Primary Data Acquisition Devices (PDAD) Division

The Primary Data Acquisition Division (PDAD) supports the ASPRS mission in the field of data acquisition and collection. PDAD primarily concentrates on the remotely sensed data collected from instruments on airborne and spaceborne platforms including sensors, systems, and subsystems, and their data processing strategies and products. PDAD works with the manufactures and data providers to understand the quality and accuracy of such to inform and support ASPRS user needs.

In its beginnings, PDAD focused on aerial film cameras and their calibration to ensure that high-quality aerial-derived maps and related products could be made of the highest quality and accuracy. PDAD broadened its scope as technology and systems expanded to include digital imaging systems, multi- and hyper-spectral systems, lidar, radar, non-metric cameras and more, both airborne and spaceborne. PDAD Division works to identify and help write needed standards involving data instrumentation, collection, and processing. PDAD also works jointly with other divisions, notably the ASPRS Lidar Division and UAS Division in areas of mutual interest and concern.

New Satellite Reference Work

Inspired by the “Bill Stoney" list that was on the ASPRS website for many years, the USGS recently put out a comprehensive list of land remote sensing satellites.  You can download a copy here:

2023-2025 Officers

PDAD Director
Srini Dharmapuri

PDAD Assist Director
Ravi Soneja


Mission Statement

The mission of the Division is to provide a forum for information sharing and understanding of airborne and spaceborne primary data collection devices, their proper operation, and how the data from these instruments and sensors are calibrated, processed and, ultimately, applied.

The PDAD Division works to encourage awareness and proper employment of these data collection devices so that the products they generate may enhance geospatial knowledge and understanding.


  • Continue understand and document acquisition collection technology systems and devices and provide system information and performance information by working directly with manufacturer and data providers.
  • Working directly with other divisions and committees with specific focus on data and standards groups, such as the UAS and LIDAR Divisions, and the Standards Committee. Revitalize past proposed efforts if needed (joint committees).
  • Support integrated sensors, data, and products across various space, aerial and in situ Earth Observation components, and work to promote analysis ready data and interoperability processes, guidelines, and standards for such.
  • Work to better understand ASPRS User requirements for Remote Sensing data and information.
  • Reinvigoration of the digital imagery guidelines in conjunction with the Federal government’s Working Groups which are working to establish quality assurance processes for Government Industry, academia, and NGOs
  • Enhance baseline digital imagery quality and accuracy processes and standards for both manned and unmanned collection.
  • Provide support for the establishment of methodology for format and quality standards for digital imagery and LIDAR
  • Promote the need for integration and archive of valuable digital datasets for historical and future science purposes
  • Develop a common in situ test range standard and network to support better calibration, interaction, and understanding of aerial and satellite datasets