The Magazine of the National Intelligence Community
HUMINT Builder Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn Director Defense Intelligence Agency
Tactical Cloud Computing O Human Terrain Tools Hyperspectral Imaging O Operationalizing Integration
March 2013 Volume 11, Issue 2
View From the Hill Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.)
GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE FORUM Features
March 2013 Volume 11, Issue 2
Cover / Q&A
Clouds at the Edge Deployments of cloud computing nodes to the Afghanistan theater will influence how the U.S. military gathers, develops and delivers intelligence to warfighters for years to come, analysts predict. By Peter Buxbaum
17 Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn Director Defense Intelligence Agency
Representative Doug Lamborn discusses his bill to streamline federal activities dealing with mapmaking. The “map it once, use it many times act” would reform, consolidate and reorganize federal geospatial activities.
The next step for the IC is to transform the all-source intelligence cycle by bringing collection and analysis together to support event-based intelligence. By Joanna Davenport
As the understanding of local populations grows in importance, human terrain toolkits and other products are aiding socialcultural analysis. By Karen E. Thuermer
View from the Hill
Human Terrain Technology
Seeing More with Hyperspectral Imaging The recent selection of a hyperspectral imaging sensor to be used on the Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady has underscored the growing importance of that type of sensing technology. By Henry Canaday
2 Editor’s Perspective 14 Industry Raster 27 Resource Center
Vice President for Sales ClearTerra
Geospatial Intelligence Forum Volume 11, Issue 2 • March 2013
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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE With a growing and technologically changing mission and—like many federal agencies—a substantial cadre of critical employees nearing retirement age, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency understandably devotes considerable efforts to recruitment and workforce development. Somewhat surprisingly, a new report suggests that the agency will have access to an adequate supply of people with geospatial intelligence and related skills. But NGA leaders are going to have to work hard, be imaginative and reach out to others in the field to keep pace over the coming decades. Harrison Donnelly The report by the National Research Council was in response to a Editor request from H. Greg Smith, NGA’s chief scientist, to assess the supply of expertise in geospatial intelligence fields, identify gaps in expertise relative to NGA’s needs, and suggest ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise. “Despite its need for highly specialized knowledge and skills, NGA has the comparative luxury of being a small employer in the burgeoning geospatial enterprise,” the report concludes. “NGA is probably finding sufficient experts in all core areas, with the possible exception of GIS and remote sensing.” What particularly caught my eye in the report was its distinction between five core GEOINT disciples— geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and GIS and geospatial analysis—and five emerging areas: GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics and forecasting. The problem with the emerging areas is that, being new, they are not well established within academic geospatial programs, and so are producing relatively few trained people. Fortunately, the report identifies a number of ways to develop its workforce, including looking beyond the 50 or so academic institutions where NGA currently focuses its recruiting efforts, supporting interdisciplinary curricula, increasing the number of NGA employees receiving university training at government expense, and offering grants to establish research centers in the emerging fields.
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VIEW FROM THE HILL
Map it Once, Use it Many Times Legislation would bring common sense reforms to federal geospatial programs by eliminating duplication and enhancing coordination. By Representative Doug Lamborn
Like so much within the federal bureaucracy, the government’s geospatial activities are in need of reform, consolidation and reorganization. That is why I plan to reintroduce my “Map it Once, Use it Many Times” bill in the new Congress. I hope to renew the discussion of this critical but overlooked need, with the ultimate goal of improving our nation’s geospatial activities. We all remember President Obama’s quip about federal regulation of salmon: “The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.” The problem identified by the president is evident in federal mapping and geospatial activities. If you want a topographic map, you go to the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) in the Interior Department. If you want a shoreline map, you go to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If you want to add federal parcels, you have to go to the Bureau of Land Management. With today’s geographic information systems (GIS) technology, this duplication and overlapping of activities should no longer occur. The practice in federal agencies is “map it many times and hoard the data,” whereas it should be to “map it once and use it many times.” My bill is based on input from hearings held by the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, a review of past studies, and input from stakeholders. “Map It Once, Use It Many Times” would provide a new approach to federal geospatial data collection and management. While there have been outstanding studies and reports over the past 40 years by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), National Academy of Public Administration, National Research Council and others, my bill is the first legislative proposal to begin implementing these studies’ findings and recommendations. If NOAA is transferred to the Department of the Interior, should its mapping, charting and geodesy functions be merged with existing Interior activities in this field? Should the existing geospatial activities of the Interior Department be consolidated? Why do we have one surveying and mapping function for public lands in BLM, and another in the Forest Service? This bill begins to seek answers to these questions. In fact, more than 40 federal agencies have geospatial activities. My bill would better manage these resources in agencies that fall under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Natural Resources. Currently, federal geospatial activities are coordinated under the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), which is chaired by the Department of the Interior and staffed in the USGS. When the Government Accountability Office last reviewed FGDC’s effectiveness, it found that “these efforts have not been fully successful in 4 | GIF 11.2
reducing redundancies in geospatial investments for several reasons. First, a complete and up-to-date strategic plan for doing so has not been in place. Second, agencies have not consistently complied with OMB guidance that seeks to identify and reduce duplication. Finally, OMB’s oversight of federal geospatial activities has not been effective … As a result of these shortcomings, federal agencies are still independently acquiring and maintaining potentially duplicative and costly data sets and systems. Until these problems are resolved, duplicative geospatial investments are likely to persist.” Furthermore, there is a capable private sector in the geospatial field. Yet many federal agencies duplicate and sometimes compete with private firms. At a time of record debt and deficits, we need to eliminate duplication across agencies as well as with the private sector, so federal assets and resources are focused on those things only government can do. Finally, efforts to collect and make available geospatial data necessary for government programs, economic growth, homeland security and other applications have fallen behind. The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), an integrated series of foundation mapping information first envisioned in Executive Order 12906 in 1994, has yet to become a reality. These are among the issues the “Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act” seeks to address. Briefly, the bill proposes the following: consolidate responsibilities for NSDI leadership in a National Geospatial Technology Administration within USGS; merge duplicate federal geospatial programs of the Interior Department, Forest Service and NOAA into the new administration; encourage the uses of commercial data and private sector service providers; and establish a National Geospatial Policy Commission to replace the FGDC in order to provide a priority-setting mechanism that not only includes federal agencies, but Congress and non-federal stakeholders as well. In addition, the bill would provide for acquisition of professional geospatial services on the basis of quality, qualifications and experience of competing firms; establish an advocacy function for the dynamic U.S. private sector geospatial community; and coordinate the tens of millions of dollars the U.S. government spends each year on geospatial-related research and development around strategic goals that meet the needs of government and the private sector. O Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. For more information, contact GIF Editor Harrison Donnelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.gif-kmi.com.
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Operationalizing Integration The next step is to transform the all-source intelligence cycle by bringing collection and analysis together to support event-based intelligence. Integrated all-source intelligence, in at least one interpretation, is anything that feeds real-time situational awareness in a way that allows the warfighter or decision-maker to have an uninterrupted, all-encompassing understanding of the situation in time to take action. It’s having enabled collectors in place to facilitate comprehensive, on-demand collection of information that is enhanced by analyst and user involvement in the cycle. It is real-time situational awareness prioritized by what is important at any moment. It’s real-time, dynamic tasking of collectors for continued support to operations as they evolve, not after they are complete. It’s crosscommunity, cross-phenomenology and crossdiscipline. It’s collaborative. It’s telling users not just what happened, but what it means. The intelligence community has become very adept at collecting information—so much so that the really important information becomes lost in the morass of data collected from various intelligence disciplines. We have studied concepts including upstream processing, cross-cueing, and the transition from feature-based intelligence to activity- or event-based intelligence. The next step is to transform and accelerate the all-source intelligence cycle through the integration of collection and analysis in a way that supports intelligence based on events rather than intelligence based on the fixed attributes of a target. The recent realignment by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of its key directorates is based on the understanding that collection and analysis function best when closely aligned. If DIA’s realignment is realized to its full extent, it will not only help to evolve and institutionalize all-source tradecraft, a key mission for DIA, but also serve as the impetus for the IC to fully realize a true multi-intelligence (multi-INT) environment. In order to transform the current way of doing business, the community must apply new source and analytic methodologies and new practices to evolve all-source tradecraft to integrated tradecraft. Integrated tradecraft 6 | GIF 11.2
By Joanna Davenport
AOR, time researching, training, and interwill require a transformed intelligence cycle acting with other AOR experts, and more to accommodate the integration of collecimportantly, functional experts focused on tion and analysis and the paradigm shift to the same AOR. event-based or activity-based intelligence. A transformed intelligence cycle requires new methods for rapidly collectImplementation Efforts ing, processing, analyzing and disseminating intelligence— The IC should consider traditional and nontradiways to expedite the integrational, whether classified or tion through the implementaopen source. tion of various efforts: Today’s event-based intelligence problems require • Integrate collection and direct and real-time access analysis career specialties. Allto all data gathered, which in source intelligence officers turn requires an enhanced, should be trained in both Joanna Davenport expanded and more enabled collection and analysis and be collection and analysis cycle. The collecrequired to serve tours in both functional tion process could work more efficiently areas. Although this might require if the traditional barriers used to manage a change to how intelligence officers collectors were adapted to accommodate are trained, the return on investment the more expedited timeframe associated would pay immediate dividends just by with today’s intelligence challenges and the linking intelligence experts together digital environment. for coursework while broadening and By linking collectors and analysts, both deepening the holistic knowledge needed through informal collaboration opportunito address intelligence issues. ties and formal associations via topically or • Analyst support to the collector program. regionally focused centers, as well as enabling Analysts deploy to the collection AOR, them through IT and mission applications, whether to an overt or covert location, collection cycles could be shortened, and color both, for a short period of time to lectors could be empowered with a better work with on-site collectors. This would understanding of what is most important to allow analysts to understand collection collect. Given the enormous volumes of data limitations and how to design and being collected across disciplines, the linkprioritize a requirement while also age between the two functional areas would establishing the necessary relationship also allow more focused collection and analyand piecing together the detailed sis that could help to identify what we didn’t data that facilitates accurate analytic even know we needed to know. judgments. Further, it would help to Today’s issues require analysts to hold a establish the foundational understanding broader understanding of what’s happening of the AOR or subject matter. in their area of responsibility (AOR), including • Language- and culture-enabled collectors the cultural dynamics, demographics, popuand analysts. All-source event-based lation and cultural beliefs. Users don’t want analysis relies on understanding the to know the features of the crowd massing human element in the context of its in the square; they want to know what they environment. It includes understanding are doing and where they are going. Building the language, culture and mores critical this expertise, however, is a time-consumto why people do what they do and how ing process that requires time working the that influences the events of the world. www.GIF-kmi.com
• Foundational analysis. All-source analysis must evolve to include nontraditional sources that extend beyond traditional data to where it becomes the norm. The ability to do so requires analysts to understand the limitations of these alternative sources of information, as well as the art of the possible, then incorporate the appropriate data into a comprehensive understanding of an area that can serve as contextual atmospherics in characterizing event-based intelligence. Collection and analysis, whether raw data or finished reporting, must be more discoverable and accessible via open IT environments. We need to have an analytic environment that serves up the data, and the right data from applicable sources, so analysts can focus on putting the puzzle together rather than looking for the pieces. While the Quint initiatives have made tremendous progress in identifying IT initiatives common to the various agencies, their focus is predominately network
standardization, creating a new common domain, and replicating common user services such as email, security, common applications, voice and video to enable analysis from any agency at any location. The Quint initiatives will result in important cost savings for IT. But what about the mission applications—those that are specific to an intelligence discipline, but more importantly, those that cross intelligence disciplines? With collectors and analysts flooded in data and each agency developing its own applications to handle the amount and disparity of data, especially in a fiscally constrained environment, we must identify those apps that are common across the agencies and those that are not. Many mission applications within these agencies will prove to be common across agencies. Those experts working on the Quint IT initiatives must accommodate these mission applications in their IT planning—the ones common across agencies and those that remain unique to a specific discipline. Collectors and analysts will need to execute the mission.
