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Battlespace Situational Awareness

INTRODUCTION

The workshop on Future Battlespace Situational Awareness was part of an ongoing series conducted by the National Research Council’s Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests (see Appendix A for members’ biographies). The first two workshops looked at individual technologies related to “big” data and future antennas and provided context for the topic addressed in the third workshop—the planning of a future warfare scenario. The statement of task for the overall project is given in Box 1-1. The objectives for the third workshop were to:

•   Review technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for red and blue forces;

•   Emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.

The workshop was held on May 30-31, 2012, in Suffolk, Virginia, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation (see Appendix B for the agenda and a list of participants). The sessions were not open to the public because they involved discussions of classified material, including data addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables. These presentations and discussions are summarized below. Biographies of the presenters are provided in Appendix C.

This report has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the report are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the committee, or the National Research Council. The presentations are summarized in the order shown in the workshop agenda. The presentations were followed by discussion periods during which questions were posed and answered and ideas were exchanged among the participants. These discussions are not captured in this report.

FUTURE BATTLESPACE TECHNOLOGY—PRESENTATIONS

Daniel DeLaurentis, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University

Daniel DeLaurentis, an associate professor at Purdue University, started the morning presentations with a discussion of issues related to aerospace vehicles and networked aerospace vehicles. He pointed out that within his area of expertise, there are three important items: collection, processing, and sense-making. He defined sense-making as how scientists seek to understand the uncertainty in state variables and what confidence levels are needed, particularly for time-sensitive requirements. Timeliness and confidence are critical. For red forces, he noted there are circumstances that can make timeliness and confidence intractable, including (1) the need to be able to detect information generation that is counter to state variable computation; (2) the need to be able to react so that the United States can do the state variable calculations in order to enable the sense-making; and (3) the need for a higher degree of autonomy in the state variable calculations. These circumstances cause a challenge in sense-making as the information context becomes critical. Machine learning integrated into the decision cycle that a human can deal with is probably a critical advancement that will help.



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1 Battlespace Situational Awareness INTRODUCTION The workshop on Future Battlespace Situational Awareness was part of an ongoing series conducted by the National Research Council’s Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests (see Appendix A for members’ biographies). The first two workshops looked at individual technologies related to “big” data and future antennas and provided context for the topic addressed in the third workshop—the planning of a future warfare scenario. The statement of task for the overall project is given in Box 1-1. The objectives for the third workshop were to:  Review technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for red and blue forces;  Emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The workshop was held on May 30-31, 2012, in Suffolk, Virginia, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation (see Appendix B for the agenda and a list of participants). The sessions were not open to the public because they involved discussions of classified material, including data addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables. These presentations and discussions are summarized below. Biographies of the presenters are provided in Appendix C. This report has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the report are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the committee, or the National Research Council. The presentations are summarized in the order shown in the workshop agenda. The presentations were followed by discussion periods during which questions were posed and answered and ideas were exchanged among the participants. These discussions are not captured in this report. FUTURE BATTLESPACE TECHNOLOGY—PRESENTATIONS Daniel DeLaurentis, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University Daniel DeLaurentis, an associate professor at Purdue University, started the morning presentations with a discussion of issues related to aerospace vehicles and networked aerospace vehicles. He pointed out that within his area of expertise, there are three important items: collection, processing, and sense- making. He defined sense-making as how scientists seek to understand the uncertainty in state variables and what confidence levels are needed, particularly for time-sensitive requirements. Timeliness and confidence are critical. For red forces, he noted there are circumstances that can make timeliness and confidence intractable, including (1) the need to be able to detect information generation that is counter to state variable computation; (2) the need to be able to react so that the United States can do the state variable calculations in order to enable the sense-making; and (3) the need for a higher degree of autonomy in the state variable calculations. These circumstances cause a challenge in sense-making as the information context becomes critical. Machine learning integrated into the decision cycle that a human can deal with is probably a critical advancement that will help. 1

