Intelligence

December 1, 2016
By Jesse Nielsen

The U.S. intelligence community (IC) must transform its ability to discern threats from hundreds of millions of data points that flood databases each day and provide timely, actionable findings to warfighters and government officials. As it stands, agencies devote too much time, money and talent to reading data and must find new ways to keep their edge over adversaries. One way of addressing the problem is turning analysts’ thoughts into digital analytic models.

You read that correctly.

December 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Athletes and coaches alike constantly study game film of opposing teams and players, identifying patterns and collecting intelligence that can provide insights into the opposition’s tendencies and overall game plan. This allows a team to formulate a strategy to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses.

Sports present an apt analogy for predictive intelligence. Achieved largely through the tools of big data analytics and augmented by other types of intelligence, a predictive capability takes on many forms. At its core, it assists in promoting timely and actionable information to identify trends or behaviors that enable the prediction of events. As a result, officials can act in a prompt and decisive manner.

October 21, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DNI James Clapper answers questions asked by guests attending AFCEA’s Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) speaker series. The session was moderated by Jesse Nielsen, managing director of VXIT Analytics.

The next 17 days leading up to the presidential election pose a rather vulnerable time for the United States—more so than usual during a transition of power, says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“This year, for lots of reasons, people are nervous, particularly for an election cycle that has been sportier than normal,” Clapper shared during at presentation Thursday at AFCEA’s Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) speaker series. 

September 8, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Directors of the 'Big 6' in the U.S. intelligence community speak during the third annual Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

The recurring theme throughout the premier intelligence summit in the nation’s capital this week was a parade of nations: The United States is worried about enduring threats posed by Russia, China and North Korea. Sprinkled into the mounting global risk landscape is the drawn-out strife against terrorism—with no near-term end—and the escalating vulnerabilities of the cyber realm.

The presentations offered a realistic snapshot of global turmoil today, bordering on a lot of doom and gloom.

Intelligence officials touched on a wide variety of issues during the two-day Intelligence & National Security Summit (INSS), held September 7 and 8.

August 11, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The United States Navy has tested and deployed the RQ-20B Puma small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) aboard a Flight I Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG Class), according to an AeroVironment Inc. announcement. Some of these exercises included the use of the company’s fully autonomous system to recover the aircraft aboard a ship.  

September 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss the new face of terrorism during the 3rd annual INSS in Washington, D.C. this week.

The complexity of counterterrorism efforts and information sharing in the United States dwarfs the challenges besetting European governments as the continent contends with penetrable borders, an influx of refugees and the radicalization of some of its youth.

The rise in turmoil not only threatens the existence of the Schengen area, in which 26 countries abolished the need for passports to cross mutual borders, but complicates intelligence efforts to combat terror, said Michael Leiter, chief operations officer at Leidos, a panelist at the third annual Intelligence & National Security Summit (INSS) in Washington, D.C. this week.

September 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
The NGA finds itself being out-innovated by industry and academia. For inspiration, the agency’s new research director looks to a 1700s clockmaker who changed the world.

Geospatial intelligence technology rapidly is advancing and in some ways leaving behind the U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community. Looking to stay on the cutting edge, the nation’s premier geospatial intelligence agency is reorganizing its research and development arm to focus more on long-term research and developing closer ties to other agencies, the private sector and academia.

August 5, 2016
By Ralph Wade
A U.S. Air Force target system analyst assigned to the 15th Intelligence Squadron, 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, 363rd ISR Wing provides training using a simulated satellite constellation at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

As discussed in my last post, to meet the needs of the nation’s combatant commands (COCOMs) and National Command Authority, government and industry must evolve the current intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, sensors and ground systems into a truly global ISR enterprise. An incremental approach must be combined with overarching actions to migrate to common ISR information technology infrastructures, orchestrated toward the larger goal of an integrated ISR enterprise. This can be done through three DOD ISR focus areas: 

August 23, 2016
By Ed Hammersla

The world of intelligence sharing has gone from on a need-to-know basis between federal agencies to one in which those key players must, by necessity, combine disparate pieces of intel to ascertain a complete picture of potential threats.

September 1, 2016
By Michael Del Vecchio and Aaron Moore

The emergence of cyber as a battlespace domain has changed the formula for intelligence gathering as well as warfighting. No longer can any form of the traditional intelligence architecture guarantee national security superiority. Just as weapon systems needed to accommodate new technologies, the intelligence community now must leverage the trinity of sensors, big data and cyber. 

