The Elite 6 award in the GEOINT category went to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center's Airborne Cueing and Exploitation System — Hyperspectral (ACES-Hy).
The payload was designed to sense explosives components by collecting data from channels in the near-visible to the edge of the mid-wave infrared spectrum, making it suitable for deciphering camouflage, as well as plumes or aerosols that would emanate from bomb-making facilities.
See full coverage of C4ISR & Networks' Elite 6 awards.
The 100-pound sensor flies on Predator unmanned aircraft, and is the first military version that can fly on these UAV types.
Air Force analysts at NASIC advocated, facilitated and successfully transitioned ACES-Hy's near real-time processing, exploitation and dissemination operations to two air intelligence units in Kuwait in 2014. ACES-Hy recently identified the discovery of an assessed 37 tons of illicit material for targeting considerations.
GEOINT Analysis Squadron's Assistant Director of Operations 1st Lt. Michael Kanaan accepted the award.
See video of Kanaan's acceptance speech.
"Thank you to C4ISR & Networks for the opportunity to highlight the fantastic collaboration and work not only going on at NASIC, but across the intelligence community with various analysts involved with the ACES-Hy program," said Kanaan, assistant director of operations for the GEOINT Analysis Squadron. "The full realization of taking this emerging technology and what is essentially an R&D function, and subsequently creating meaningful intelligence to give to the war fighter in a quick and precise manner, speaks volumes about the caliber of the people involved in this program, and serves in the future as a model for non-literal force employment and future increased analytic rigor across the community."