While the Quint initiatives represent a new way of doing business in the IT arena that will result in cost efficiencies, the profoundly changing operational environment coupled with current fiscal constraints have provided the community with a unique atmosphere to truly realize a multi-disciplined, multi-sourced, multi-INT capability. We should be using this shift in the way we view IT infrastructure as the foundation for the development of a similar set of initiatives focused on mission applications, and then linking the two to enable purveyors of tradecraft. At the same time, we should be evolving the intelligence cycle and integrating the all-source tradecraft. O Joanna Davenport is DIA account manager and vice president, national security sector, for SAIC.
For more information, contact GIF Editor Harrison Donnelly at harrisond@kmimediagroup. com or search our online archives for related stories at www.gif-kmi.com.
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GIF 11.2 | 7
Army intel program deploys first tactical cloud computing node in Afghanistan. Deployments of cloud computing nodes to the Afghanistan theater within the last year and a half will influence how the U.S. military gathers, develops and delivers intelligence to warfighters for years to come, analysts predict. In mid-2011, the Army shipped a first tactical cloud node to Bagram Airfield in northern Afghanistan. That has since been followed by a second node to Kandahar in the south, as well as technical improvements in these purpose-built tactical cloud nodes. The deployment of these tactical cloud nodes represents several important developments. The first is the continued embrace by the Army and Department of Defense of cloud computing, which many analysts describe as the most important phenomenon in information technology today. Among other things, the continued adoption of cloud infrastructures promises reduced IT costs and enhanced capabilities in analyzing big data sets, which are becoming ubiquitous in an intelligence environment that increasingly relies on data-dense imagery and video.
8 | GIF 11.2
By Peter Buxbaum GIF Correspondent
The Army’s tactical cloud nodes are being developed and deployed as part, and to enhance the capabilities, of the Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A), one of a family of programs with common elements being developed and deployed separately by each of the armed services. DCGS is designed to provide an interoperable architecture for the collection, processing, exploitation, dissemination and archiving of all forms of intelligence. The fact that the DCGS-A cloud nodes have been deployed to a theater of operations adds an additional and unique wrinkle to the story. Storing and analyzing intelligence data on the spot, without having to rely on long-distance communications lines, facilitates the delivery of actionable intelligence to the warfighter. “We believe ours was the first tactical cloud computing node to be deployed within DoD,” said Colonel Charles Wells, project manager for DCGS-A. “What we’re talking about is the physical deployment of the node into a combat zone.”
The nodes are built specifically for deployment, functions, but we didn’t want to rely on long-dishaving been designed to fit on transport aircraft. tance communications links. We wanted to have a The physical design of the node has been stream24/7 capability for the analysts right there.” lined since it was first deployed so that the comPositioning the cloud node in theater also puting and cooling elements are included in a makes sense from an economic standpoint, single package. according to Joe Kraska, a senior principal engiThe nodes offer access to more than 600 data neer at BAE Systems. “Storage is getting cheaper sources and allow for the processing of collected a lot faster than the network is getting cheaper,” intelligence data in theater, while results of the he said. “Sensors in theater are collecting exoanalysis are available to warfighters through a bytes of data. It makes more sense to leave the web browser. data in place and move the processing power to Col. Charles Wells “This is changing the way intelligence anawhere the data resides.” lysts do their jobs,” said Wells. “We are able to analyze massive “With a data center in the field, you have everything you amounts of data very quickly and to discover things we may have need locally, including analysts who are plugged into the commissed before. If you are trying to analyze events over a period of mand and the mission who can give you the best and fastest 12 to 18 months, there were pieces of the puzzle that we would results to improve mission effectiveness. If you sent analysis have missed before we deployed these capabilities.” requests stateside, the analysts may be expert but they are not necessarily familiar with what is going on in the field,” observed Software Adaptation Mark Weston, technical lead for big-data web services at Aptima. Deploying a tactical cloud node to theater involves more than designing a box that houses the computing elements and can be transported overseas. The capabilities included in the node come in the form of software that must be specifically developed for or adapted to a tactical environment. “The software developed for this environment follows the paradigm of a communications architecture that is not as robust as that you would find in the continental United States,” said Shane Miller, a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, the lead developer of the software running on the cloud system. “Theater communications are temporary, and are provided by the Army Signal Corps. Mature communications infrastructure operates on a completely different scale and can do much more as far as moving data between nodes. Quite a few tradeoffs were designed into the system to facilitate the communications that you find in theater.” The software design process went through three iterations, Miller noted. “The first was to adapt the software to the tactical cloud environment,” he said. “The second was to introduce basic capabilities, and the third focused on usability by providing users with an intuitive experience with the software.” Still, that leaves open the question of why the Army should go to the effort of deploying a cloud node to the theater, when it could have relied on its major networks to store and analyze data and to provide actionable intelligence to warfighters. “In a tactical environment, you can’t move the data around that easily, because it lacks a robust communications architecture,” said Miller. “The tactical nodes are focused on processing the data at the closest point to sensors, the mission and the fight. That is why the tactical cloud has been deployed in Afghanistan.” “We wanted to have the cloud node physically in theater because we wanted the capability available to the warfighter,” said Wells. “We do have a backup at Fort Bragg, so that if the theater node goes down we can reach back and perform the same
Large Data Sets Despite the limitations of the theater communications infrastructure, the cloud aspect of the computing environment allows for the processing of a great deal more data than otherwise would have been possible. “It is difficult to envision processing data from full motion video and other collections with large data sets without the cloud,” said Miller. “We are looking at all intelligence reports since 2004, and we are not bounded by geography or time,” said Wells. “We are able to scan through that data, do the analysis and get very powerful answers within a short period.” This access to massive amounts of data also changes how analysts query the data. “Instead of spending time thinking about questions they can get answers to, they just ask the questions and get their answers,” said Wells. “This is changing the way intelligence analysis is being done in the Army.” The DCGS-A paradigm calls for the multidimensional analysis of data derived from disparate sources in a common display. “The idea is to fuse multiple kinds of data, including data derived from human intelligence, to get a clear picture of the current situation,” said Gary Raven, chief technologist at Overwatch Systems, one of the leading contractors on the program. “The current system can be configured for multiple architectures, including stand-alone configurations on a laptop or in a client/server mode,” Raven continued. “Because of the strain on network availability in theater, the system can also be used in disconnected mode,” in which case the user can collect data on a local device and then upload it to the system when a connection becomes available. The move to the cloud represents an evolution of the original DCGS concept, according to Raven. “To help ensure ubiquitous access to data and tools and to support large-scale analytics when accessing data from different systems, you need a cloud infrastructure. The cloud takes the benefits of the existing
GIF 11.2 | 9
The secret to the ability of the cloud infrastructure to anasystem, the all-source data fusion, and allows the system to scale so lyze large data sets and provide quick answers is in its distribthat anyone, anywhere can gain access to it.” uted computing model. Using a distributed file system such as “From our viewpoint, one of the key benefits of the cloud as Hadoop, large files of data are split up and stored across many it relates to providing actionable geospatial intelligence is to allow commodity servers to facilitate the parallel processing of chunks robust server side processing and the synchronization of geospatial of data, which are then reassembled into a complete answer to a processes,” said Rob Mott, vice president of geospatial solutions for specific problem. Intergraph Government Solutions. “It’s not just a question of deliv“Doing this allows us to develop new insights by looking at these ering actionable intelligence. Cloud computing allows a lot of robust massive data sets as a whole,” said Larson. “Before, someone would processing of data before final delivery takes place. The user doesn’t look at one specific dot on a screen. Now we can take a look at the have to worry about specific sources or applications.” whole picture from 10,000 feet and derive conclusions not possible Following open standards such as those promulgated by the before by applying analytics in a distributed manner.” Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) allows systems The same approach allows for the correlation of to crunch data from a variety of sources and to seamdata from disparate sources. “All of the disparate millessly harmonize processes to deliver synthesized itary systems have been designed to stand alone,” results. “Following open standards builds processes said Rick White, Sotera’s chief information officer. “It that can communicate with each other and creates costs a lot to bring all that data into correlation. We an open playing field on which agencies, companies tie these stovepipes together and bring them into synand academia are able to participate,” said Mott. ergy. This provides a more powerful and rich informaIntergraph’s ERDAS Apollo product line is built tion environment. It’s the power of analytics and not on OGC open standards, progressing from data storjust individual analysts.” age to sharing to server side processing. Intergraph For Kraska, while the chief rationale for the has adopted OGC’s new Web Processing Service, Joe Kraska deployment of a cloud remains saving money, it also which standardizes requests and responses for geooffers secondary benefits in the efficiency by which spatial intelligence services. This enables users to intelligence capabilities can be deployed. interact with analytical software with a thin client “I wouldn’t draw any direct connection with such as a web browser from a cloud infrastructure. actionable intelligence,” Kraska said. “But you could “The user doesn’t need desktop applications say that over time the cost savings allow funds to installed,” said Mott. “No processing is really occurbe reallocated to intelligence. In addition, using ring on a device where the battery life and the availcloud computing will reduce of the time required to able bandwidth are likely to be limited. But users deploy functions. Intelligence products are constantly are able to get up-to-date results from a reliable and changing. With cloud computing, you don’t have to sophisticated process that can evolve over time. Using provision an entire infrastructure for every new systhe cloud, the results of processing big data sets can tem or upgrade, a process which could take months. be pushed to end users with little or no processing Mark Weston So you could argue that new deployments can take power. Standards are a fundamental building block place six months ahead of time.” to building a geospatial cloud.” Wells sees the DCGS-A tactical deployment as representing an initial first step toward a broader and New Way to Scale deeper deployment of cloud technology throughout the Army intelligence enterprise. “The more we have seen Another way of looking at the analytical power of cloud computing, the more we want to use it to supbrought to bear by cloud computing is that it enables port intelligence analysis,” he said. “It will only increase a big-picture view—as opposed to the crunching of going forward.” minute portions—of large data sets. “The cloud gives “The cloud nodes are being augmented to push you an edge,” said Weston. “It’s a new way to scale. them down one further level to the brigade combat Instead of building a vertical system with ever-larger team and task force levels. This will put them closer single servers, the cloud says, let’s create a horizontal Rob Mott to the sensors for the most efficient data processing. set of smaller machines and parallelize the problem The edge node is the next step in getting cloud techand distribute the data.” nologies as close to the fight as possible,” Miller said, adding that the Aptima has developed an application, SPOTLITE, which collects logical extension of this trend is to eventually have as much data as data on mobile devices. “The information can be plugged back into possible processed on the sensors themselves. the data center, which can then analyze it to draw conclusions about Wells sees future cloud nodes becoming both denser and more the social and family connections of a person of interest or in develdeployable. “The smaller nodes will require less power and cooling,” oping a pattern of life,” said Weston. “It can also be used to punch in he said. “The natural extension will be to push this down to the bria location to add pictures and notes.” gade level and in the future we expect the benefits of these tactical “The way we approach the cloud is in terms of analytics and clouds to reach the platoon and even the individual solider level.” enabling new capabilities not possible before,” said Jonathan Larsen, In a tactical environment where connectivity may be spotty, the resident cloud expert at Sotera. “We can now expose new things Raven envisions that a hybrid architecture will emerge that can tap to the warfighter that would have overwhelmed them before. Largeinto the power of the cloud but also run desktop applications when scale analytics can provide results much quicker.” 10 | GIF 11.2
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“Ten years from now we may forget to call it a cloud,” said Kraska. “Cloud is just a buzzword that refers to sharing resources in an efficient way. Both the military and contractors will be going through a stage during which they will be figuring out what they can and cannot do in the cloud.” Unstructured Data Intelligence applications, according to Kraska, will become more automated. “There will be less need for humans in the loop,” he said. TerraGo, a subcontracting supplier to DCGS-A, has re-archi“That is an important part of what the cloud is.” tected its offerings in recent years to take advantage But Weston cautions against discounting the role of cloud technologies as well as to accommodate edge of the human mind in the development and delivery users who may lack connectivity. “The cloud is an of military intelligence. “It’s a misconception to think incredibly powerful set of technologies, capabilities, that that the cloud or big data is going to be a magic services and data that needs to integrate well with bullet,” he said. “You will always need people to perother types of systems and approaches to serve warfform triage and to make sure that the best informaighters in any number of different scenarios, when tion possible is being collected.” they are remote and disconnected or have bandwidth, The way Wells sees it, technology will allow anaor whether they have connectivity to a secure server lysts to make better use of their time. “The analyst or not,” said Richard M. Cobb, the company’s presistill has to know what he is looking for and what the dent and chief executive officer. Richard Cobb commander needs,” he said. “But with these very TerraGo has tools that allow users to find unstrucpowerful tools, the analyst will be spending less time tured data and visualize the geospatial aspects of thinking of queries and digging through data, and more time getthose through maps, GeoPDF documents and other portable intelliting answers and supporting the commander.” O gence products. “A map book in the hands of users at the edge can be leveraged almost the same whether connected or disconnected,” said For more information, contact GIF Editor Harrison Donnelly Cobb. “When connected, they can update and share the information. at email@example.com or search our online archives When disconnected, they can still find ways to share and update data for related stories at www.gif-kmi.com. with their own observations.”
connectivity is unavailable. “You will eventually see intelligence systems emerge where processing is done at the optimal location,” he said.
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INDUSTRY RASTER GPS III Satellites Complete Key Flight Software Milestone
The Lockheed Martin team developing the Air Force’s nextgeneration Global Position System III satellites has completed a key flight software milestone validating the software’s ability to provide reliable and effective command and control for the GPS III satellites planned for launch into orbit. The GPS III program will affordably replace aging GPS satellites, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft’s design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems. The milestone, known as Software Item Qualification Testing (SIQT), was completed for the satellite’s spacecraft bus flight software, which is critical to controlling the spacecraft on orbit and monitoring the health and safety of the satellite’s subsystems. SIQT included 131 individual test events and represented the culmination of a rigorous software engineering risk reduction and development phase. The software will next be integrated and tested on the first GPS III satellite, which is on schedule for launch availability in 2014. Lockheed Martin is on contract to deliver the first four GPS III satellites for launch. The Air Force plans to purchase up to 32 GPS III satellites. Michael Friedman; firstname.lastname@example.org
Responsibility for NGA Enterprise IT Program Transferred Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. has completed a transaction with OGSystems and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to transfer responsibility for the TASER prime contract to Ball Aerospace. The TASER (Total Application Services Enterprise Requirements) program provides high-end mission analysis, systems and software engineering, integration and IT services for NGA. The contract provides quick-turn analysis and adoption of innovative geospatial intelligence solutions designed to meet emerging requirements.
Ball Aerospace provides extensive support to the NGA mission as prime contractor for the Air Force’s advanced technical exploitation program, as well as executing subcontracted work on the agency’s Innovision, NextView and EnhancedView contracts. The company’s broad existing capabilities in the areas of data exploitation, test validation and systems engineering will be directly applied to the TASER contract. The contract will be implemented by Ball Aerospace’s Systems Engineering Solutions business unit. Roz Brown; email@example.com
Traffic Monitoring Service Uses Data Collected Anonymously TomTom has released TomTom HD Traffic, version 6.0 in the U.S. With the addition of over 76 million live data sources, TomTom HD Traffic is able to report the location and length of traffic jams on highways five times more accurately than the previous version. TomTom uses live data shared by millions of drivers traveling across the entire road network each day. Using real-time data collected anonymously from TomTom’s user community, TomTom is able to validate and broadcast traffic incidents that may not be captured or reported by other standard traffic sources. The latest update of TomTom HD Traffic offers drivers access to even more precise and detailed information about traffic jam locations, road work and road closures in real time. TomTom HD Traffic is available to drivers using TomTom connected devices and mobile applications. The service is also used by many governments and businesses around the world. Caroline Fisher; firstname.lastname@example.org
After 6.8 Million Images, Satellite Mission Brought to an End After 177 months in service and having collected 6.8 million images, SPOT 4’s mission was brought to an end by CNES, the French space agency, and Astrium in January. In compliance with the recommendations of the InterAgency Space Debris Coordination Committee, the long process of de-orbiting SPOT 4 for a re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere at some point within the next 25 years will begin in June. In the meantime, SPOT 4 is being given a new lease of life as a key element of the Take Five mission from February to May. The aim of this mission managed by CNES is to pave the way for the future Sentinel-2 mission. The ESA family of Sentinel satellites is set to replace the Envisat satellite and meet requirements for GMES services. The last image acquired by SPOT 4, which was launched in 1998, was of the region of Mendoza in Argentina, with its vineyards and fruit orchards in the Andean foothills. During its operational lifetime, SPOT 4 served chiefly to collect crop statistics, forecast yields, monitor environmental risks and support precision agriculture.
