaKeith J. Masback stream applications for their electial and international security. tro-optical systems. HawkEye360 is Sir Stuart Peach recognizes the at the forefront of providing radio ongoing challenge of this change frequency (RF) Remote Sensing. Alex Fox shares and suggests: “The trick is to take advantage of new that the value of RF is that it “detects, characterizes, technologies, apply them quickly and not allow our and locates signals across land, sea, air, and Space.” own processes to get in the way.” Capella Space, along with ICEYE, Umbra, and others are offering next-generation commercial synthetic Second, to borrow a phrase from my colleague aperture radar (SAR). As many in our community Dr. Chris Tucker, is the challenge of the “cyber-locontend, and I concur, this seems like the advent of cation nexus”. We are all conditioned to believe an exciting new era for SAR. In sum, as commercial what we see on our screens. This is evidenced by Remote Sensing capabilities proliferate, the national myriad anecdotal examples of people driving into things like bodies of water because they were blindly security community will need to continually assess the balance between inherently governmental following their navigation device. In those cases, missions and missions that can be ‘offloaded’ to they were probably victims of devices with old or commercial providers. Clearly, most nations will bad data, but not because of any malign actors. In adopt a hybrid approach to gain access to the optimal this edition, Diana Furchgott-Ross raises concern about the reliability of our GNSS systems, specifically mix of both. GPS. Vice Admiral Robert Sharp shares his concern I hope all of you appreciate the depth and regarding GPS as well. Robert Cardillo goes further to talk about the importance of being able to assure the breadth of information and insights offered in this edition of Geospatial World. I encourage you to “pedigree of our pixels”, imploring our community share, discuss, and comment on the content in this to invest appropriate energy into assuring geospatial issue. Our community is stronger when we have a and image data provenance. vibrant discourse about what we do and how we do it. Everyone’s voice is welcomed and encouraged! Third, both Commodore Bhaskar (Retd) and March-April 2021 | | 5


New High-precision GNSS Receiver Module for Multi-Frequency and Multi-constellation Applications Telit has launched SE868SY-D, a multi-frequency, high-precision GNSS receiver module for applications that require high accuracy, fast updates, multi-constellation support and multipath resistance. At 11×11 mm, the SE868SY-D easily accommodates ultra-compact devices and Internet of Things (IoT) trackers. Featuring Sony’s CXD5610 GNSS receiver large scale integration, the SE868SY-D is the first product from a new strategic collaboration between Sony and Telit.

Key Features

• Full GNSS compliance: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and IRNSS/NAVIC • Dual-frequency for improved performances • Up to 25Hz update rate for high-dynamics applications • Embedded LNA allows use of passive antennas

The SE868SY-D module is Telit’s first multi-frequency, multi-constellation (MCMF) GNSS receiver module, featuring an ultra-sensitive -167 dBm (tracking) RF front end. By using both the L1 and L5 bands, the module supplies a significantly higher location accuracy than single-frequency devices — even in high-multipath environments such as urban canyons. The SE868SY-D offers a pin-to-pin compatible migration path in Telit’s portfolio for applications based on the legacy GPS module JF2 and GNSS module SE868V3.

New 3D Reality Capture Solution for Multiple Industries

Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, has launched a reality capture solution for a variety of industries. By combining Boston Dynamics agile mobile robot Spot with the Leica RTC360 3D laser scanner, scanning time spent by human operators is significantly reduced by programming the devices to repeat automated scanning paths through sites. This requires minimal monitoring by the user, allowing for increased scanning efficiency, productivity, and flexibility when planning reality capture tasks. Professionals in many different industries can benefit from programmed scanning tasks, especially for locations that must be repeatedly scanned for up-to-date digital twins. While mounted atop Spot, the Leica RTC360’s VIS (Visual Inertial System) technology uses five cameras to track the scanner’s movement within the site between the scans. The VIS provides an unmatched level of accurate and automated in-field pre-registration to streamline the reality capture process. 6 | | March-April 2021


• Allows users to speed up routine as-built documentation tasks • Capture data accurately, quickly, and frequently • Can be used by any industry with autonomous scanning needs, such as construction, manufacturing, facility management, public safety, defense, media and entertainment

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CHC Navigation (CHCNAV) has released the AlphaAir 450 (AA450) LiDAR system, a very lightweight and compact all-in-one sensor. Featuring internal IMU, GNSS, 3D scanner and camera, the AlphaAir 450 solution is widely used for power line inspection, topographic mapping, emergency response, agricultural and forestry surveys, and more. The unit is easy to use, and it is allowed for rapid deployment in the field. The AlphaAir 450 is a major breakthrough in the democratization of mobile mapping technology, allowing its use by non-professional users in the geospatial reality capture industry. The AlphaAir 450 weighs 1 kg,