July 28, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
HawkEye 360 and Lockheed Martin collaborate to bring space-based RF mapping and analytics technology to the commercial sector. Image courtesy HawkEye 360

A Virginia-based radio frequency and analytics startup wants to go where no commercial business has gone before.

HawkEye 360, a subsidiary of Allied Minds, is teaming with Lockheed Martin and Deep Space Industries to launch the small business' RF detection, mapping and predictive analytic technologies to detect radio frequency (RF) from space for global commercial and government use, giving customers a unique intelligence offering that cuts across air, land and sea networks.

July 27, 2016

The U.S. Air Force and industry partners are developing a unique phased array for high-throughput intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services for X-band satellite services.

During a recent display at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, Ball Aerospace and XTAR demonstrated that Ball’s Airlink X-1 antenna configured for the C-130 hatch was able to transmit 4.5 megabits of data per second over the XTAR-LANT satellite, a marked throughput increase over existing terminals, officials say.

July 6, 2016

An intelligence-based research agency has launched a challenge to foster a community of participants that will produce a solution to accurately produce 3-D mapping from satellite photos.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, set in motion its Multi-View Stereo 3D Mapping Challenge, inviting the broader research community of industry and academia, with or without experience in multiview satellite imagery, to participate in a non-contractual way.

June 7, 2016
by Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Riho Terras, commander of Estonian Defense Forces, warns that Europe is too reactionary to world events while speaking at the NITEC 2016 cyber conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Europe is asleep at the wheel and needs an awakening before it crashes, warned Lt. Gen. Riho Terras, commander of Estonian Defense Forces. 

The reactionary nature of the continent’s militaries has caught leaders unawares far too many times already, and forces no longer can afford to leave proactive measures to someone else, Gen. Terras shared during the inaugural day of NITEC 2016, a cyber conference being held this week in Tallinn, Estonia. 

“What happens in the world comes as a surprise for Europe,” said Gen. Terras, who pulled no punches when laying out examples of when European leaders were caught off guard.

June 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
An Atlas V lifts National Reconnaissance Office Launch-55, carrying a classified satellite and 13 CubeSats into orbit late last year. The increasing use of digital technologies in intelligence has compelled the CIA to create a new directorate dedicated to incorporating digital innovation across the agency.

The CIA’s newest directorate consolidates several technology business units into one hub organization focused on deeply embracing innovative approaches and capabilities throughout the agency. As part of an effort to make digitization commonplace in both operations and analysis, the CIA also will work with industry to speed up the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. To start, the agency will add some of the latest data capabilities in the infosphere, and then it will nurture new technologies as they emerge from laboratories in government and industry. 

May 23, 2016
The AeroVironment Tether Eye UAS is being evaluated for the counterterrorism mission.

AeroVironment Inc. has announced the U.S. Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is evaluating the company’s new tethered unmanned aircraft system, named Tether Eye, for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and security applications. The CTTSO funded the development program.

May 13, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. intelligence community may not broadly pursue social media information on individuals subjected to federal security clearances, according to a new directive signed May 12 by James Clapper, director of national intelligence (DNI). Security Executive Agent Directive 5 seeks to ensure continued background investigations into social media data without straying into controversial areas.

May 6, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Intelligence and cybersecurity experts discuss emerging cyber threats at an AFCEA EPIC presentation, with growing concern over wearables and the Internet of Things.

Should private companies be able to—and maybe more importantly—hack back? 

The question drew enthusiastic responses from panelists and the audience during at presentation Thursday by AFCEA’s Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) on intelligence and cybersecurity.  

April 5, 2016
An IARPA program will study the human brain in an effort to make machines smarter.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded an $18.7 million contract to the Allen Institute for Brain Science, as part of a larger project with Baylor College of Medicine and Princeton University, to create the largest-ever road map to understand how the function of networks in the brain’s cortex relates to the underlying connections of its individual neurons. The project is part of the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) program, which seeks to revolutionize machine learning by reverse-engineering the algorithms of the brain.

April 29, 2016

A group of University of Maryland (UMD) researchers has developed an algorithm that can not only detect a face, but also simultaneously determine the gender and pose, and extract fiducial, or reference, points.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has provided funding and support for the invention, which has been dubbed HyperFace. The algorithm simultaneously detects faces; finds facial landmarks, including eye center, nose tip, etc.; estimates the head pose; and recognizes the person’s gender from any real-world images and videos, Rama Chellappa, UMD chair of electrical and computer engineering, said in a written announcement.

Pages