Monday, January 11, 2010

A 10X change in military surveilance technology

NYT points to an ongoing revolution of command and control architecture in the modern warfare:

Air Force drones collected nearly three times as much video over Afghanistan and Iraq last year as in 2007 — about 24 years’ worth if watched continuously. That volume is expected to multiply in the coming years as drones are added to the fleet and as some start using multiple cameras to shoot in many directions.

Instead of carrying just one camera, the Reaper drones, which are newer and larger than the Predators, will soon be able to record video in 10 directions at once. By 2011, that will increase to 30 directions with plans for as many as 65 after that. Even the Air Force’s top intelligence official, Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, says it could soon be “swimming in sensors and drowning in data.”

The data overload problem is obvious and the military is trying to solve it the traditional way, by adding more bodies, specifically, 2,500 analysts, to watch and analyze video feeds. Since in real life attacks don't happen continuously, these highly trained people will be, literally, watching the grass grow most of the time.

As the result we have a dilemma: a) we want to watch drone video feeds all the time to detect important events that are unpredictable and outside of our control; b) we don't want to watch the feeds because it's a huge waste of time (nothing happens).

The next step is application of the separation principles (space, time, action) - probably, some time during the Spring '10 Principles of Invention class.

tags:10x, dilemma, problem, tradeoff, solution, military, video, , 3x3, bus74

1 comment:

Eric said...

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