The Mississippi Space Commerce Initiative (MSCI) today announced the award of a $300,000 research contract to North American DataCom, Inc. . The contract is to demonstrate commercial applications of statewide remote sensing data. North American DataCom will team with PixSell Inc., a Mississippi information technology company, and The University of Mississippi's Department of Computer and Information Science. Under the six-month contract, the North American DataCom team will expand and enhance the existing ``Mississippi View'' data management system. The View System was developed by PixSell to provide greater access to Mississippi statewide remote sensing satellite and imagery. The enhanced archived View System makes it a Real Time asset for education, state agencies, and MSCI commercial users.
MSCI is a partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The University of Mississippi, and high technology businesses. NASA and The State of Mississippi fund MSCI projects. The mission of MSCI is to develop a remote sensing industry in Mississippi by commercializing the technologies developed by NASA at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, MS.
``This contract is an example of the benefits to The State of Mississippi as a result of its newly formed Communications Information Technology cluster. The Mississippi cluster of High Technology Companies are working together with key state organizations and higher learning centers to advance information technologies,'' stated Robert R. Crawford, CEO of North American DataCom. Mr. Crawford went on to say, ``North American's expertise in the fields of high speed telecommunications, secure mass data storage and backup, and Internet access will demonstrate an enhanced Mississippi Views system that is Internet accessible. The award of this contract indicates that our business strategy is targeting the high technology marketplace.''
North American will provide enterprise data storage, telecommunication services, and secure application hosting. PixSell and The University of Mississippi Computer Science Department will focus on developing interoperable geographic information applications.
``The work performed under this contract will set the stage for more high-technology development and investment in our State,'' Representative Roger Wicker said. ``This announcement underscores Mississippi's increasingly important role in space technology development and science.''
Dr. Allan Falconer, Director of MSCI stated, ``The opportunity to enable anyone in Mississippi to view, search, study, analyze and research multiple layers of remote sensing imagery data covering the entire state of Mississippi is unprecedented. No other state has such comprehensive data available on line, if they have the data sets at all.''
``PixSell realized as we designed the Mississippi Views system that its potential commercial uses and applications go beyond those anticipated at the start of the project. The Views System is a sophisticated Mississippi mapping system that incorporates satellite and other remote data sensing imagery. Users can study map data imagery or a detailed layered basis, as needed. The potential commercial applications for a statewide imagery archive, as well as its utility to state and local government officials, and the Mississippi geography education programs, are enormous. These applications create an opportunity, and a technical challenge.'' Said Christopher Roberts, chief executive officer of PixSell, ``Working with North American and the University of Mississippi Computer Science Department enables us to solve the challenges and demonstrate some of those applications.
Dr. Pam Lawhead, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Mississippi stated: ``There is a large commercial opportunity to provide on line access to large-area and State-wide remote sensing imagery archives. NASA strongly supports applications of remote sensing for State and local government requirements and has launched a new program, the State and Local Government Initiative, to fund research in these applications. We anticipate that the enhanced Mississippi Views archive system will be a good fit with NASA's remote sensing applications Strategic Plans. This project has the potential to develop an entirely new information technology business in the State of Mississippi, which can serve the entire nation.
North American and PixSell are members of the Mississippi Space
North American DataCom Inc.
David Cray, 662/424-5030
Donald Peyton, 228/688-2146
University of Mississippi
Pam Lawhead, 662/915-5356
Mississippi Space Commerce Initiative
Allan Falconer, 228/688-1936