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2 FUTURE OF BATTLESPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS: A WORKSHOP SUMMARY BOX 1-1 Statement of Task An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct three workshops on the science and technology (S&T) fields noted below that have potential impact on U.S. national security. • Big Data—The workshop will review emerging capabilities in large computational data to include speed, data fusion, use, and commodification of data used in decision making. The workshop will also review the subsequent increase in vulnerabilities over the capabilities gained and the significance to national security. • Future of Antennas—The workshop will review trends in advanced antenna research and design. The workshop will also review trends in commercial and military use of advanced antennas that enable improved communication, data transfer, soldier health monitoring, and other overt and covert methods of standoff data collection. • Future Battlespace Situational Awareness—The workshop will review the technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for both red and blue forces. The workshop will emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The committee will design the workshops to address U.S. and foreign research, why S&T applications of technologies in development are important in the context of military capabilities, and what critical scientific breakthroughs are needed to achieve advances in the fields of interest— focusing detailed attention on specific developments in the foregoing fields that might have national security implications for the United States. The workshops will each also consider methodology to track the relevant technology landscape for the future. Each of the three workshops will feature invited presentations and panelists and include discussions on a selected topic including themes relating to defense warning and surprise. The committee will plan the agenda for the workshops, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. Each event will result in a workshop summary that will be subject to appropriate institutional review prior to release. DeLaurentis introduced a specific case and suggested that the challenge is data flow and determining the value of the information that can be obtained. The analysts have to make very quick computations on where to allocate resources and adapt the architecture, using multiple distributed systems (air, space, sea). He suggested the need for adaptive systems that mix humans and machines to leverage the best of both. One of the challenges is determining what to do when human operators and machine algorithms disagree. Al Romig, Skunk Works, Advanced Development Program, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Al Romig, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, started with a war analogy. He suggested that it was useful to think of where one has been, and then to think of where one wants to go. The American Civil War was a conflict that brought together modern industrialized warfare with tactics from the Napoleonic era. Dislocations between tactics and capabilities led to major carnage. This has happened time and time again on the battlefield. He noted that even though technology had evolved, fighters tried to use something new the same way they were using old technology. Instead, new technology needed new concepts of operation. The P-80 had to be flown differently than the P-51, and this is the same with newer planes. A person’s natural inclination, however, is to employ new technology the way one used the old technology.

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BATTLESPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS 3 Romig stated that another example was the transition from the F-4 to the F-15. Each plane was completely different in how a crew member fired missiles, how one defended, etc. The improvements that had been developed by the air crews to optimize F-4 performance were transitioned to the F-15s, but that approach actually hindered performance. The air crews had to learn to forget the old ways and had to learn new ways: air crews and support staff had to go through new training for logistics, use of imagination, and leadership so that they would think differently. He then pointed out that the newest fifth-generation plane is a flying computer and a flying sensor platform. Strategists need to learn to take advantage of the plane’s capabilities. If U.S. pilots use fifth- generation planes the same way pilots used F-15s, they are relinquishing most of the new capabilities. Romig also discussed the additional challenge of how to integrate fourth-generation and fifth-generation aircraft with surface and sea platforms. Among the questions are how the United States might integrate all these together, sharing information. Warfighters of the future do not want to drown in data while starving for knowledge, and so they need to share and process data in an intelligent way. David Vos, UAS & Rockwell Collins Control Tech, Inc. (retired) David Vos, former senior director of unmanned aerial systems at Rockwell Collins Control Technology, titled his presentation “Automation and Autonomy: Impact on Future Battlespace Situational Awareness.” He suggested that a key element for the future is a solution that is not intractable and is flexible enough to work. An example is achievement of high performance through simple algorithms: other examples are shown in Athena/Rockwell Collins videos on F-18 flight implementation that are available on YouTube. Vos indicated that for the future the focus should be “what are we trying to accomplish, and how do we get there with simple, cost-affordable solutions?” It’s easy to spend $100 on a solution but much more difficult to do the same thing for $1. The defense industry may be pricing themselves out of their own business argued Vos. DoD budgets are spiraling out of control. The United States should focus on how to achieve the $1 engineering space. This will provide the United States with an incredible advantage in the worldwide competition space. Vos then went on to note that pretty much anything can be made unmanned today. The United States can do it, and so can many other countries and companies around the world. The resulting unmanned system can achieve high performance at low cost and can enter the arms market very quickly. Today, any country has this capability. Vos noted that capabilities come from interesting places in other technology areas such as the seatbelt manufacturing area. In other words, there is a great deal of capability out there that can be repurposed. The United States can get distracted by reinventing capabilities for hundreds of dollars, when it could simply repurpose existing $1 capabilities. Vos asserted that the United States needs to be careful to not trip up by losing focus on the fundamentals. For example, there are unmanned aerial vehicles that land themselves reliably and repeatedly but others for which landing is a problem. There is an untapped enormous commercial value to autonomous systems today. Market growth will be driven not only by military but also by commercial interests, including public and civilian interests. Autonomous systems are a worldwide capability. Vos said that ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is not a solution in the unmanned field and may be incredibly unwise for competition. There is a potential for less abuse with autonomous systems than with manned systems. Aircraft have been the pioneering domain, but any vehicle can be made autonomous. Researchers need to expand their thoughts on how humans can be integrated with autonomous vehicles—e.g., use humans for what humans do best and let the system drive the boat. According to Vos there is a potential for abuse of these autonomous systems even with humans on board. Trusting that humans will make good decisions can reflect faulty logic. Not having a human on board may provide more security and more control. The country needs to break the cultural logjam that prevents it from fully realizing its potential. Some changes coming right now include unmanned civil aviation. The result will be better air traffic management, which Vos felt would enable, for example, 3