14 | GIF 11.2
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Contract Supports Army Geospatial Enterprise Development
To help build geospatial battlefield intelligence, Alion Science and Technology will provide the Army with geospatial enterprise development, integration and evaluation under a $24 million award. The Army’s Geospatial Enterprise serves as the knowledge center for analysis of geospatial information and imagery that represents physical topographies, environmental elements and geographically referenced activities such as geological information, terrain, roads, and the effects of the time of day or weather. Alion’s work includes generating policy and standards that will guide the use of geospatial data throughout the Army, developing geospatial data, supporting the testing of geospatially based systems and creating geospatial policy documents. Peter Jacobs; email@example.com
Land Imager for All Seasons Launched The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Operational Land Imager (OLI) has been successfully launched aboard the Landsat Data Continuity Mission on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The 2013 mission is the eighth in the Landsat program, providing the longest-running Earth-observing satellite data available with 40 years of observations. The OLI instrument built by Ball will image the globe every 16 days to provide coverage each season of the year. Ball Aerospace has also provided the cryocooler for a second instrument aboard the satellite, the Thermal Infrared Sensor, built by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. OLI represents a significant advancement in Landsat sensor technology by employing a more reliable design to improve performance. OLI’s 14-module detector array enables it to scan with an advanced pushbroom technique, rather than the previous sweeping method. The OLI instrument provides 15-meter panchromatic and 30-meter multispectral spatial resolutions along a 185-kilometer-wide swath allowing for the 16-day imaging operation. Roz Brown; firstname.lastname@example.org
LiDAR Software Adds 3-D Exploitation Overwatch, a strategic business of Textron Systems Advanced Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, has released version 5.1 of its LiDAR Analyst software. The premier software for managing light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data now delivers mission-critical high-resolution 3-D exploitation. LiDAR Analyst’s new 3-D Viewer enables visualization, analysis and dissemination of 3-D data. It efficiently loads and displays LiDAR data sets in excess of a billion points, allowing analysts to keep up with the rapid growth and use of LiDAR. The 3-D Viewer is tightly integrated into LiDAR Analyst and handles all of the standard data formats used by GEOINT analysts. LiDAR Analyst users are now able to perform real-time data analysis, including radial lineof-sight, buffer zone analysis, landing zones and 3-D mensuration. To facilitate dissemination of the data and analysis, the 3-D Viewer includes tools to export a fully interactive scene to a 3-D PDF document or information to display in Google Earth. Kevin Opitz; email@example.com
Enhancement Extends Benefits of Scale-Out Storage Solutions EMC Corp. has announced support for 4 terabyte drives for EMC Isilon’s industryleading scale-out NAS solutions. With this enhancement to its X-Series and NL-Series products, EMC Isilon further extends the inherent benefits of its scale-out NAS archiving solutions—ease of use, highly scalable capacity and performance, auto-management and self-healing—by delivering capacity of up to 20 petabytes in a single volume, providing 33 percent more capacity and utilizing 30 percent less power per rack. With EMC Isilon, archival information benefits from the robustness of the OneFS operating environment’s proven capabilities for protecting and optimizing the flow of information within an organization. Enterprises capture these benefits
without sacrificing application performance or the specialized data protection required for long-term archive data retention via archive applications from EMC or other vendors. EMC Isilon also offers increased resilience at scale with faster drive rebuild times, superior data protection and industry-leading efficiency. The power of the Isilon scale-out cluster rebuilds active and archive data in case of a drive failure much faster than traditional systems— less than one day, compared to multiple days or even weeks with most traditional systems. Isilon’s N+4 data protection through FlexProtect file striping helps customers reduce the risk of data loss and improve overall availability even as the cluster grows. Megan Lane; firstname.lastname@example.org GIF 11.2 | 15
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Mitigating Risks With Fewer Boots on the Ground Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn Director Defense Intelligence Agency Michael T. Flynn graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1981 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in Military Intelligence. His first assignment was as a paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. Since then, Flynn has served in a variety of command and staff positions, including commander, 313th Military Intelligence Battalion and G2, 82nd Airborne Division; G2, 18th Airborne Corps, CJ2, CJTF-180 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan; commander, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade at the Army’s Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; director of intelligence, Joint Special Operations Command with duty in OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); director of intelligence, U.S. Central Command with duty in OEF and OIF; director of intelligence, the Joint Staff; director of intelligence, International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and special assistant to the deputy chief of staff, G2. He most recently served as the assistant director of national intelligence for partner engagement before becoming the 18th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in July 2012. Flynn’s other assignments include multiple tours at Fort Bragg, where he deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division as a platoon leader for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, and as chief of joint war plans for JTF-180 Uphold Democracy in Haiti. He also served with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and as the senior observer/controller for intelligence at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. Flynn holds an undergraduate degree in management science from the University of Rhode Island, and three graduate degrees: a master of business administration in telecommunications from Golden Gate University; a master of military arts and sciences from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and a master of national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Flynn was interviewed by GIF Editor Harrison Donnelly. Q: Please give readers a basic rundown of the Defense Clandestine Service [DCS]. A: The Defense Clandestine Service is DIA’s human intelligence [HUMINT] collection capability that leverages our unique defense accesses to feed our collection and analytic missions, enabling the agency to produce more timely and relevant products for our warfighters and policymakers. DCS is not a new capability for DIA, it is not an increase in manpower or funding, and it is not duplicative of similar capabilities throughout the www.GIF-kmi.com
intelligence community. Working together with our CIA and FBI partners to fill critical coverage gaps, DCS is a force-multiplier for broader U.S. HUMINT operations that also ensures a better response to the intelligence needs specific to U.S. defense. As the U.S. reduces the number of troops in the field over the next few years, DCS will play a key role in mitigating risks when the U.S. has fewer boots on the ground to keep tabs on shifting global dynamics. DCS assets will monitor developments and conditions in critical areas—providing that important “fingertip feel” for the field—and supply the early warning and indications that are crucial to national security in the coming years of change and uncertainty. Q: How does the goal of expanded HUMINT fit into your broader vision of DIA’s future? A: Human intelligence remains an effective component of our national security, and in most cases, effective HUMINT brings increased reliability to other sources of information. DIA’s mission includes HUMINT among other collection activities we are responsible for. Our vision for DIA is stated in our VISION2020: Driving Change Through Integration. Integration and increasingly collaboration are the direction DIA and the entire intelligence GIF 11.2 | 17
community is heading. For example, the integration of singlesource intelligence, multi-INT or all-source collection driven by our highly talented analytic workforce is the future. We will work toward this end-state, keeping in mind that we must fuse intelligence knowledge and operational activities in much different ways. Bottom line, as we transition from a decade of conflict, we must change to meet the needs of an evolving national security environment. Q: What are the biggest challenges to building HUMINT capacity? A: One of the most important lessons I learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is that, to do our jobs effectively, we have to understand the socio-cultural as well as the historical context of the areas where we’re operating. Without this knowledge and understanding of cultural dynamics and complexities, we are handicapped in our ability to foresee shifting developments, like the Arab Awakening. Language ability is also a critical capability, and something that must be built into our recruiting, retention and training system. In this post-9/11 environment, we are in desperate need of people with critical language skills. As we refocus some of our attention to the Asia-Pacific theater, there are also several Pacific Rim languages that will be in increasing demand. Additionally, effective HUMINT and multiple assignments require a level of training and expertise that practitioners have to develop over years. You cannot surge language capacity or regional expertise; it cannot be rushed to meet an unforeseen crisis, nor can it be easily built overnight. DIA has a responsibility to prepare now for an uncertain future. Since there is no crystal ball, ensuring that DIA has the necessary range of skills, knowledge and understanding of the most critical regions will be among the biggest challenges for the agency. Q: Can you tell us about VISION2020? A: In the midst of an uncertain and complex threat environment and clearly diminishing fiscal resources, the Department of Defense, as well as the DIA, finds itself in a key transition period after a decade of conflict. That said, the need for accurate, responsive intelligence has grown, as have the technologies and methods for collection and analysis. In the foreseeable future, the pace of technological change will continue to grow exponentially, while resources for national defense will continue to shrink. In this climate, we must reflect on and apply the lessons of the last 10 years and adapt our institution accordingly. We must find ways to be even more integrated and collaborative, to prioritize our people, funding and other resources, and to assess and take prudent and responsible risk, all while remaining sufficiently adaptable and flexible to understand and respond to an increasing number of threats. VISION2020 is meant to drive this change through integration. It is about transforming DIA’s organization, our culture and our processes to prepare for an uncertain and ever-shifting future. In today’s globalized and technologically advanced world, the security environment changes rapidly. A single tweet can set events in motion that topple a government, one protest can 18 | GIF 11.2
