AI, Sensor Fusion and Tactical Communications for JADC2

In a recent C4ISRNet article, Rear Adm. Mike Studeman was quoted as saying, “Their best weapon system is not a gun, it’s not a missile.  Their best weapon system is actually a camera or video camera to be able to show the world what’s really happening.” In his remarks, RADM Studeman was referring to footage recorded by an MQ-9 Reaper ISR drone in March of two Russian Su-27 jets that harassed and ultimately caused a collision, sending the drone into the Black Sea.  The proliferation of high-definition cameras has proven critical to debunking propaganda, establishing factual timelines, and precluding adversaries like China and Russia from controlling the narrative in international disputes.

While the admiral’s comments center on debunking lies and propaganda, there is no question that pictures and video have long played a role in intelligence gathering and decision making.  What is new is the ability to synthesize video surveillance and imagery with data from thousands of intelligence gathering sensors (i.e. thermal, optical) and through the application of AI, extrapolate greater situational awareness than ever before and being able to do that all at the tactical edge to create a real-time common operating picture (COP).   And, to take it a step beyond, we now have the ability to move that data and insight into the Cloud for dissemination across domains for greater information sharing and awareness.  This is the vision of Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JAC2.  If yesterday’s COP was black and white TV, today’s COP is 4K Ultra-HD TV.

Multi-INT Sensor Fusion and Analytics at the Edge

At SOF Week in May, Sigma Defense and our partners Striveworks, Intelsat, Ovzon, Aries Defense and AWS demonstrate Multi-INT sensor fusion and analytics at the edge with up to 3 deployed sites in and around the Tampa Convention Center integrating video, infrared and mesh radio into a Sigma Defense baseband system for analytics and then distributing it back to UVDS Host at our headquarters in Perry, GA for a Common Operating Picture / Common Intelligence Picture (COP/CIP).  This demonstration represents a significant leap forward in analyzing not just video but video correlated with other sensor data to create a more complete picture that enables more targeted objectives.  In previous demonstrations we’ve shown our ability to adapt quickly to a changing landscape and in this demonstration, we show how we leverage cellular, WiFi, Mesh/Manet and satellite networks to distribute data and insights for information sharing.  The end result is providing unprecedented access to real-time information and creating information dominance over all adversaries.

Returning to RADM Studeman’s thesis, just as imagery is a great weapon in combating false narratives, it’s role in intelligence gathering and creating an operating picture is unparalleled.  Now with the proliferation of new and diverse sensors and our ability to fuse sensor data with imagery, we can create a rich, vivid Common Operating Picture that goes far beyond pictures alone.  Combined with the ability to distribute that data in near real-time the vision for JADC2 is becoming a reality.