Q&A with Dave Peters, director, Intelligence Community Business Development
What is AGI’s role in the GEOINT Community?
AGI is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software company serving both industry and government. We provide game-changing tools that model, analyze, and visualize objects in space and time with unprecedented accuracy.
STK, or Systems Tool Kit, is our core product. It’s a desktop app for modeling and analyzing satellite and aircraft systems. We save our customers time by providing quick answers to questions like, “Where are my assets over time?” or “What targets are visible to my sensors?”
We also offer our Space Situational Awareness suite, which provides tools like quick maneuver detection to provide a picture of what you do and don’t need to worry about in space. We also provide all STK algorithms in a development environment called STK Components.
How do you keep pace with the constantly changing face of intelligence?
We release new versions of our software multiple times a year and constantly add new functionalities based primarily on user feedback. We listen closely to the difficulties expressed by our users to make sure our software addresses emerging challenges. We also have tremendous subject matter experts sitting beside our software developers to make sure we’re pushing new technology, new phenomenology, new ways to model systems, and new systems themselves.
What advice do you have for companies seeking to transform their data management and security practice?
Securing data is of course a first-level priority, but making it sharable is imperative, and makes the data so much more valuable to our community and our customers who need data to feed STK. Hopefully new multi-level security and identity management solutions will allow the right data to get to the right users securely.
How is open-source data important to national security?
There are lots of great new capabilities being presented through open-source projects. But programs need to be sure they’re not taking open-source code and creating their own stovepipe version of an application, which is ultimately going to raise maintenance costs. Even so, the opportunity for open source to rapidly propel missions is fantastic.
Our open-source product, Cesium, provides a time-dynamic globe in a web browser. A lot of programs use it as a replacement to Google Earth Enterprise. Users in the IC, DoD, and industry often use Cesium in ways we didn’t even think about until we saw it at a conference. That’s the beauty of open source.
What differentiates AGI software from competitors?
Our software is ready to use immediately, as opposed to software development efforts that often fall behind schedule or run over budget. Additionally, keeping up with community needs means adding new functionality all the time. We help anyone involved with space systems, manned and unmanned aerial systems, and ballistic systems. Our users are able to monitor many different types of sensors—onboard systems, tracking sensors, GEOINT/SIGINT, and more. Having the breadth of capabilities we offer out of the box saves our customers time and money, and that’s a big differentiator.
What emerging trends is AGI most excited about?
We see increasing complexity in GEOINT. It’s multi-domain, and mixed between government and commercial. That’s exciting, but creates a need for system orchestration along the lines of all the capabilities previously mentioned. Problems are getting harder, people need analytical results faster, and legacy tools and methods used in the past will be hard to use in this new, rapidly changing environment.
How have you personally benefitted from USGIF membership?
USGIF membership has given me tremendous opportunities to advance my career. Attending large events like the GEOINT Symposium and smaller gatherings like GEOINTeraction Tuesday has helped expand my understanding of the many aspects of GEOINT, get a chance to speak with and learn from leaders in our community, and helped expand my network, all of which makes me better at my job and increases the value of AGI’s contributions to the community.
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