Air Force to use artificial intelligence and other advanced data processing to hit the enemy where it hurts

By John Keller

ROME, N.Y.–U.S. Air Force researchers are asking for industry’s help to develop advanced intelligence-collection and rapid-response capability to help U.S. forces attack enemies quickly at their most vulnerable and damaging points.

The idea is to collect, analyze, and take action in real time on intelligence information collected from many different sources to carry out so-called “effects-based operations” to do the most damage to the enemy as quickly as possible.

Air Force researchers are emphasizing machine-to-machine intelligence communications and cooperation in this project, which will rely on technologies like artificial intelligence, ontological reasoning, and knowledge-based processing.

For the Air Force, effects-based operations seeks to enable one aircraft to attack several different high-value targets quickly to inflict maximum damage to the enemy, while keeping collateral damage to a minimum.

This broad agency announcement (BAA-10-07-RIKA), called Synchronized Net-Enabled Multi-INT Exploitation, was issued in late January from the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., and aims at innovative, disruptive technologies for cueing and collection of intelligence automatically for situational awareness, assessment, and military action.

For this project, Air Force researchers seek to automate the collection and use of intelligence information gathered from many different platforms and correlated in several different ways, make better use of raw sensor data from existing multisource, multiplatform, real-time collection systems, and automate intelligence information processing for assessment, cueing, electronic attack, and battle damage assessment.

The intent is to address increasing volumes of data quickly enough to take advantage of enemy vulnerabilities before the enemy can take corrective action.

The focus of this program is to characterize and correlate data sources on existing multisource, multiplatform, real-time collection systems, use multi-platform collection for dynamic exploitation, automatically cue sensors and recommend opportunities, and automatically exploit intelligence information.

The project will involve issues, such as target-specific characteristics for identification and correlation; automated data collection, signals identification, and intelligence processing; enabling architectures for advanced intelligence exploitation; application-specific software; advanced knowledge-based processing; network-centric collection, information exchange, and correlation; technologies to capitalize on motion imagery; technologies for human intelligence gathering; and advanced digital signal processing.

Funding for the project will be roughly $24.5 million through 2012. Those interested should submit white paper concept descriptions by 1 Nov. 2010 for 2011 projects; and by 1 Nov. 2011 for 2012 projects. White papers will be accepted until 28 Sept. 2012.

Send white papers by registered mail post to AFRL/RIEG, 525 Brooks Road, Rome, N.Y. 13441-4505, and refer to BAA 10-07-RIKA.

For questions or concerns, contact the Air Force’s Dan Stevens by phone at 315-330-2416, or by e-mail at

More information is online at

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