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4 FUTURE OF BATTLESPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS: A WORKSHOP SUMMARY unmanned cargo flights around the world, unmanned air taxi service, unmanned postal service, etc, affording tremendous benefits for all. Interdiction of rogue users of airspace might actually be easier if designers paid attention to this capability during design of a system. Vos also noted that cellular networks bring dramatic new connectivity options. Networking of vehicles gets easier, which enables autonomous-vehicle collaboration. One area that would be improved by such collaboration is traffic management and control, which would reduce the number of accidents and dangerous driving. This capability would be enabled by cryptography. On the other hand, networking improvements could enable the asymmetric enemy as well, but clever thinking can prevent or reduce the potential for abuse. Microelectronics and sensing are continuing to improve rapidly (microelectromechanical systems, nanotechnology, higher performance, lower cost). Vos asserted that the improvements over the past decade have been amazing and that there is no foreseeable end in sight for the current improvement trends. Technologies continue to become cheaper as well. The volume of demand is driving the improvement of supply quality and cost. The civilian world has an insatiable appetite for higher-performance digital imaging. Improvements in accuracy, resolution, spectrum, and size are astonishing. The electrooptical command, control, detection system in low-light conditions can give a really good image, and so it is not necessary to go to infrared, which has obvious applicability in battlespace awareness. Vos concluded his talk by suggesting that less wealthy forces that are not friendly to the United States can use these low-cost solutions. The United States can always build something that is so expensive no one will buy it, not even the United States itself. The unfriendly forces can use the slightly less capable, but a “heck of a lot cheaper,” commodity solutions to create a very “annoying” threat. For example, the 1976 Angolan war had missiles that used gyros with string to spin up on launch. This solution was low tech, low cost, and perfectly adequate for the short time period needed for the flight of the missile. John Main, Intific John Main, chief operating Officer, Intific, discussed the flood of sensors and data. In the past every soldier was a sensor, but today everyone is a sensor. In addition new sensors are being approved such as the Google autonomous vehicles being granted a driver’s license in Nevada. Today everyone is a connected unit—kids text to each other all day long. Some of these conversations are “I'm alive,” but a large part is passing actual information. Micro-controllers are a key element. They are incredibly easy to use. They are basically the decision- making element in any sensor. One can easily use libraries to copy and paste programs to use them. Imagine what an individual could do with many micro-controllers working together. Main pointed out that fusion technology is going to proliferate. A key challenge is the flood of information coming from all different types of sensors from all different locations. Brian Ballard, APX Labs Brian Ballard, founder and CEO of APX Labs, made comments on how intelligence for the warfighter is disseminated from the ground and how to disseminate across the last tactical mile. The Army has a Forward Observation Base (FOB) focus to bring cell communications to provide massive amounts of data (not voice, but data) to soldiers at the edge. Ballard asked participants what ubiquitous communications will mean in 10-20 years. He suggested as an example that there will be a change in cellular systems—moving away from towers. Currently a call goes from phone to tower to switching center and back to tower to phone. Smarter towers eventually replaced by phones acting as repeaters means that phones will act as virtual, infinitely reconfigurable networks that cooperate for data delivery (voice or data).

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BATTLESPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS 5 He discussed how links between manned and unmanned systems will be enabled. These links will increase responsibilities and implications for rules of engagement. When a soldier has real-time access to intelligence, what responses are appropriate? Bad decisions, based on what is believed to be good intelligence, is a problem. SCENARIO Mark Jefferson introduced the workshop scenario to the participants. The scenario consisted of several discrete steps showing force action and reaction. Using visual screens, Jefferson introduced the participants to the premise of the scenario. The exercise facilitator guided the participants through a series of steps of both red and blue teams designed to elicit participant conceptionalization of potential operational strategies. These moves included deployment of weapons platforms and establishment of logistics support. The scenario was extremely robust in order to address the workshop planning committee’s desire to cover multiple phases across the spectrum of operations, generating discussions about future technologies and deployment opportunities. GENERAL DISCUSSION One of the important themes evident in the discussion from some participants at the end of the workshop was an appreciation for how “sticky” normal is. “Normal” now is peer-level competition planning—the United States has aircraft carriers, other countries have aircraft carriers; the United States has submariness, other countries have submariness; and so on. 5

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Appendixes

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