6 Apr, 2005 NRC-IRAP contribution supports Intermap's digital mapping of the earth's surface using X and P-band radar
Denver, Colorado - April 6, 2005 -Intermap Technologies, (IMP - TSX) announced today that the Canadian Government's National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) has awarded Intermap a contribution of $454,000 for further research and development of the Company's X and P-Band radar technology, which is utilized for digitally mapping 3-dimensional images of the earth's surface. The IRAP contribution will be used to conduct R&D activities related to Intermap's innovative airborne data acquisition, processing and analysis methods and algorithms.
"The most exciting potential application for this technology is for our NEXTMap initiative, because it will allow us to strip away riparian vegetation that obscures river banks and small drainage channels," said Brian Bullock, president & CEO of Intermap. "We managed around this in the UK for NEXTMap Britain though post-collection data processing. However, P-Band technology provides an opportunity for a direct measurement method of resolving heavy vegetation at the data collection point for NEXTMap applications. In our NEXTMap USA project, this is particularly valuable east of the Mississippi."
"Intermap has been at the forefront of utilizing radar imaging to create digitized 3D maps of the earth for many years," stated Dr. Bryan Mercer, Intermap's chief scientist. "Using our Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) technology, we employ standard short-wavelength X-band systems, which can provide detailed Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) of the earth's surface. However, in heavily treed areas, where the ground is obscured by dense vegetation, we need to 'see through the trees' to get a bare-earth view. P-band IFSAR, because of its long wavelength, has the potential to achieve this goal."
Intermap has already been working with P-Band on several pilot projects to map the earth's surface beneath forest canopy. By using additional measurement techniques, called multi-polarization, Intermap believes it can further refine the accuracy.
By itself, P-Band data sometimes leave unanswered the question of exactly where the measurement is coming from - the vegetation or the earth's surface. According to the research of a number of groups working internationally, the addition of multi-polarization capability allows the 'ground return' to be specified. Since the Intermap's TOPOSAR system has full multi-polarization P-Band capability, it enables Intermap to further explore the benefits of this enhancement. The contribution from NRC-IRAP will support this exploration.
"P-Band IFSAR is a technology in development," states Mercer. "These results are very encouraging, and we plan additional work to refine the accuracy of the DTM, in particular pursuing the additional value of the multi-polarization capability. Using the combination of P- and X-Band, the potential applications are fascinating, not only from the bare-earth perspective but also with regard to the potential for canopy height and structure estimates as they apply to derived products such as bio-mass and wildfire fuel maps."
About the NRC
The National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) is Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is a vital component of the NRC, a cornerstone in Canada's innovation system, regarded worldwide as one of the best programs of its kind.
NRC-IRAP's mandate - to stimulate wealth creation for Canada through technological innovation - is largely accomplished by providing technology assistance to SMEs at all stages of the innovation process, to build their innovation capacity. NRC-IRAP helps SMEs understand the technology issues and opportunities and provides linkages to the best expertise in Canada. For more information, visit http://irap-pari.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca.
Intermap is digitally remapping entire countries, building unprecedented national databases, called NEXTMap, of highly accurate digital topographic maps (including elevation). Customers purchase Intermap's high-quality, low-cost data to facilitate better decision-making for numerous commercial, government, military and consumer applications.
Demand for NEXTMap data is growing as new commercial applications are emerging, including geographical information systems (GIS), engineering planning, transportation, automotive, navigation, flood, irrigation, environmental management and planning, telecommunications network planning, aviation, simulation and 3D visualization. Internet applications include virtual tours, topographic maps and computer games. The products are also used to add interactive intelligence to airborne and satellite images.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Intermap employs more than 250 people worldwide, with offices in Calgary, Ottawa, Munich and Jakarta. Intermap is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IMP. For more information, visit www.intermap.com.
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