5D is a secondary imagery dissemination system designed to give imagery consumers timely and direct access to digital imagery data received from primary collections systems. Images are collected and maintained in one or more global data bases. 5D provides the tools that allow analyst to analyze, process and print the image. Developed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)(VA) for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OASD), 5D provides the ability to handle large volumes of digital imagery required by the automated mission support systems and obtain time critical support from theater production centers.
At the highest level of abstraction, the imagery production process is similar for all types of imagery. Imagery data is collected (e.g., by satellite or airplane) and sent to an initial processor; from this processor the data is sent through a dissemination system to a library or database. The imagery files are copied from the database to an exploitation system where intelligence products are generated; the resulting imagery products are returned to the database. Authorized users can access the images they need from this database. This entire process takes place within SCI enclaves for most types of imagery, even though most imagery is at the Secret Collateral level.
The entire 5D program will transition to be under NIMA perview as part of IPL. The EUCOM transition in 1998 laid the ground work for how other transition activities will work. The Image Product Archive /Image Product Library (IPA/IPL) is the migration system to replace the legacy Demand Driven Direct Digital Dissemination (5D) System when delivered. The transition of a site from an imagery dissemination system based on 5D to one based on the IPA will not be a turn key approach. Due to the widespread use of the 5D system and the criticality of the imagery dissemination function, a defined site transition process is required. While the IPA will be the imagery dissemination application, an extensive amount of the imagery community is still tied to the 5D application. The users workload has been increased due to the need to constantly move back and forth between the 5D and IPA applications.
To migrate from the current configuration to the target configuration of the NIL, CIL, and IPL utilizing the common client is seen to be a three phase migration. Phase 1 involves population of IPL from 5D. Phase 2 assumes IPL as the primary method of dissemination to feed 5D. Phase 3 is the total transition off 5D to IPL. IPL 2.0 will allow access to 5D holdings.
The first phase of migration is targeted at getting the two dissemination systems exchanging information in an automated fashion to allow equal access to products from either client system at a particular site. This phase began with the fielding of IPA 1.2.2 in June 1996, and it differs from the current configuration with the introduction of an automated replication application. Even though the 5D server does not come with these capabilities, maintenance routines written for 5D server to 5D server replication as well as backup functions provide all the pieces required. Due to the replication the user will not be forced to continue to swap from client to client for insertion of data (NITF 2.0 Level 3 and below). While the 5D users will be restricted to each sites repository of products per query, the use of the IPA server will result in access the distributed archive. This increase in product identification should help migrate the users from the 5D to the IPA application.
The second phase of migration concerns removing the dual located 5D server application. This is the first phase where maintenance requirements are reduced. The 5D server will be shut down reducing the upkeep, floor space, and maintenance of the site. Through the use of Mosaic the users will still be able to access those other sites still maintaining a 5D presence. The 5D viewer, through its command line interface, can become another site specified option for the viewer preference off of the IPA client. This will allow all printing, scanning, and product manipulation functions to be maintained. Those sites relying on imagery feeds from or to this site that have not yet migrated to the IPA architecture can continue to do so through the use of the replication application.
The third phase of migration deals with the further development of the Mosaic client interface to one defined by the emerging common client API. The 5D viewer is strictly considered as a possible external viewer along with a number of other COTS and GOTS options that each site can specify and use. The use of the current IPA client may possibly be significantly reduced as the common browser allows equivalent operations.
By early 1998 there was an acknowledgment that 5D will be required for several more years than originally planned. NIMA will fund the current 5D support program beginning in April 1998 to FY2001. IPLs out at sites need to work with 5D more gracefully. The transition plan establishes a team with members from NIMA, IPL developers, SPAWAR, and 5D developers to identify activities to support 5Ds in the theater. Based on benchmark test results, the team should be able to provide better data to the community to facilitate planning. As of late 1999 IPL problems remained at all levels. NIMA continued to work the issue of imagery and geospatial information storage and retrieval and was confident that a solution will be found. In the mean time browsers (e.g., 5D) will be utilized.