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

“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
Commerce Initiative.

North American DataCom Inc.

David Cray, 662/424-5030


PixSell Inc.

Donald Peyton, 228/688-2146


University of Mississippi

Pam Lawhead, 662/915-5356


Mississippi Space Commerce Initiative

Allan Falconer, 228/688-1936