throw a region into chaos, and one network interruption has the capacity to endanger the global economy. In order to provide more options to our decision-makers, reduce risk and associated costs, DIA has to be prepared for this rapid rate of change. This is what “decision advantage” is, and that is how we increase decision confidence for our warfighters and policymakers. That said, the health of the workforce is at the core of VISION2020. The most important tools in our agency’s defense and intelligence arsenal are the professionals who work every day to ensure the nation’s security—it is their knowledge, skills and dedication that keep America safe and make DIA successful. VISION2020 is focused on creating the best possible work environment for these professionals while simultaneously providing them the necessary resources to accomplish their mission. VISION2020 creates a flat, agile organization that networks capabilities from across the defense intelligence enterprise and points these critical elements toward common outcomes that are dictated by customer needs. The goal is to ensure that DIA becomes a more responsive, efficient and effective agency: one that will encourage even greater integration across the IC, improve the effectiveness of our collective intelligence mission outcomes, and allocate our recourse efficiently to support of our customers. In today’s world, we have no choice but to be forward-thinking and adaptable. We have to be innovative in everything we do, in terms of people, processes and technology. We have no choice but to expect and prepare for the unexpected. VISION2020 equips DIA to be prepared to provide the critical defense intelligence this country needs. Q: You became known to many Americans as a result of your paper, “Fixing Intelligence.” How are the lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq shaping your priorities at DIA? A: Intelligence officers at the strategic level face many of the same challenges we identified in Iraq and Afghanistan. DIA’s success is tied to our ability to enhance information integration, operations and intelligence fusion, strengthen analyst-collector partnerships, and deepen our relationships with our allies and coalition partners. In “Fixing Intel,” I advocated for a deeper understanding of the operational environment, more comprehensive assessments for our warfighter, and greater integration at the national level. As director of DIA, I now have the opportunity and privilege to put these ideas into practice. To increase DIA’s understanding of the operational environment, I’ve prioritized our focus on support to the combatant commands and the field, pushing more analysts and collectors outside the continental United States—or closer to the edge, where they can be a part of our first line of defense. I’ve also spearheaded the creation of a socio-cultural hub at DIA that will focus on honing our pre-conflict expertise for the entire IC and integrating these elements into the training curriculum for all intelligence professionals. Integration is my top strategic goal. As I mentioned, VISION2020 is flattening our organization, and closely fusing analysis and collection using a centers-based model so that each component can respond to demands and emergencies as www.GIF-kmi.com
they rise. We have also restructured the role of the defense intelligence officers so that they become the information brokers I mentioned in “Fixing Intel,” who will organize and integrate defense intelligence communities of interest to provide our nation, and especially our warfighters, better, most responsive and relevant intelligence. Our principal deputy director for intelligence integration, the heads of our regional and functional centers and the director of our Defense Intelligence Offices will be major drivers behind this initiative. To increase defense and IC access to our products, and further drive integration across the entire intelligence community, we are developing a new DIA web portal that will house our finished defense intelligence and make it easier for everyone to find information, make connections with the right people, and streamline administrative processes. The portal, called “The Source,” will be a one-stop shop for all things Defense Intelligence. These are just some of the first steps in a long process, but every step we take incorporating the tenets of VISION2020 bring the ideas and concepts of “Fixing Intel” closer to reality. Q: How are you working to foster intelligence community integration? A: Integration is the defining characteristic of our VISION2020 initiative—and not only integration of our own core missions, but also integration across the entire defense intelligence enterprise. Right now, we are transforming our organizational structure to make sure that our IC partners can fully leverage our unique capabilities and that we are fully utilizing our IC partners to support the full spectrum of national defense. With VISION2020, DIA is bringing its core mission sets— analysis, collection, and science and technology—closer together at all levels, from tactical to strategic, and focusing our people and resources in four Regional Centers and one Functional Center. Representatives from several intelligence disciplines will be imbedded into our center construct, working side by side on common issues. The centers will also act as a single access point for our defense and IC partners, allowing DIA to rapidly respond to their requests and better prioritize overall support. To succeed in the future, the intelligence community must be ever more integrated and retooled, and DIA wants to be seen as a leader toward this vision. Q: How are you preparing DIA for a future of fiscal constraints? A: A critical component of DIA’s reorganization is a thorough examination of our agency’s priorities, core missions, business processes and resource allocations. From this, we have developed a new operating model that reshapes the agency to focus our attention on supporting the most crucial requirements for the nation’s defense, restructures the organization to better leverage the unique capabilities only DIA can provide, and creates efficiencies in processes and administration wherever possible. I view intelligence support as a team sport, and we are identifying areas where DIA should rely on the strengths of our U.S. intelligence community and foreign partners, and apply innovation and teamed solutions to common problems. There is simply too much information, too many threats, and too few resources for one organization to tackle everything on its own. Building www.GIF-kmi.com
and strengthening intelligence integration and mutual support across our entire enterprise will be crucial as we navigate the fiscal environment ahead. Q: How do you respond to the recent report by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance urging an IC shift toward more open-source data? A: I am an absolute believer in the critical role of open-source data. We live in a closed-loop system, and we must leverage and prioritize the open world of information. How we do this will have widespread implications for the future of the IC and our national security. That said, the future is not about information; it is about creating knowledge. When I first got into the intelligence business more than 30 years ago, intelligence was about finding sensitive information that only a few had access to. Now we live in a world of constant, real-time information about every topic imaginable—whether it’s from the 24-hour news cycle, social media, blogs, chat rooms, tweets or other sources of information. Intelligence is no longer just about finding sensitive information, although that is still a crucial component of what we do; good intelligence today is also about finding the most critical, relevant data in a vast sea of information. So much of what we need to know about events and developments around the world already exists in the open-source realm—on Facebook, Twitter and online—that we just need to leverage this data using the right skills and the right tools to identify it, analyze it, contextualize it and package it appropriately for our customers. Timely intelligence is now measured in minutes and hours, versus days and weeks. Q: What benefits and challenges do you see from plans to integrate the IC’s IT infrastructure? A: Still the most obvious benefit of integrated IT, in my view, will be significant savings, and that’s not just cost savings but time and effort savings—resources that in many ways are even more valuable than money. Integrated IT platforms will greatly advance our efforts to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible across the entire intelligence community. The DNI’s vision for the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise [ICITE] prioritizes integration tasks from across the IC and assigns the appropriate community leads. As a result, we will have an IC workforce that is increasingly networked, getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Not only will ICITE improve integration, but it will drive information sharing between partners and wider access to critical information and data sets. ICITE is the single biggest intelligence community initiative in the last 50 years. Like all large-scale IT projects, the challenge for these platforms will be protecting sensitive and classified information as we increase access and the frequency of data sharing. As we get closer to full IT integration, we will have to be mindful of potential vulnerabilities and establish processes that can safeguard the critical information we need for national defense. But the age of stovepiping is over; as I said, this is a team sport, we are globally networked, and we need to continue to build our abilities and capabilities to share information. The key GIF 11.2 | 19
is knowing the potential risks and building our systems to mitigate them.
Q: What are your goals in the area of DIA professional development, and what are you doing to achieve them?
Q: What are some of the innovative ways that DIA is integrating GEOINT into its work? What about full-motion video?
A: Our nation is best served by an organization of focused, welltrained and well-led intelligence professionals. To build and sustain this workforce at DIA amidst fiscal uncertainty, I believe that it’s important that we develop opportunities for our workforce to have professionally broadening experiences. To create these opportunities, we are implementing new ways to train, educate and professionally develop our employees. We are introducing more joint assignments for our civilians, more data and information sharing, and greater access to existing tools and technologies, as well as developing new ones. Our workforce, and especially the thousands of men and women who have served and continue to serve in combat zones, bring invaluable experiences to the table. It’s what I call our new normal: simply amazing levels of skills, knowledge and talent for our nation’s security. We are seizing on these experiences to build highly integrated, highly collaborative teams that are agile and can flex to respond rapidly to emerging crises or larger forms of conflict. These teams will not only ensure we are providing the most timely, relevant intelligence to our customers, but we are creating a constructive, empowered and dynamic workplace for our employees. If we’ve learned anything since 9/11, adding more people to try and solve the problem is not the solution; bringing the right people together with the right accesses and the right tools, laser focused on a purpose, leads to improved, richer outcomes. This is what provides our national security leaders a decision advantage. Our professional development model not only strengthens DIA’s core mission capabilities, but also ensures we have the right people in the right jobs at the right times, and it helps DIA employees reach their full potential.
A: Because of its immense intelligence value, geospatial intelligence is fully integrated into the fabric of our intelligence analysis. DIA regularly uses GEOINT’s visual and graphic representations to enhance intelligence assessments and help commanders and other senior leaders make better decisions. GEOINT is of great value to all of our combatant commands. For example, in U.S. Pacific Command [PACOM], GEOINT aids in visualizing intelligence to show a broad range of concepts related to movement in a vast geographic area. When discussing something like territorial claims with small remote islands and reefs, the capability to show these features and their relative global position to different audiences is extremely beneficial. PACOM has developed GEOINT to support everything from exercises to natural disasters in the region. They have leveraged commercial and other imagery-derived platforms to create detailed products in support of foreign humanitarian assistance from U.S. and non-government relief agencies. These GEOINT products are releasable to local civil authorities and show beforeand-after images of the affected areas. Additionally, projections can be added to these products if situations change.
