Top Secret IDF spy agency comes out of the cold and to the driver's seat

The unit deals with geo-visual intelligence gathering, the field is a large one and includes mapping, base location technologies, satellites and photo analysis.

Venus satellite  (photo credit: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SPACE MINISTRY)
Venus satellite
Unit 9900 is the IDF's satellite branch, essentially serving as the eyes of the security services for any operational or information-gathering need.
Unit 9900 is the sister-unit of Unit 8200. Unit 8200 is part of general knowledge, famous and widely known for being the ears of the Israel's security services. Comparatively little is known about Unit 9900.
Now, after seven decades of top-secret work and with a graduate pool of 25,000 people, co-founder the group Shir Agassi spoke with World Israel News to share some of what their monitors do and what their connection is to recent changes in civilian technology.
The unit deals with geo-visual intelligence gathering. This large field includes mapping, base location technologies, augmented and virtual realities, satellites, photo analysis   demanding fields which require they stay at the apex to assure Israel's ability to be prepared for missions while staying abreast of hostile force activities anywhere in the world.
These innovative technologies, science-fiction and comic-book writer Warren Ellis noted, are why people born today in industrial countries will never get lost. Moovit, Gett and Waze are all founded on mapping technology, Agassi explains.
Different types of data require different types of sensors;; star, lidar, thermal and electro-optical are all different kinds of sensors. When conditions change such as at night,  in rain or fog, different sensors are needed to correctly capture the data.
The information also needs to be correctly interpreted by experts who can point to evidence of the earth being disturbed as an indication that army bases are being construction or thermic evidence suggesting efforts being make to develop new types of weapons.
In the field of civic technology, a smart car would need to correctly understand how to react to rain, for example, making such tools vital for the car of the future. To effectively manage large scale forests, high-quality data and cognition tools are needed to fight large-scale forest fires or to prevent disease.
According to Agassi, while space exploration is an exciting potential field for mapping technologies, Israel does not yet have the capability to send rockets to space or build colonies on the moon. Till then, Israel can advance the field by creating technologies to improve future usage, such as manufacturing nano-satelites.
Another important facet of mapping technologies is medical research, improving the means to map the human body in order to detect early signs of disease can be of enormous value.
Aggasi places his hopes on the network of graduates. Those who finish their service now will be able to find ways to keep making Israel, and the world, a better place in the future.