Solving the data intelligence gap

By Richard Ramsey and Jimmy Kao

April 21 2022

The increasing leanness of tactical intelligence platforms, systems, and processes has pushed the emphasis for intelligence products to the strategic level, to satisfy requirements for trends and analysis, strategic planning, and wide operational level targeting. National intelligence systems have the capacity to fill in those gaps through already processed and vetted products. These products are also used for national and strategic level purposes, but can be utilized at the tactical level. However, national sources/other information not fully exploited for combat operations. 

There is a tremendous amount of valuable information produced. However, operational users are limited by several factors.

First, most operational users do not have access to national information. This is either because of the level of classification which doesn’t allow for easy or immediate distribution to potential users; or because the user does not have immediate access to a location where the information can be gained. The classification level of the system or set of systems that hold this information are a hindrance to operational usage, which often is at a significantly lower classification level.

Users also do not know what information to request. The process of intelligence collection and dissemination can be disparate from the operational processes and needs, particularly in the area of tactical execution. A potential operational user wants specifics on potential targets, often in a time sensitive situation. A user wants to know what the target is, and whether it can be engaged. This immediacy and “black and white” situation can be at odds with the traditional intelligence process.

Most users in the operational and tactical arena do not know how to appropriately perform a query for the kind of information that is needed. They also have no interface or search-based system to access this critical information.

There are existing systems designed to bridge the gap between national and tactical, but have several deficiencies. Specifically, they lack advanced data enhancement when “zoomed-in”. Often, an operational or tactical user requires specifics on a particular object at a particular time; this specificity is not satisfied by existing systems. Another factor is the data provenance, or pedigree-derived confidence levels. A user with a tactical execution needs has to have quantifiable metrics in regard to how the data is derived as well as the process of fusion and production. Additionally, information from disparate systems are not integrated on a single interface.  Most national sources are essentially stovepiped, making correlation, fusion, and user integration difficult.  

The Rapid Application of Information (RAIN) System is designed to provide combat identification to tactical systems, increase platform situational awareness beyond organic and tactical systems, and accelerate decision-making, RAIN will augment existing tactical information, providing critical “fill-ins”, at a classification level used by the tactical community, while maintaining the pedigree of the information provided. 

RAIN will accomplish this by providing a user interface designed for on-demand, query-based processes. The user will be able to ask the system for information on a particular area, object, entity, or process, thus eliminating clutter and other extraneous information, focusing on what a particular user needs at a particular time. The system will provide data already analyzed, processed, correlated and fused immediately on request.

RAIN is composed of three components/processes.  First is the data harvesting system. This is the access to all source information, using commercial cloud-based implementation. It performs basic level correlation and reduction before transmitting to the next level.

The second component is the analytics and distribution level. It performs the majority of data analytics, and stores the processed data for mid to long term access. This component receives the operators’ data requests and provides system feedback on trends, requirements, and architecture health. It also can receive tactical information for various platforms for correlation and redistribution.

The third component of RAIN is the operator interface. This is an operator adjustable visual display, designed to interface with tactical systems for data link transmission. The operator can use the interface to input queries to RAIN based on a particular object or area.

Relevant Links:

For more information visit Intelligence systems | Intelligence & Communications

Read Ed Campbell's blog Tomorrow's Wars Are Here Today

Questions: [email protected]

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