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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

National Imagery Transmission Format Standard (NITFS)

The National Imagery Transmission Format Standard (NITFS) is the standard for formatting digital imagery and imagery-related products and exchanging them among members of the Intelligence Community (IC), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other departments and agencies of the United States Government as governed by Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) with those departments and agencies.

The purpose of NITFS is to transmit a file composed of an image accompanied by subimages, symbols, labels, text, and other information that relate to the image. One of the main features of the NITFS is that it allows several items of each data type to be included in one file, yet any data types may be omitted. The NITF file incorporates the CGM standard for graphics and accommodates user-selectable compression for images. The file is submitted to the Message Transfer Facility (MXF), which allows it to be transferred using any of a set of user-selectable protocols and media. The output is a message which, by conforming to the standards and their use, is compliant with the NITFS.

Sources and Methods

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Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike
Updated August 24, 2004