Navy polls industry on maritime intelligence-fusion project

WASHINGTON, 3 Aug. 2005. U.S. Navy researchers are surveying industry to see if companies are interested or involved in projects to improve intelligence gathering throughout the world's oceans.

Aug 3rd, 2005

WASHINGTON, 3 Aug. 2005. U.S. Navy researchers are surveying industry to see if companies are interested or involved in projects to improve intelligence gathering throughout the world's oceans.

A Navy request for information (RFI), which comes under the aegis of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), seeks industry input on collecting and fusing enormous quantities of information, and organizing the resulting intelligence data into a comprehensive maritime common operating picture.

Information to be collected and fused would come from U.S. joint forces, government agencies, international coalition partners and forces, and commercial entities.

This information request comes from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. Maritime Domain Awareness pertains to understanding anything related to the world's oceans that may influence the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States. The RFI reference number is MS08.

The goal of Maritime Domain Awareness is generating actionable intelligence, without which U.S. officials say counter-terrorist or maritime law-enforcement operations are seldom fruitful.

The challenge, officials say, is to create a comprehensive situational-awareness picture, while responding to the information needs of participating government agencies.

Naval Research Lab leaders emphasize that now they merely are trying to gauge industry interest in working on such a program; they are not committing to a specific contract solicitation.

Research funding for such a program, nevertheless, would come from a variety of U.S. government agencies between 2006 and 2009, Navy officials say. Naval Research Lab scientists specifically are interested in making use information from any Maritime Domain Awareness efforts.

Several U.S. agencies already are involved with Maritime Domain Awareness projects, most notably the U.S. Coast Guard. Other agencies involved include the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Companies interested in making their expertise in these areas known to the Navy should contact the Naval Research Laboratory by e-mail at nrlmda@ncst.nrl.navy.mil, or by post to Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook, Ave. S.W., ATTN: CDR J. R. Graham, Code 8020, Washington, D.C. 20375.

Navy officials say they must receive responses no later than Aug. 12, and will not review responses received after that date. More information on this Navy request is online at http://www2.eps.gov/spg/DON/ONR/N00173/Reference%2DNumber%2DMS08/listing.html

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