Advancing Human IntelligenceIntegration for GEOINT and the IC
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
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A: We’re entering a new era of globalization and asymmetric threats, in which strong alliances and partnerships play a key role. Integration and collaboration are vital, and intelligence sharing is a critical force multiplier. The defense of our nation demands new ways of doing business. Given the varied and complex threats we face and the current fiscal environment, we must change to keep pace with the world, or we risk becoming irrelevant. Our country demands no less. Our national leadership and our warfighters, who depend on what we do every day, demand it. We are transitioning from a decade of conflict. We must adopt the right lessons learned from combat operations, such as the value of integrated and fused intelligence and operations and greater awareness of the socio-cultural domain. This transition is not a journey with an end state, and I don’t expect it to be easy. But when we stop thinking about how we can improve our business processes and our core functions, we lose our edge and the strategic advantage we gain from intelligence. At the end of the day, DIA, along with our IC partners, provides our nation’s leadership with a level of decision advantage that helps ensure our security and stability for the future. O www.GIF-kmi.com
As the understanding of local populations grows in importance, human terrain toolkits and other products are aiding social-cultural analysis. By Karen E. Thuermer, GIF Correspondent
in the military environment is there is a need for intelligence analyGeospatial and related intelligence technologies are increasingly sis that is not combative. Analytic operations are not playing a vital role in helping the military and governthat different from intelligence analysis; it’s the misment better understand and integrate social, cultural sion that is different.” and other factors in planning operations. Much of this work is tagged human geography. The Army is ramping up its Human Terrain “Not only is human geography about humans, it can Systems program, which involves embedding anthrobe supplied by humans in real time,” stated Glyn Slay, pologists and social scientists with military units to vice president of information solutions at Overwatch. help provide commanders a sense of cultural under“The real-time aspect is especially helpful during standing when making decisions. Industry, meanhumanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, while, is developing human-terrain toolkits and other where conditions—even physical conditions—may products to aid in analysis of social-cultural factors. change rapidly.” The developing technologies are especially needed, Victor Denard This can come via the “participatory Internet,” observers say, as the changing nature of modern which is a class of websites where large groups of peomilitary operations makes it more important than ple publish current information. It can include general ever to understand the social-cultural footprint of the information sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well local population. as websites developed for specific purposes, such as the “Knowing their religious, financial and culone developed by the Ushahidi technology group. tural makeup might be helpful in making decisions “The process is simple. People publish facts and that may be combative or non-combative in certain photos, often geo-tagged, about current events,” areas,” explained Victor Denard, lead associate, Booz said Slay. “Due to the large number of postings, Allen Hamilton. analysts can see trends unfolding and track the That capability is critical even in the absence information geospatially.” of major conventional military conflicts, he added. This form of communicating has become so big “There is still a threat, but that threat is not associated Bob McCormack that some attribute political and social movements with nationality or any one specific area in the world. such as the wave of popular protests that rocked the They are just hotspots.” Arab world in 2011. One strategy for achieving that understanding that “Only within the last five years have we seen it is currently being used is to place people in positions grow to be one of the big tools of change across the to monitor and survey cultures in key areas. “They globe,” said Bob McCormack, principal mathematiare just looking for threats, or are sometimes there cian at Aptima. “Today hundreds of millions of blogs, to help, particularly in natural disaster situations,” tweets and Facebook messages are sent per day around Denard said. the world.” Examples include determining if there are enough resources in place to help, looking for displaced or disabled persons in hospitals, and deciding how Participatory Internet many resources are needed at a hospital to aide in Glyn Slay an evacuation. As the proliferation and use of the participatory Another key goal is to support soldiers in analyzing Internet grows, new technologies for exploring and non-combat types of data. analyzing the data are being developed. As a result, a market for tool“Traditional intelligence analytics is usually done on missions kits and other technology is growing rapidly to help geospatial and such as those to find IEDs or targets,” he added. “What we have found intelligence analysts better understand the human terrain. www.GIF-kmi.com
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these tools to more advanced technologies has also yielded new One example of such technologies comes from the HumanGeo capabilities for simultaneous viewing and understanding of informaGroup, which won a government consulting contract last year to help tion from varying perspectives, such as geospatially over maps, relaunderstand the environment in the 2012 London Olympic Games. tionally through link diagrams, and temporally as time lines and “We worked with organizations that were interested in understandtime wheels. ing the relevance of social media content over more traditional “Application of these more evolved and advanced toolsets, such news venues,” explained Abe Usher, chief technology officer for the as Overwatch’s Impact information analysis software, HumanGeo Group. enables users to more easily derive understanding and During the process, the company found that to more quickly form actionable decisions,” Slay added. it was possible to gain unfiltered information from Booz Allen has been offering ground station anapeople on the street much faster than via internalytics since the 1990s, and analysis in its current fortional news agencies. “Most Internet data sources are mat has been in place for about seven years. The very timely and offer unfiltered facts and perceptions company introduced human terrain types of products that you cannot obtain through any other medium,” approximately three years ago. Usher said. Complications in doing human terrain analysis in Another example is Overwatch’s Greyhound the field include keeping classified information sepaservice. Users of the service are able to perform rate from the much larger volume of unclassified inforsimultaneous searches across numerous web serAbe Usher mation, as well as managing vast quantities of data. vices, such as Google, Bing, Twitter and Facebook, “We are all impacted by Facebook, LinkedIn and social networks as well as combine and relate the results to information attained daily,” Denard said. “As a contractor supporting our government clithrough simultaneous searches of structured databases, file shares, ents, we want to work in a collaborative effort not only to substantiate data stores, SharePoint sites and other resources available on their that technology for the military, but to also leverage it.” operational networks. This means feeding sensors as much socio-cultural data from vari“Graphical analysis tools provide users the ability to view patous legacy resources as possible, then performing analytics on top of it terns and commonalities across the aggregate of the information in so analysts can make informed decisions and proactively receive infororder to quickly observe the corroboration and validation of facts,” mation through notifications. described Slay. “Users may then dynamically build Wiki page reports “What we have found is it is not so much about getting intelligence inclusive of paragraphs, phrases, photos, graphics and other data feed from sensors; it’s also about the collective material and collaborafrom the search results documents to share with other users of the tive information that analysts and/or outside resources can provide to Greyhound service.” in formulate a better picture,” Denard said. Overwatch’s Human Terrain and Socio-Cultural Information Analysis systems provide warfighters with advanced capabilities to more quickly derive human cultural and behavioral knowledge in Social Analytics counterinsurgency and other environments. “Users are able to transform random, disconnected cultural cues Aptima has been involved in social analytics for some time, workand events into relevant data from which to form predictable and ing with the military to pioneer tools and technologies that allow miliactionable portraits of potential activity,” explained Slay. “Through intetary commanders and intelligence analysts to zoom in on and monitor gration of this technology into the military decision-making process, relevant cross-culture trends. The goal is to create actionable undercommanders are empowered with relevant, socio-cultural information standing and scientifically based recommendations by analyzing difand knowledge with which to enhance operational effectiveness.” ferent types of data from different sources and understanding the Booz Allen Hamilton, in collaboration with government clients, is relationships between them. supporting a human terrain system that supports personnel in anaAptima applies natural language processing to extract the key lyzing non-combat data. ideas or “memes” propagating through blogs, news sites and real-time The firm has a history of supporting ground station intelligence social platforms like Twitter, as well as epidemiological models, to plot analytics in combative arenas. “We use a lot of technology in our clihow ideas proliferate and spread. It does this by combining these capaent server base to allow analysts to not only collect information and bilities in E-MEME, which is web-based software for identifying, trackfeed it to data stores, but use third-party tools to research information ing and visualizing the flow of memes through electronic media, to and add to that data set,” Denard explained. “That then provides them help model and forecast how sentiment can spread over time and place a visual capability to do link and/or associative analysis, or even demoto influence susceptible populations. graphic data about persons, places, things or events.” The basis of most of Aptima’s technology is a text analysis tool According to Slay, one of the most exciting things beginning called LaVA (latent variable analysis). “LaVA is Aptima’s platform for to occur now is the paradigm shifts that are forcing the evolution text analytics,” explained McCormack. “It integrates tools for collectof technologies. ing text data, processing the text to produce richer representations, “In the old days, analysts, investigators and emergency response and applying advanced analytics for knowledge discover.” personnel were limited to whiteboards or string boards and pictures to LaVA integrates tools for collecting text data, processing the text visually understand relationships and commonalities across incidents, to produce richer representations, and applying advanced analytics for actions, locations and people,” he said. knowledge discovery. These rudimentary toolsets have since evolved to advanced, com“It essentially takes in a huge amount of text and analyzes what puter-based analysis tools that enable far greater insight and sharpeople are talking about at a fairly high level—what the large topics are ing of information derived from multiple sources. The evolution of and the context in which they are being discussed,” McCormack said. 22 | GIF 11.2
LaVA, which is based on statistical methods, forms the core of Aptima products and services in a variety of domains, including intelligence analysis, forecasting news trends in areas of operations, sociocultural modeling, predicting the spread of ideas in social media, organized design, recommending teams from mission goals and team member data, training, and assessing team cognition and performance from communication. LaVA is essentially a text analysis engine, McCormack explained. “It takes in text and makes sense of it. Through LaVA, we can also look at sentiments and opinions, whether people are talking positively or negatively about an issue.” The system can also determine where people are located while tweeting and blogging, and can filter out unnecessary “noise.” The tool has been under development for some six years and is constantly evolving as a capability that is primarily used today by the Department of Defense. While in the past LaVA has focused on retrospective analysis, Aptima is now working on incorporating streaming data. “As tweets happen, we plan to pull them automatically, update the model and get a real time look at what is happening,” he said. In addition, Aptima has introduced the agent-based SCIPR model, which forecasts the effects of possible actions in complex military environments. It allows planners to anticipate how attitudes may change in response to a multitude of factors, from kinetic operations to natural disasters. “It’s a larger social analytic toolkit that looks at opinion change within a population based on surveys and other systems that deploy data,” McCormack explained. This toolkit is helpful in that it allows analysts to ask the “what if” questions. “Besides social media, there is a lot of other data that is out there, such as census and polling surveys that can give information about a population over time,” he said. Aptima’s agent-based model takes in survey census data from these different groups of individuals and provides a means for testing how they interact, how they shift each others’ opinions and how that leads to overall opinion changes within a population. “It allows us to get a different angle by looking at a different data source,” he said.
for instance, is made available within hours to those who need it,” Swinehart added. The company’s ArcGIS platform aids in the process. “With the integration of the ArcGIS.com online content and sharing platform, users can now collaborate automatically over vast distances, without having to manage moving large data sets around,” Swinehart explained. The power of cloud computing makes much of this work easy, whereas before, datasets and applications had to be moved around to those who needed to work together. “So for human terrain projects, we can have subject matter experts on a wide variety of topics interacting with deployed people working and collaborating on projects quite easily,” he says. “It’s built into the software. For responding to a natural disaster, we can have the latest imagery or multi-agency data quickly moved to a location online that allows folks to quickly get needed support up and running.” ArcGIS supports traditional desktop, online web maps and applications and with deployable devices such as tablets, laptops and smart phones. “All these devices are interconnected by design,” Swinehart said. “We can work together, using online resource such as ArcGIS. com, or an ArcGIS Portal installation behind a firewall, to create, discover, serve and share our work.” This interconnectivity is built into the entire ArcGIS software suite, he added. “Even our developer solutions behave this way, so custom applications can fully exploit the work being done on the network, whether it’s on the open Internet or behind the firewall.”
