By Kristen Kushiyama, CERDECFebruary 1, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Feb. 1, 2012) -- The U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, hosted an Industry Day Jan. 10-12, to inform potential technology development partners of new capabilities that support Army cloud computing development efforts and hear what potential partners could contribute to those efforts.
The CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate's Tactical Cloud Integration Laboratory, or I2WD TCIL, focuses on developing and integrating new capabilities by "bridging" developers, vendors and solutions with operational users in a cohesive, isolated environment, said Kesny Parent, CERDEC I2WD TCIL Program Management Office.
"PM DCGS-A (Program Manager Distributed Common Ground System-Army) has identified the need to establish operational clouds at fixed sites and at regional nodes to support Army intelligence data collection and analytics capabilities," said Parent.
In order to fulfill that need, CERDEC I2WD asked industry, academia and other government organizations to submit proposals for capabilities such as multi-intelligence, all-source analysis correlation; platform and resource allocation and optimization algorithms, predictive analysis tools; language translation services; still image and graphic processing capabilities; advanced human intelligence exploitation; and advanced visualization and conceptualization tools.
All proposals were to assist in an effort to establish an infrastructure that supports the storage and management of multi-intelligence data and provides a computational framework that brings analytics to that data.
CERDEC and PM DCGS-A, an entity of Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare & Sensors, added another day to the original two-day event to accommodate 48 respondents, said Michael Hinman, system engineer technical assistant and TCIL support Project Manager.
"We are being open and accommodating, because the proposals can be interesting," said Hinman.
Not only did potential government contractors have the opportunity to present possible solutions to the Army's cloud computing gaps, but the event gave government personnel the chance to tell industry where the Army's focus is related to current and future forces, said Mark Kitz, technical director of PM DCGS-A.
Developing cloud technology is important to the intelligence community as a component of DCGS-A, which is the Army's core intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance enterprise system, said Kitz.
"It uses the latest in cloud technology to rapidly gather, collaborate and share intelligence data from multiple sources to deliver a common operating picture. DCGS-A is able to rapidly adapt to changing operational environments by leveraging an iterative development model and open architecture allowing for collaboration with multiple government, industry and academic partners," said Kitz.
As part of cloud technology advancements for DCGS-A, CERDEC I2WD was chosen to host the TCIL because of the organization's expertise in science and technology for the intelligence community, which made for a natural partnership from a PEO perspective, said Kitz.
"The timeline for TCIL is driven by maturity. This Industry Day is the initial opportunity, and we would like to do yearly engagements to perform an assessment of industry and communicate where we would like to see resource go to solve problems," said Kitz.
The intent of TCIL is to have neutral ground and a government proponent for vetting technologies and having an independent, government assessment of capabilities, said Upesh Patel, CERDEC I2WD TCIL technical director.
The ultimate objective is to get technology out to Soldiers by maturing the capabilities and getting it to the DCGS Standard Cloud, said Patel.
"This is a continuous process evolving over time, not a one shot deal. Requirements change and involve user driven- mission input," said Patel.