ADELPHI, Md. -- Army researchers recently served in a leadership role at a symposium marking the conclusion of the 2019 Public-Private Analytic Exchange Program, focused on the Industrial Internet of Things.
The program is sponsored by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to promote the discussion of select scientific topics of interest to national security between members of the defense, public and private sectors.
Every year, the program brings together experts in the Intelligence Community to share their findings after six months of collaboration in order to explore new ideas and alternative perspectives to help inform senior leadership in industry and the government.
This year, the AEP featured ten teams that covered topics ranging from e-commerce to counterterrorism.
Program coordinators invited the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory to chair the study workgroup and present on the Industrial Internet of Things, known as IIoT. Officials published study results in an analytic report.
Dr. Adrienne Raglin, a researcher in lab's Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, served as chairperson and led the study team.
"AEP brings U.S. government scientists and private sector partners together to discuss how different, but complementary, roles can work to ensure mission success," Raglin said. "This allows both the public and the private sector to maintain situational awareness about challenging technologies, sharing information to protect our nation."
In August 2019, the team delivered the report documenting the possible impacts of IIoT on critical structures and national security at the program summit.
The report discussed numerous case examples of next generation IIoT technologies and their applications in collecting atmospheric data, monitoring airframe engine health around the world, and communicating data visualizations using augmented reality. In addition, the team presentation also addressed technical and operational risks involved in the usage of IIoT technologies, as well as possible ways to mitigate those risks.
According to the report, vulnerabilities in the form of unsecured connections and poorly developed software leave IIoT systems susceptible to adversaries who wish to disrupt or infiltrate the country's day-to-day operations on a massive scale.
Raglin stressed that IIoT technology can greatly impact the public and private sector for the better as long as industry, government and academia work together to mitigate cyber risks. In particular, the Army has a strong incentive to support this field of research and strengthen the cybersecurity of federal networks.
"IIoT devices offer military benefits in situational understanding as well as signal intelligence and communications," Raglin said. "Within Multi-Domain Operations, data will come from a wide range of devices across multiple domains, especially in urban environments. These urban areas will increasingly be 'smart cities' where the Internet of Things, or IoT will be increasingly present."
Dr. Stephen Russell, the lab's chief of the Information Sciences Division, affirmed the importance of basic research in complex systems-of-systems, which are intrinsic in the IIoT for the Army and the public.
"Intelligent device infrastructure--a significant focus of the IIoT--is critical to Army operations," Russell said. "More importantly, the foundational understanding of IoT technologies broadly, from a basic science perspective, is critical to delivering Army capabilities that scale to large platforms and systems. Our participation in the AEP extends the Army's leadership role and advancements in the underlying science of intelligent device and network technology by helping identify important factors that shape research and assessments (e.g., constructs, measures, domains, environments, practices and drivers of research)."
The reports presented by each of the teams at the summit are available online.
CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.