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Greetings Mission Planners,

The Big News is the Big Bang has reached the first CONUS units.  Of course if you used the March and April CSD's as I talked about last time you're up to speed before you even open the box.  

If you can't see the pictures in one of these emails you should  go look at the tip on the website.  If you have trouble printing you should try using the web version of the tip.  If you want to save a tip try printing the web version to a pdf file.  I use pdf995 ( which lets you "print" from any application to a pdf file, but there are other tools that do the same thing.  I like pdf995 because it's free and (as everyone knows) pilots are cheap.

As more 1 Meter CIB is released folks are finding  new big things that they can't find on the 5 Meter CIB - things like runways, shopping malls, Pac Bell Park etc.  What gives?  NGA is producing new 1 Meter CIB but they aren't producing new 5 Meter CIB at the same time.  That's a real shame because when the contractors have the imagery loaded to make the 1 Meter CIB they could make new 5 Meter at the same time with little more than the push of a button.  Even though we want 1 Meter Imagery we need current 5 Meter imagery too!  Viewing 1 Meter Imagery (1:5,000 scale) at 20% zoom (5 Meter resolution or 1:25K scale) requires moving 25 times as many zeros and ones and produces a product that looks demonstratably worse than 5 Meter CIB.  Want to view or print at 20 Meter resolution (1:100K scale)?  Can't do it with 1 Meter CIB.  We need high resolution, medium resolution and color low resolution imagery.  Even when you get on distro for 1:50K charts you still keep the JOG's around.  Imagery is just the same.

Mission Planning Tip: Big Bang 2004, Part II

There wasn't supposed to be a "Part II" to this article but some good questions have come up.  In a recent email Willie Kramer highlighted the fact that  a Chart Currency Check done with currency data from the April CSD (but before updating charts from the CD) tells you to update your system from the Big Bang CD's - not the CSD.  What gives?

On the CSD CD there's a file in the \NITF folder called index.ntf.  Despite the extension that screams "NITF", this is really a text file.  If you open it up in Notepad you'll see a list of every current NAVPLAN (JOG-GNC) filename and the CD you'll find it on.  Here's the first five records:


FalconView imports this data to determine chart currency.  As you may remember, the first five characters of the CADRG filename (along with the extension) defines it's geographic location, the next two characters are the "digital" edition and the final character is a producer code.  In the first record above, the file is located at "00000", it's on it's fourth digital release ("04"), was produced by NGA ("3" - just like all the other CADRG files) and is found on Edition 9 of the "CDRGXGNCJNCN" CD.  

One shortfall of the index.ntf file is it can only map a file to one location.  A frame file updated between the March CSD and the Big Bang will be on a Big Bang CD and on the April CSD, but the currency database only lists the Big Bang disc.  Bottom line is do a Chart Update from the April CSD Volume A CD before doing a Chart Currency Check.  It's a lot easier updating from that one disc instead of going through a stack of Big Bang CD's.

The RMF has posted new procedures for returning CDs and CD cases for destruction.

The National Security Agency (NSA) accept all NGA-produced classified (up to the level of secret) and sensitive CDs within the Federal Supply Class (FSC) 7644 (Digital) for destruction.

  • CDs must be shipped according to the following requirements:
  • Be separated from plastic jewel cases and paper wrappings or inserts.
  • Be packaged in boxes no larger than 18" by 18" by 18" weighing no more than 40 pounds each.
  • Direct deliveries must be coordinated with the Classified Material Conversion Office (LL14), Commercial: 301-688-7215 or DSN: 644-7215.
  • Be sent via the Defense Courier Service.
  • Products with security levels up to a SECRET can be sent by Registered Mail and products with security level up to confidential can be sent via First Class or Certified Mail to:

Director NSA
Suite 6890
9800 Savage Road
Fort George Meade, MD 20755-6890

Plastic Recycling, Incorporated has agreed to accept NGA-produced limited distribution including public sale CDs for recycling. The CDs must be separated from their plastic jewel cases and any paper wrappings or inserts. Plastic Recycling will also accept the jewel cases for recycling as long as they are separated from the CDs. Ship the separated limited distribution CDs and plastic jewel cases to the following address:

Plastic Recycling, Inc.
2015 S. Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 780-6100

These procedures are also in their new handbook page 21 and 22

Keep a box for CD's to send off for destruction.  When the box is full seal it up and ship it off to your new friends at Plastic Recycling.