MU gets defense funding

College of Engineering researchers will work to develop technology to analyze surveillance tools.
Friday, December 30, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:12 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Center for Geospatial Intelligence at MU will receive $1.75 million in next year’s defense appropriations bill, according to a recent announcement by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo.

Geospatial intelligence is information gleaned from sources that include maps, satellite imagery, aircraft video and a constantly growing arsenal of surveillance tools, used primarily by the military.

CGI’s main project, located in the MU College of Engineering, is to develop methods of processing the incessant stream of information that is otherwise considered overwhelming for people to analyze, explained Zhihai He, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering. CGI was established in early 2004.

“There is a need to develop a computer-based method to automate the information analysis,” he said.

In October, the center announced a $1.6 million construction project of research laboratories in unused space provided by the College of Engineering.

The center is the only university program of its kind nationally and works closely with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in Washington and St. Louis.

Unlike many federal grants, the project is a “plus up” in the federal defense budget, he said, which means that the technology and research is officially appropriated.

Bond will be announcing the grant on Jan. 3 in the Portrait Gallery of Lafferre Hall at MU.

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