BAE Systems names industry team to help DARPA unify imaging and military intelligence sensors

MERRIMACK, N.H., 16 Jan. 2014. Military intelligence sensor processing experts at the BAE Systems Electronic Solutions segment in Merrimack, N.H., have named their team to carry out a military project to design a next-generation intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) exploitation and resource management system that fills gaps in today’s military intelligence analysis capability.

Jan 16th, 2014
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MERRIMACK, N.H., 16 Jan. 2014. Military intelligence sensor processing experts at the BAE Systems Electronic Solutions segment in Merrimack, N.H., have named their team to carry out a military project to design a next-generation intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) exploitation and resource management system that fills gaps in today’s military intelligence analysis capability.

The effort involves the Insight project of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., which seeks to blend human operator knowledge and reasoning into intelligence-processing computers to deal quickly with complex data from different sensors.

BAE Systems won a $79 million contract from DARPA last July for the second phase of the DARPA Insight program. On the BAE Systems Insight team are Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories in Cherry Hill, N.J; SAIC Inc. in McLean, Va.; Charles River Analytics Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.; Intific Inc. in Peckville, Pa.; Aptima Inc. in Woburn, Mass.; HF Designworks Inc. in Boulder, Colo.; and PatchPlus Consulting Inc. in Medford, N.J.

Related: BAE Systems to help DARPA unify imaging and other battlefield intelligence sensors

Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories has expertise in perception, understanding, and model-based reasoning; SAIC specializes in advanced communications and integrated networks; Charles River Analytics focuses on hybrid computational intelligence; Intific has expertise in neuroscience and immersive simulation; Aptima has strengths in intelligent interaction and performance measurement; HF Designworks specializes in human factors and software design; and PatchPlus Consulting focuses on intelligence and battle management.

While the Insight program's first phase created the baseline system with an initial focus on counter-insurgency operations, the second phase not only will mature phase-one capabilities, but also will add additional capabilities for expanded missions.

In phase two the BAE Systems team will analyze and use information from imagers and other kinds of battlefield sensors to help warfighters detect and identify threats by using behavioral discovery and prediction algorithms.

Related: BAE Systems joins SAIC to develop DARPA Insight next-generation intelligence-analysis system

This phase also will detect and identify enemy networks by integrating information from all possible sources, including military intelligence repositories, human reporting, and space, air, sea, and ground-based sensors.

The Insight program seeks to develop a system that will serve users across various defense organizations by fusing data automatically from numerous sensors and using algorithms to discover and predict behaviors of possible threats, BAE Systems officials say.

The system would analyze the multi-source data and convert it to useable intelligence in a process known as exploitation. For unprecedented seamless tracking abilities, the system also would manage sensor tasking automatically, company officials say.

Related: DARPA launches PPAML artificial intelligence program to move machine learning forward

"BAE Systems has invested in developing a portfolio of sensor data processing and exploitation systems to provide analysts with usable intelligence and intuitive, easy-to-use sensor controls," says David Logan, vice president and general manager of technology solutions at BAE Systems. "We are able to capitalize on the core technologies we've developed for other intelligence programs, including multi-sensor fusion, reasoning algorithms, and automatic resource tasking, while advancing our expertise in this area."

Among the program's goals are replacing existing stovepipes with an integrated ISR system; provide tools and automation to increase analyst productivity; promote efficient collaboration among analysts; and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of individual analysts through a unified global ISR picture.

DARPA scientists are asking the BAE Systems team for an open, standards-based, multi-source, plug-and-play architecture to enable rapid integration of existing and emerging ISR technologies and make it easy to add, remove, substitute, and modify hardware and software components.

Related: DARPA launches DEFT program to pull actionable intelligence out of ambiguously worded text

BAE Systems and SAIC won DARPA Insight phase-one contracts in spring 2011, and wrapped up their work last year. The companies started designing a next-generation ISR exploitation and resource management system that may help U.S. intelligence experts detect threat networks, irregular warfare, and terrorist operations.

The companies developed technologies that combine intelligence information from imaging sensors, crowd-source and other social network or text-based sensors, and other sources for further analysis, and cross-cue different intelligence sources automatically.

In the first phase of the Insight program BAE Systems and SAIC built model-based behavioral correlation, modeling, prediction, and threat network analysis tools that combine intelligence information across many different sources automatically to improve the efficiencies of multi-intelligence sensors.

Related: Lockheed Martin wins DARPA RC2 contract to deliver enhanced command and control systems

In the first phase, BAE Systems developed an automatic and semi-automatic system for exploitation and resource management, as well as sensor models for testing the Insight system under a wide variety of operational conditions. Phase 1 focused on supporting tactical brigades and battalions in irregular warfare scenarios, BAE Systems officials say.

In the second phase of the DARPA Insight program, BAE Systems, SAIC, and the rest of the Insight team will continue making progress in developing a unified data-management and processing environment that integrates new intelligence sensors and software algorithms.

For more information contact BAE Systems Electronic Systems online at www.baesystems.com, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories at www.atl.lmco.com, SAIC at www.saic.com, Charles River Analytics at www.cra.com, Intific at www.totimm.com, Aptima at www.aptima.com, HF Designworks at www.hfdesignworks.com, PatchPlus Consulting at www.patchplusconsulting.com, or DARPA at www.darpa.mil.

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