The problem is further complicated by the decrease in the number of analysts and the fact that few are trained to perform multisensor analysis. All of these factors point to work flows and workloads being critical issues that could severely limit naval operations.

A recent example of the types of independent systems described here can be seen by looking at the Image Centric Surveillance used in Kosovo during the late 1990s. Exploitation was manual, a single sensor at a time, and typically took days to complete. Change detection was done by eye, pixel by pixel. There was no automatic multisensor georegistration.

Section 7.4.1 discusses a vision for tasking and exploitation and Section 7.5.1 addresses specific systems concepts consistent with this vision.


7.4.1 Fundamentals of ISR Architecture Design

As discussed in Chapter 3, an ISR architecture must be designed as part of an overall C4ISR combat-system architecture design. The design process for that overall architecture involves developing alternative architectures, performing trade-off studies using mission metrics to characterize these architectures, and selecting a baseline architecture.6 In the context of that overall architecture design, however, certain fundamentals apply specifically to the ISR component. This subsection addresses those fundamentals.

Balancing the Needs of Intelligence and Tactical Surveillance

The process of designing the ISR architecture must balance the different requirements of tactical surveillance and intelligence. The needs of the military and the intelligence communities overlap and require a balanced architecture to avoid compromising both missions. The competing needs of high resolution, persistence, wide-area surveillance, and dwell time, to name a few, can easily drive the cost of a single system to an unaffordable design.

As an example, consider the very challenging and limited use of airborne or space-based radars to measure target image information [I = I (f, t, P, X)] from long range. This measurement can yield a complex function of four independent variables (f: frequency, t: time, P: polarization, and X: spatial geometry). The intelligence objective is to maximize the knowledge of I (target image information) for any given target. This requires radar systems that have the following characteristics:


J.R. Wertz and W.J. Larsen. 1999. Space Mission Analysis and Design, 3rd ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Germany.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement