Operation Rampant Lion II
Project Rampant Lion II
Operation Rampant Lion II, conducted in Afghanistan during Spring and Summer 2008, developed new technologies for the rapid acquisition, processing, archiving, and distribution of a broad spectrum of commonly registered geospatial information, primarily to support military operations and counternarcotics objectives that also included testing the utility of new sensor systems for various applications. In addition, airborne support to an emerging riverine mission set in Iraq was also provided as part of Rampant Lion II. The operation was conducted by personnel from the Naval Research Laboratory, the US Navy's Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The operation was also supported by personnel from Canada's Directorate of Geospatial Intelligence, the Canadian Forces, and the United Kingdom. This activity provided a large volume of geospatial intelligence data and products that were able to be exploited in near-real time in support of coalition forces in theatre.
In March 2008, the Canadian Forces deployed an integrated Geospatial Intelligence Support Team (GIST) advance party to an in-country airfield in Afghanistan to support air and ground operations. This advance party included a geodetic survey capability to establish ground controls, as well as a small liaison team to coordinate operational requirements and logistical support.
In early April 2008, Naval Research Laboratory scientific staff, the full Canadian Forces GIST, and the US Navy air and ground crews from VXS-1 that operated the modified NP-3D airborne collection aircraft arrived at the airfield. The Naval Research Laboratory staff went airborne within days of its arrival. Shortly after, the NGA Support Team to Rampant Lion II arrived. NGA's Remote Replication System (RRS) personnel and hardware also played a critical role by ensuring effective and timely dissemination of data.
Rampant Lion II mission deliverables included individual images and orthomosaics captured from the electro-optical Applanix Digital Sensor System (a commercial camera system for digital mapping), as well as Light Detection and Ranging, unprocessed hyperspectral, processed gravity, processed aeromagnetic and thermal infrared sensor data.
NGA worked with domestic and international partners to bring Rampant Lion II imagery and derived geospatial intelligence products to deployed US and allied forces and analysts in the field on relatively short timelines. From their facility in Afghanistan, the Canadian Forces GIST and Naval Research Laboratory scientists processed electro-optical imagery as it came off the aircraft. Once the images were processed, NGA's RRS crew replicated the images for NGA Geospatial Support Teams and other customers and shipped them on hard drives to operational sites across Afghanistan to support warfighters. Meanwhile, a British and Canadian delegation worked alongside NGA personnel to process hyperspectral data. An example of the support rendered by Operation Rampant Lion II was on 30 April 2008, when the NGA's RRS crew provided the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit with a 34-image mosaic over part of the Helmand River Valley, the world's largest opium-producing region. This mosaic was so valuable that the users immediately requested a larger mosaic (115 images) covering their area of operations.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|