In the future, soldiers at a forward-operating base may be able to access data from national satellites, aircraft and any other sensor in the vicinity.
U.S. Army officials envision a future in which ground and air platforms share data and where soldiers at a remote forward-operating base asily can access information from any sen- sor in the area, including national satellites or
reconnaissance aircraft flying overhead. To achieve this
big data vision, the service has initiated three pilot projects
designed to provide Google-style access in a tactical environment to the lowest echelon without
overwhelming soldiers with unnecessary data.
The biggest challenge in the intelli-
gence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) arena is data
management, says Stephen Kreider, Army program execu-
tive officer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors
(PEO-IEW&S). “It’s all about big data—how to process it
in terms of the fusion and the algorithms for continuity
and the meshing of different sensors, how to transport it to
the sites that need it, and how to get it down to the lowest
level at the tactical edge,” Kreider declares.
Modern-day warfighters are accustomed to having information at their fingertips when using Google
or smartphones, but providing similar capabilities to
warfighters at a remote forward-operating base is a
challenge. “Google, Amazon and cellphone systems
don’t have the requirement to do that in a disconnected,
intermittent, limited—or what we call a DIL—
environment down to the tactical edge. They rely on a very
robust infrastructure, which we don’t have the privilege
of having in contingency operations around the world,”
Kreider points out.
To wrestle with the reams of data and get the information where it is needed when it is needed, the service
has kicked off a series of pilot programs, all of which
are part of the move toward the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE). The
The U.S. Army moves toward the intelligence community common environment.
Tackling Big Data
With Small Projects
BY GEORGE I.