DoD OKs List of Geographic Exclusion Zones for 2 Commercial Remote Sensing Imaging Systems

The Defense Department has cleared a list of 151 geographic exclusion zones for commercial shortwave infrared imaging and night-time imaging platforms, Space News reported Tuesday.

Two officials said Thursday at an Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing meeting DoD handed over the list to the Commerce Department to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facilitate the licensing process for commercial remote sensing systems.

“There is significant risk to military operations as it pertains to the commercial sale of shortwave infrared and imagery that is taken at high resolution at night,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mark Cobos, head of space policy efforts on the Joint Staff.

Cobos said DoD initiated the effort to develop licensing conditions and geographic exclusion zones for commercial shortwave and night-time imaging in January and received approximately 5,000 areas nominated by the national security community for exclusion.

He noted the Pentagon reduced that list to 83 exclusion zones for night-time imaging and 68 for shortwave infrared imaging.

“They are primarily military installations where we conduct training, where we prepare to go to war, where we are employing our force in direct preparation for a mission overseas, or a location overseas where they are currently operating,” Cobos added.

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