Exelis VIS Developments Newsletter, May 2013




Exelis VIS Helping NASA Interns Bridge the Gap Between Science and Society


As part of NASAÂ’s Applied Sciences Program, the DEVELOP National Program conducts research projects that demonstrate the widest array of practical uses of NASAÂ’s suite of Earth-observing satellites. Exelis Visual Information Solutions donated licenses of its IDL and ENVI software to DEVELOP program interns for projects involving: ecology, fire monitoring, air quality and hydrology.

DEVELOPÂ’s Spring 2013 Virtual Poster Session (VPS) which took place in April, had 111 interns from around the globe create videos that showcase their research, demonstrate the practical benefits of NASAÂ’s investment in Earth science, and display their enthusiasm for connecting science with society. The VPS can be the most challenging aspect of the DEVELOP internship, forcing interns to step outside of their comfort zones as they use video to present their research to a global audience. DEVELOP interns conducted 24 projects during the spring of 2013. One VPS that utilized ENVI was created by Katelyn Salem, Rebecca Frye, and Ralph Evans. This VPS focused on detecting change in the South Carolina wetlands using NASA Earth Observations and can be viewed here.

The spring VPS winning team was the Oregon Health and Air Quality team. Their video, which highlights the use of NASA remote sensing and modeling capabilities in tracking air quality concerns related to public health as a result of the 2012 Pole Creek fire in Oregon, can be viewed here.

Landsat 8 Promises More Great
Glimpses of Earth

The first image from the new LDCM sensor revealed by NASA in March looked spectacular and whetted our appetite for more! The image includes Exelis VIS home in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, which also happens to be the home of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation where the OLI sensor and part of the TIRS sensor aboard LDCM were built. The image was collected at 1:40 p.m. EDT on March 18.


ENVI, our premier geospatial software, supports the digital file format generated by the new satellite. ENVI will enable organizations around the world to effectively use Landsat 8 data for applications critical to global change research: agriculture, mapping, geology, forestry, regional planning, surveillance, and education.

The level of detail in these new images is largely due to the new push broom design of both the OLI and TIRS instruments. Previous Landsat instruments employed whisk broom sensors, which scan back and forth to cover a full swath on the ground. Push broom sensors collect data across the whole width of the imaged area simultaneously, allowing a longer dwell time for each pixel.

Before Landsat 8 data are ready for prime time, though, additional validation and other preparations are still necessary. Normal operations are scheduled to begin in late May, when control of the system will be transferred to the USGS. At that time, the system will be renamed Landsat 8.

VISualize 2013:
Global Change & Environmental Monitoring

If your organization tracks, predicts, or deals with the impacts of global or environmental change, than VISualize 2013 is a must-attend for you and your team. The two-day event is hosted by Exelis VIS at the World Wildlife Fund Conference Center in Washington, D.C. June 11th and 12th.


Some of the topic areas that will be presented at VISualize include:

  • Method comparison for assessing wetland change
  • Developing best practices for image validation
  • Monitoring agricultural sustainability
  • Remote sensing of aquatic vegetation
  • Mapping vine-infested open canopy forest

There will also be a Landsat 8 seminar on Thursday, June 13, at the World Wildlife Fund. This optional third day will focus on the new and improved capabilities of the recently launched Landsat 8 satellite. Learn more or register now.


Redesigned With You in Mind Exelisvis.com


The new and improved Exelisvis.com was unveiled on April 1. If you haven't checked us out in a while be sure to visit the revamped site that includes useful information about our products and services and will help you easily access:

  • User contributed code extensions for ENVI, ENVI LiDAR, and IDL
  • Forums that help you connect with colleagues and share ideas
  • Centrally located information about product maintenance and updates
  • Technical support teams and existing support claims

To access the improvements to exelisvis.com , use your existing website credentials to log into the new site via the “My Account” link in upper right-hand corner of the site.  

Watch this short video to learn more about the new exelisvis.com!  


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See us at these upcoming trade shows:

VISualize 2013
June 11-12, 2013
Washington DC

2013 Esri International User Conference
July 8-12, 2013
San Diego, CA











See all Exelis events and training .

Application Development with IDL
May 8, 2013
– Bracknell, UK  

Introduction to IDL
May 15, 2013
– Bracknell, UK  

ENVI Boot Camp
May 14, 2013
– Charlottesville VA  

Exploring ENVI 5.0
June 6, 2013
– Gilching, DE  




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