Broader trends in information technology are also reshaping the field, as for example the advent of smartphones has provided a source of instant, high-quality geo-tagged data. Another trend is that an increasing number of information providers include application programming interfaces with their solutions, so that developers may build application mashups that combine real-time data with existing information sources. “A ramification of these trends is that the general public can literally be armchair analysts,” Slay said. Going forward, cloud- or service-based computing is expected to have a huge impact on future geospatial Volunteer Information and intelligence technologies, particularly given that many users are moving away from traditional deskEsri is involved in supporting and fostering top computing and moving to virtual machines. “We volunteer geographic information (VGI), a method of see this as increasing over the next few years as users crowdsourcing geospatial data. Esri encourages its move to more of an online style of getting work done,” users to participate in open systems, like the OpenMap Swinehart said. project, by building no-cost extensions to its ArcGIS Over the next five to seven years, Denard suggests, desktop software to allow users to use and update Clark Swinehart intelligence users will begin to achieve some of the full OpenMap datasets. benefits of cloud technology. “We’re also continuing to work on statistical analysis tools and “They can do this by taking commercial world analytics and runtechniques for exploring and using other types of VGI data, including ning it against their intelligence data,” he said. “It’s a matter of the cultural information,” said Clark Swinehart, manager of defense solumilitary and government looking outside to their consulting agentions at Esri. “Our GeoStatistics team is actively publishing workflows, cies like Booz Allen, or those private companies that are expanddocumentation and even videos on how advanced statistical methods ing the world of analytics across cloud technology, to make more can make sense of these sometimes very large data sets.” informed decisions.” O For emergency and first responder professionals, sometimes seemingly simple information becomes vital. Esri is supporting these types of incidents by openly publishing as much relevant data as possible. For more information, contact GIF Editor Harrison Donnelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives “We also work with our users and business partners to foster that for related stories at www.gif-kmi.com. same type of response in an emergency, so that up-to-date imagery, www.GIF-kmi.com
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Seeing More with Hyperspectral Imaging Military/intel users find growing value in technology that identifies objects based on chemical fingerprint or spectral signature.
By Henry Canaday, GIF Correspondent
The recent selection of a hyperspectral imaging (HSI) senAberration Correction sor for the Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance Sensor platform, used on the Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady for very highIndustry has been pushing hard to meet all these chalaltitude reconnaissance missions, has underscored the growing lenges, plus some others also necessary for the full exploitation importance of that type of sensing technology. of HSI capabilities. The announcement late last year that UTC Aerospace Headwall Photonics has built up a leadership position in HSI Systems would use an HSI sensor from Headwall Photonics over the past decade, according to Chief Executive Officer David represented a major public advance for the technology. But Bannon. Innovative engineering allows Headwall to make seneven before then, HSI capabilities and uses were sors that yield aberration-corrected images and steadily expanding. that have no moving parts. HSI sensors are basically imaging devices “These are specially designed for harsh envilike cameras that have been coupled with radironments, airborne, on the ground or handheld,” ometers and spectrometers. They collect solar Bannon said. The company manufactures the difreflected energy in the ultraviolet (UV), visifractive optics that go into HSI and offers a broad ble, near-infrared (IR) and shortwave infrared range, from UV to visible light to near IR, SWIR (SWIR) portions of the electromagnetic specand LWIR. trum, or emitted energy in the mid-wave infrared Aberration correction yields high perfor(MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR) portions mance. “Hyperspectral sensors are designed with of this spectrum. image slits, and the larger the image slit the wider David Bannon Because HSI can identify objects based on the field of view,” Bannon explained. “With aberthe target’s chemical fingerprint or spectral sigration correction designed into the sensor, we nature rather than rely solely on visual appearance, it can see enable the use of a very tall image slit and can sweep a wide much more than the human eye. For example, HSI can idenswath of ground.” tify the chemical signature of camouflage, which looks like the This means Headwall sensors perform well across the whole surrounding environment to human eyes, by using algorithms. field of view of the sensor, both in the middle and at the edges These algorithms match data from HSI images with a digital of the flight path. “We are able to sweep a very wide swath of library of chemical signatures. ground with very high spectral and spatial resolution,” Bannon But highly useful capabilities come with major chalsaid. “Having a high-efficiency optical subsystem allows the lenges. HSI generates massive amounts of data for interpretasensor to achieve very high signal-to-noise performance.” tion, so users must be able to select only the data of interest. Bannon said this performance advantage is the reason Also, very fast and effective algorithms for image interpretaHeadwall was selected for key defense projects such as the U-2 tion are needed, and the signature of each relevant chemical Dragon, real-time HSI on the MQ-1 Predator and real-time tarmust be in the digital library. Moreover, for many practical get detection on small unmanned aerial systems. Headwall uses, all of this must be done very quickly and with modestly technology works across the board, for space-qualified satellite sized equipment. sensors, airborne, mast-mounted and handheld HSI. 24 | GIF 11.2
Bannon sees several major trends in military HSI at present. The first is real-time target detection at the tactical level. “It used to take too much time to process, analyze and distribute. That time has been much reduced.” The second is development of products across spectral ranges, from UV all the way up to LWIR. Headwall has implemented a strategy for coupling sensors as a common-sensor module that provides for visible and near infrared, SWIR and LWIR capabilities to utilize all spectral features of the target set. The third trend is reduction in the size of bundled systems, not just for HSI sensors but for GPS inertial navigation, processors and storage as well. “So as the size of the UAS decreases, from Global Hawk to Scan Eagle to handheld, we have developed an HSI system suited for each,” Bannon said. The last and related trend has been development of groundbased HSI sensors, suitable for use by reconnaissance troops, that can identify very small targets at a distance of a mile. In general, “we want to make HSI useful and actionable, so you don’t have to be a Ph.D. optical scientist to operate it,” Bannon said. “You just push a button, algorithms are processed and you see the target on the screen.” At the other end of the size spectrum, Headwall makes large HSI systems on satellites and won the development contract for the high-performance sensor system on the U-2. One important goal here is affordability. Bannon estimated that the Air Force’s Airborne Cueing and Exploitation System-Hyperspectral (ACES-HY) on the Predator costs $5-7 million. “The defense community only needs a few of those and can only afford a few,” he said. Headwall HSI, by contrast, costs from $150,000 to $500,000 and offers compelling and comparable performance. “There is a substantial level of innovation being offered by small technology manufacturers such as Headwall and, in an era of constrained military spending, I believe the geospatial community will have to consider nontraditional suppliers.”
on other platforms, Nelson noted. Riverside also worked with the Air Force to integrate the SPIRITT sensor onto the U-2 and with NGA to convert Air Force HSI systems to NGA platforms. HSI’s big advantage is the ability to do what Nelson calls non-literal material identification. “Instead of using visual cues, such as identifying a tank because you see it in the image, HSI data, in conjunction with specialized, spectral-based algorithms, can identify materials not visible to the human eye,” Nelson said. The technique can cover wide areas and has potential to identify camouflaged targets, explosive materials before they are weaponized and trace aerosol signatures. “I think the technology is gaining momentum due to its success,” Nelson said. “The next big hurdle is the integration of LWIR sensors into ISR platforms. There are technical challenges in LWIR, but it has important capabilities like gas detection.” The research director believes in a layered approach to ISR. “HSI is best utilized as one layer of an integrated, multi-sensor analytic package. Adding the capability to cue other sensors, such as radar or electro-optical, can provide a powerful analytic tool by taking advantage of the synergy gained from fused data,” he explained. Riverside is investigating the challenges of processing massive volumes of complex data, which is a major issue for all ISR capabilities, including HSI. “We are trying to come up with ways to efficiently apply commercial big-data solutions to HSI processing in real time,” Nelson said. The company has partnered with several other firms to integrate hardware and software best suited to the problem. Nelson argues that future intelligence products must include rapid analysis of HSI data in cloud-based environments, followed with fusion of those results with other data sources, optical and nonoptical, for optimal performance.
Exelis Visual Information Solutions (VIS) develops software for visualizing and analyzing remotely sensed data, explained Beau Legeer, vice president of products management. It offers As an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c3) corporation, ENVI software to analyze HSI data. Riverside Research plays a unique role, according to Michael “What we saw last year was the continued airborne use of Nelson, the company’s intelligence operations director. “Our HSI to work on problems that were beyond the scope of tradiunique role allows us to provide cradle-to-grave support across tional panchromatic and multi-spectral sensors,” Legeer said. HSI acquisition, integration into platforms, system engineering “There were both a continuation of old HSI programs and some of flight and ground stations, algorithm development, mission new programs in the field.” planning and analysis.” However, there has apparently been no solution yet to one Riverside currently supports all four services as well as the big HSI challenge, that of denied airspace. “HSI National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. is still limited to places we can fly over,” Nelson The company assists on integrating HSI onto acknowledged. platforms, ensuring systems perform “in the real Exelis has seen HSI become more available to world,” Nelson said. “There are many good sensors tactical users, and ENVI has been put to the serthat never achieve operational status.” vice of the tactical edge. In the past, Legeer said, The company both develops its own algoHSI was mostly used retrospectively and forensirithms and validates other firms’ algorithms. cally. “Now we are able to get the data quickly and It helps analyze images and advise on HSI run the work flows to identify materials of interanalytic software. est, and it often queues further action. In the past Riverside worked with the Air Force on HSI investigated after the fact, post mortem. Now ACES-HY for the Predator. Although originally Michael Nelson we can do this closer to the tactical edge.” designed for the Predator, ACES-HY can be put www.GIF-kmi.com
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This is possible partly because software has evolved to support HSI users who do not have much training or experience. “Scientists used to be the only ones who could use the data,” Legeer said. “Now we have workflows put together by scientists that can produce a material identification and give you confidence estimates for the identification. The analyst just walks through a guided process and gets the material and confidence estimate. This is making HSI easier to use.” These workflows are the software steps that substitute for the steps once taken by HSI experts based on their experience and expertise. The steps are necessary because HSI data must be corrected and validated before it is compared with chemical signatures of materials. “In layman’s terms, you are separating the noise from the signal,” Legeer explained. “That way, you get fewer false positives; now that is automated.” Another advance is the quality of data received by ground stations. Data used to come down from sensors raw and uncalibrated. “Now we have very good onboard processors so that data is calibrated and corrected when it comes down,” Legeer said. Exelis acquired one developer of these improved onboard systems in order to provide a more end-to-end solution for users in the future. Better data from the sensors means the first-level workflow has already been done. “Certain targets of interest have been identified when the data gets to the ground,” Legeer noted. “So we can focus on validations and look for other materials.” The fact that ground station software no longer has to do calibration, he added, represents a major advance. Exelis VIS workflows are very flexible, so when HSI scientists come up with better interpretation methods, these can be inserted into the software easily. Another advantage of ENVI is that it can test new techniques, so that these do not have to be rewritten for a different production system after testing. HSI will continue to be important in the future, Legeer said, noting that the technology will be helpful in monitoring the situation in Afghanistan as international forces are reduced.