Dual Frequency Timing Module to Counter Jamming, Spoofing Trimble has introduced its first dual-frequency embedded timing module that provides next-generation networks with 5-nanosecond accuracy. The Trimble® RES 720™ GNSS timing module is a surface-mount module that is easily integrated into network equipment. It uses L1 and L5 GNSS signals to provide superior protection to jamming and spoofing, mitigates multipath in harsh environments, and adds security features to make it the ideal choice for resilient networks. The RES 720 module measures 19 millimeters by 19 millimeters and provides a low-cost, easy-to-use, highly accurate and reliable GPS timing source for critical infrastructure in a broad range of industries. The RES 720 is an ideal solution for 5G Open RAN / XHaul, smart grid, data center, industrial automation and SATCOM networks as well as calibration services and perimeter monitoring applications.

Product Utility

• Better multi-path detection capabilities • Reduces the timing error under clear skies to less than 5 nanoseconds • Compensates for the ionospheric error from multi-GNSS satellite constellations

which is perfectly suited to the drones’ payload requirements. The lighter the unit, the longer the operating time of the drone, and the greater the productivity. By combining industrial grade GNSS with a high precision IMU, the AlphaAir 450 can easily achieve an absolute accuracy of 5 cm (vertical) and 10 cm (horizontal) for small survey areas, which is typically adequate for the most use cases. Featuring IP64 high-level protection, the AlphaAir 450 extends its operating temperature capabilities, down to -20℃ and up to +50℃, in any field environment and increases users’ return on investment by providing more field survey days in a year.

New Portable and Targeted 3D Data Capture Device for Scans in Tight Spaces

FARO Technologies, Inc. has released the Freestyle 2 handheld scanner for construction. This fast, portable, and targeted 3D data capture device can scan even the tightest spaces such as above ceilings, intertwined plumbing and fire protection systems, pipes and ducts, etc. more easily than ever. Whether being used standalone or combined with a FARO® Focus Laser Scanner, the Freestyle 2 gives contractors a new way to capture accurate 3D point clouds of their projects for planning, verification, and handover needs.

Major Highlights

Compact | Faster | More Complete Data Real-Time Visualization | Ideal Companion March-April 2021 | | 7


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data. The exponential increase in its availability in the recent past has made it a powerful tool for intelligence gathering. In September 2020, following a mysterious explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear complex, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced the construction of a new underground nuclear facility. The announcement triggered a race among GEOINT analysts to uncover the whereabouts of the new facility.

The challenge

According to experts, the global, daily visibility offered by satellite imagery is having an impact on the behavior of countries, especially with regard to high-interest activities, which could be viewed as security threats by other nations.

A PICTURE WORTH THOUSAND WORDS Planet data helped analysts uncover underground nuclear facilities in Iran.


ith a major shift in global geopolitics in the last few years, the significance of modern-day technology in gathering accurate and actionable intelligence has increased

significantly. An example of this is satellite imagery, which provides the power of visualization in real time. For years, satellite imagery has been used by the geo-intelligence (GEOINT) community to gather relevant

Geo-intelligence analysts routinely study and analyze numerous activities related to security risks. But how do they analyze activities that are performed covertly?

The requirement

Following the explosion at the Natanz nuclear complex, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis and his team from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) were keen to learn more about the development of the new plant. MIIS specializes in analyzing pressing geopolitical issues, such as the development of nuclear capabilities in regions of high interest. In addition to March-April 2021 | | 39

using open source intelligence, the institute relies on satellite imagery to understand patterns of life and detect and monitor ongoing changes on the ground. To gain a full understanding of the development of the construction, high frequency, high-resolution tasking imagery was required.

The solution

Planet’s solutions for the defense and intelligence sector offer unique capabilities, such as “always-on monitoring”, with rapid tasking to provide visibility into global events at the speed in which they develop. Daily cadence of Planet imagery helps to understand patterns and identify deviations from normal activity. As soon as the announcement of a new nuclear facility was made, using daily satellite imagery from Planet’s Dove constellation, Dr. Lewis’ team tracked early indicators of construction near Natanz. After obtaining the first indication of anomalies with PlanetScope, Dr. Lewis used Planet SkySat 40 | | March-April 2021

for a high resolution image of the suspected construction. The SkySat image showed a new construction area to the left of Natanz. It appeared that new roads were being built into the mountains, potentially for an underground facility. This is an excellent example of the power of tip and cue workflows in defense and intelligence. Both Planet’s medium- and high-resolution constellations played a key role in monitoring and reporting

on changes at the site.

The benefits

High cadence satellite imagery can play a crucial role in providing greater transparency into happenings around the world. In this case, Planet data helped identify the location of the new facility in the initial days of the construction. This meant comprehensive monitoring without any room for speculation.


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