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IDEX II work station


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

IDEX II work station

Collection Item Summary:

From 1991-2003, U.S. intelligence agencies used Lockheed's Image Data Exploitation (IDEX) II system to analyze digital imagery returned from photoreconnaissance satellites and aircraft. There were about 100 IDEX IIs deployed at DoD and intelligence agency locations around the world. They were used to analyze mostly high-interest targets and images that needed enhancing such as haze removal and contrast and brightness manipulation to fully exploit the data. The other digital imagery was run off in hard copy to be analyzed on light tables. The DoD and intelligence agencies replaced IDEX II with commercial hardware and programs, which enabled them to analyze virtually all the digital imagery on computers and thus retire the light tables.

IDEX II followed the first-generation IDEX I, which was built by E-Systems. Only ten IDEX Is were deployed from 1981-1991.

The IDEX systems permitted the enhancement of imagery to achieve more complete and precise analyses. They also made the storage, retrieval, and dissemination of imagery much easier and quicker. A color monitor is on the left, and a high-resolution black and white monitor is on the right. The goggles enabled the imagery analyst to view images stereoscopically.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency transferred this to NASM in 2005.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency




3-D: 203.2 x 142.2 x 73.7cm (80 x 56 x 29 in.)

Country of Origin

United States


EQUIPMENT-Mission Support

Inventory Number


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