Processing Performance Another innovation comes from SpecTIR, which recently made operational its SpecTIR Hyperspectral Automated Processing and Exploitation System (SHAPES), a highly rugged, end-to-end, ground-based hyperspectral remote-sensing capability in a trailer. Along with offering unique horizontal-scanning capabilities, SHAPES is a first because “there is no man in the loop,” explained Sean Anklam, chief innovation officer. SHAPES’s sensor can complete a scan in 30 seconds, and then SHAPES takes 20 to 40 seconds to process, exploit and generate a report from scanned data. Processing includes radiometric calibration, atmospheric compensation and target detection. “In comparison, two years ago that process took upwards of eight hours to complete,” Anklam pointed out. SHAPES thus dramatically increases performance in acquisition, processing and exploitation. In tactical scenarios, this speed is crucial. “Any hyperspectral system capable of running autonomously while producing near real-time results adds tremendous value to military operations,” Anklam said. 26 | GIF 11.2
Terrestrial HSI is not limited to vehicles or trailers. SpecTIR recently acquired a core-logging hyperspectral system, Sisu Rock, from its Finnish partner, Specim Limited. Sisu Rock can rapidly scan and produce mineral maps of rock cores extracted from drilling operations. It can also produce highresolution hyperspectral images and maps of trace minerals from drill cores in less than 15 seconds, greatly improving drill-core analysis. Specim has also created an indoor HSI system, Sisu Chema, a tabletop station that produces hyperspectral images by scanning trace chemical samples as small as 30 microns. Sisu Chema could be used in pharmaceuticals, law enforcement and military intelligence. Airborne HSI has seen consistent reductions in size and power consumption and improvement in spatial, spectral and radiometric resolution, Anklam observed. ProSpecTIR VS sensors are now used worldwide. They scan visible, near-infrared and SWIR portions of the spectrum at half-meter ground-sample distances. “We’ve also put considerable care into developing state-ofthe-art radiometric calibration, wavelength mapping and geoprocessing for these sensors that ensure unparalleled accuracy, traceability and repeatability of data,” Anklam noted. “Sensors come in plug-and-play packages weighing less than 100 pounds and occupying a few square feet of space.” SpecTIR has been improving HSI logistics and deployment options as well. It can rapidly deploy a sensor, computer and operator via its aircraft network to nearly any place on the globe. Sensors and computers can be quickly disassembled, shipped in ruggedized containers and integrated into almost any aircraft. The company can easily adjust integration rates and fore optics of sensors for different speeds and altitudes of HSI operation. Better logistics and ruggedized sensors have allowed SpecTIR to deploy in a variety of climates, from the Canadian Arctic to the Australian outback and jungles in Brazil and central Africa. SpecTIR routinely integrates HSI with complementary sensors such as high-resolution cameras and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems. HSI provides data on chemical composition, while LiDAR yields data on height, size, location and volume. Data fusion then creates extraordinary, robust intelligence products, Anklam said. The innovation officer predicts that the next generation of HSI will be small enough to be integrated into many types of UASs. Specim has developed a very small and inexpensive LWIR sensor, Aisa OWL. Cooled by the Stirling thermodynamic cycle, OWL does not require the space and expense of liquid-helium and liquid-nitrogen cryogenic systems. “New focal-plane array and optical materials are being developed that will allow for imaging of expanded portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, while reducing development costs,” Anklam said. O
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Advertisers Index American Military University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 www.publicsafetyatamu.com/gif Aptima. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 www.aptima.com Digital Results Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 www.drgisr.com Exelis Visual Information Solutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 www.exelisvis.com/enviservicesengine General Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2 www.generaldynamics.com Human Geography 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 www.humangeographyevent.com/gis Intergraph Government Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 www.geospatial.intergraph.com/2013 NJVC LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 www.njvc.com Pixia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 www.pixia.com/partners/emc RapidEye. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 www.rapideye.com/mosaics Riverside Research. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C3 www.riversideresearch.org SAIC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 www.saic.com/isr/about
Calendar March 24-28, 2013 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Annual Conference Baltimore, Md. www.asprs.org April 8-10, 2013 Defense Intelligence Worldwide Baltimore, Md. www.ncsi.com April 8-10, 2013 Sea-Air-Space Expo National Harbor, Md. www.seaairspace.org April 10-11, 2013 AFCEA Spring Intelligence Symposium Springfield, Va. www.afcea.org April 11-14, 2013 National Space Symposium Colorado Springs, Colo. www.nationalspacesymposium.org
May 13-16, 2013 Geospatial World Forum Rotterdam, Netherlands www.geospatialworldforum.org May 20-24, 2013 GEOINT Community Week Washington, D.C. area http://usgif.org July 8-12, 2013 Esri International User Conference San Diego, Calif. www.esri.com
Learn more about Aptima in this edition of Geospatial Intelligence Forum:
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April 2013 Volume 11, Issue 3
Cover and In-Depth Interview with:
Betty J. Sapp Director National Reconnaissance Office
Features: Space Industry Roundtable
“What is the future of national security space in an era of fiscal austerity?”
New technologies and needs are changing the electro-optical sensors used for airborne surveillance.
September 16-18, 2013 Air and Space Conference National Harbor, Md. www.afa.org
Activity based intelligence systems use advanced analytic software to understand activity patterns and Bonus individual relationships. Distribution
September 24-26, 2013 Modern Day Marine Quantico, Va. www.marinemilitaryexpos.com
Sharing the Ride
October 13-16, 2013 GEOINT 2013 Symposium Tampa, Fla. http://geoint2013.com
Hosted satellite payloads offer a growing tool for intelligence gathering.
National Space Symposium April 8-11, 2013 Colorado Springs, Colo.
Insertion Order Deadline: March 18, 2013 Ad Materials Deadline: March 25, 2013 GIF 11.2 | 27
Geospatial Intelligence Forum
Jeff Wilson Vice President for Sales ClearTerra Q: Can you tell us more about ClearTerra and what types of products and services you are offering to military and other government customers? A: ClearTerra, formed two years ago, is a small technology company specializing in commercial geospatial software products, custom software development and training services. ClearTerra is very focused on the user-interface and userexperience of our technologies. We are firm believers in smartly integrated commercial off-the-shelf products working together to provide the right solution for our customers. Our core product is LocateXT software, which we created and sell commercially. LocateXT is an easy-to-use product that allows our customers to work with unstructured data in applications like Esri ArcGIS and Google Earth. Q: Can you explain what it means to “work with unstructured data in applications like ArcGIS and Google Earth?” A: Absolutely. A huge amount of information that analysts need to understand comes in the form of unstructured data—data that is not in a database or other analytical “structure.” Message traffic, intelligence reports, some kinds of raw intelligence data, briefings, email messages, web pages—it goes on and on. Analysts spend a great deal of time manually reviewing this data for important and useful information. Frequently, when analysts come across location information, such as geocoordinates or place names, they then spend even more time interpreting the information and manually plotting the locations. This is where LocateXT comes in. LocateXT rapidly searches the text in all those unstructured documents and finds geocoordinates, or custom-defined place names. These locations are then extracted and placed into applications such as ArcGIS or Google Earth. 28 | GIF 11.2
We have also worked hard to ensure our LocateXT product is valuable to a wide variety of users. One type of user may need to simply right-click on a single file and launch it into Google Earth in order just to look for patterns of location data or area-of-interest activity. Meanwhile, another is using our product in ArcGIS, scanning thousands of documents into a geodatabase to assist with a human terrain task. LocateXT really has a wide variety of uses. In addition to the location itself, our software captures a snippet of textual content before and after the location, along with other important information like dates. This all ends up in the spatial database along with the location, and provides critical context as to “what” the location reference is about. Because this data is now “structured,” it can be queried and searched upon by more traditional tools that understand how to process the spatial database. Q: What unique benefits does your company provide its customers in comparison with other companies in your field? A: I think one thing we do really well is understand the analyst. The software interfaces we develop are intuitive and designed to be used “on demand.” Out of the box, our software can be used by just right-clicking on a file, or by dragging and dropping an email message or web page. However, there are many options and settings available that provide significant control over exactly which data is searched and what type of information is extracted. This gives each analyst the ability to analyze their data in their own way. For example, since we integrate so tightly with geospatial applications like ArcGIS, users can integrate our technology into automated workflows using tools like Esri ModelBuilder, allowing them to chain together our tools along with other geoprocessing tasks and creating very powerful capabilities.
Q: Are you currently developing new products and services relevant to military and government customers that you hope to bring to the market in the future? A: Yes, we are constantly evolving our products. We are close to releasing a new version this spring that will provide powerful custom extraction tools. These tools will allow users to perform searches for one or more keywords in conjunction with location extraction. As an example, let’s say analysts were interested in extracting locations from reports concerning Afghanistan. But what they were really looking for were locations of IEDrelated events. In this case, they can configure LocateXT to search for the term “IED” while looking for locations. LocateXT will then flag those extracted locations that are associated with the keyword. So perhaps 500 locations are plotted, but only 35 of them are flagged as “IED.” The target search set has been reduced by more than 90 percent. We are also very excited about cloudbased GIS, and as business partners are working closely with Esri to deliver more of our capabilities into the ArcGIS Online platform. This portal has proven to be very popular with certain intelligence organizations that want to maximize their use of network-accessible information. This very dynamic technology provides an incredible amount of GIS data sharing and collaboration, and we look forward to being involved with it. O www.GIF-kmi.com
Moving Science from the
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Call or email today to discuss how Ageon ISR can support your mission. Stephen St. Mary I 617-517-3210 I sstmary@drgISR.com
Geospatial Intelligence Forum, Volume 11 Issue 2, March 2013