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 NIMA Library Program (NLP) incorporates the Image Product Archive (IPA) and Image Product Library (IPL) efforts. The IPL Requirements Document is now known as Appendix 40 to the NLRD (NIMA Library Requirements Document). The NIMA Library developer successfully passed the PDR milestone in early 1998.
A solution to the legacy data (specifically, SI/TK and codeword) issue rests with the NIMA Library contractor. The question centers around the issue of the guard processing downgraded data that possesses SI/TK and/or codeword markings "burned in" to the file, object, etc. The NIMA Library Requirements Document (NLRD) addresses releasability issues (the document is For Official Use Only).