Today’s U.S. military has a uniquely modern challenge: massive amounts of data. Though our military possesses powerful sensor and data collection capabilities-satellite systems, UAVs, manned aerial platforms, ground-based sensors, to name a few-existing technologies fall short in making that data useful to the Soldier (e.g., providing environment updates to a squad in real-time). Hindering efficient delivery of environment information are growing data volumes and an inability to efficiently convert raw sensor and source data into useable intelligence.
In this paper we explore methodologies for rapid, automated, and efficient environment data delivery. We provide an overview of the state-of-the-art, looking at benefits and drawbacks to existing GIS standards and frameworks. We discuss a technology in development for the Army: the Assimilation of Sources for a Cohesive Environment Description (ASCEND). ASCEND’s goal is to leverage and improve upon existing research to efficiently sort through data, leverage critical environment information, and rapidly deliver it to the Soldier. We evaluate the efficacy of the ASCEND framework, testing how cloud computing and HPC architectures can aid with processing big data.
These huge amounts of data are both a problem and an opportunity for today’s military. We will show how environment data tools can efficiently sort through data and leverage only critical information, resulting in increased situational awareness, cost savings, and survivability.
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