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Executive Summary The U.S. Army is currently pursuing its modernization vision, which recognizes that information and its effective use will be key to tomorrow's military victories. Future battlefields are slated to become large digital networks carrying vast amounts of information for real-time use by commanders and soldiers. The goal is to provide the right data, at the right place, at the right time. This study addresses the multimedia technologies that exist or are emerging in the civilian sector and could help the Army achieve its goal. BACKGROUND AND APPROACH Recognizing the potential of commercial multimedia technologies for Army use, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology asked the National Research Council to examine the applicability of such technologies to Army command, control, com- munications, and intelligence needs. The Committee on Future Technologies for Army Multimedia Communica- tions was tasked to (1) review the Army's needs for echelons at the corps level and lower, (2) review relevant commercial multimedia technologies, (3) recommend technical approaches for meeting Army needs with com- mercial technologies, (4) describe the battlefield potential that might result from the application of multimedia technologies, and (5) recommend a technology manage- ment strategy by which the Army can use commercial multimedia technologies. The committee focused initially on requirements as seen by the "customer"in this case, the Army. It next reviewed relevant commercial technologies, from the perspective of status and trends. Each of these building block technologies and the Army's requirements were then brought together in a way that highlighted, for each technology, whether the Army should (a) adopt it off- the-shelf, (b) adapt it, or (c) pursue Army-specific devel- opment. The committee examined how battle command in a typical Army corps combat operation might be affected by emerging multimedia information networking capa- bilities. The committee also reviewed macrolevel expe- riences in the private sector associated with applications 1 of multimedia technologies. The resulting perspective formed the basis of committee projections concerning the need for the Army to "reinvent" itself in order to gain the full benefits of multimedia technologies. Finally, the committee laid out the essential elements of a technology management strategy for the Army. The committee determined that the time frame of its study would extend approximately 15 years into the future (i.e., from 1995 to 20103. The earliest impact of the new multimedia technologies, beyond experimental and ad hoc applications, is expected to occur around the year 2000 as they are first deployed into operational units. The Army's Enterprise Strategy envisions widespread deploy- ment of applications associated with digitization of the battlefield by the year 2010. The committee believes that multimedia information technologies and applications are evolving so rapidly that it is not realistic to project their nature and specific implications for Army battle- fields more than a decade into the future. However, the committee also believes that its recommendations on technology management apply today and will continue to apply beyond the time frame of the study. The remainder of this summary conveys the major findings that resulted from the committee's work and the principal conclusions and recommendations. ARMY REQUIREMENTS The Army has recognized the power of information and the technologies for handling and processing infor- mation on the battlefield. A smaller Army, based primarily in the United States and required to respond rapidly to worldwide contingencies, must have continuous access to accurate, current information. Commanders must be able to use information and protect it. Commanders at all echelons must have a shared, common understanding of real-time battlefield truth. Wrong information, misin- formation, or disrupted access to information can be potentially disastrous. Army leaders and requirements documents put priorities on the following operational needs: . Improved Sit2~ationalAwareness. Situational aware- ness demands the accurate and timely (real-time)

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2 COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR TWEN7-Y-FIRST CEN7URY ARM YBA l 'lZ>I~S knowledge of friendly and enemy locations and status. . Common, Relevant Picture of the Battlefield. All commanders, shooters, and supporters need to have the same understanding of the battlefield lo- cations, activities, capabilities, intent, terrain, and battlefield geometry- in the same relevant time frame. Command On-the-Move. Information must be avail- able to the commander anywhere on the battlefield. Improved Target Handoff: There is a need for linking sensors and shooters through automated systems that reduce or eliminate lengthy, and often confusing, voice links. Battle Space Expansion. Commanders must be able to see and act throughout the depth, breadth, and height of the battlefield. Information Protection. Preventing the enemy from knowing what the friendly force knows and pro- tecting friendly information systems from destruc- tion, disruption, or manipulation are essential. Exploit Modeling and Simulation. In addition to the requirements for information distribution on the battlefield, Army leaders have emphasized an ur- gent need for the application of advanced simula- tion technology to support training, battle rehearsal, and the exploration of future concepts and materiel requirements. The operational needs described above are summa- rized in Table ES-1. Table ES-1 also breaks out the major functional requirements that support each of the needs. RELEVANT COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGIES The committee configured a generic layered architec- ture as a basis for identifying relevant building block technologies. This architecture is consistent with the DoD Technical Architecture for Information Management, with Army Science Board recommendations, and with the Common Operating Environment of the Army C4I Technical Architecture. The committee's generic multi- media architecture is shown in Figure ES-1. Naming of the various layers of the architecture ex- plicitly reflects the fact that multimedia technologies are strongly dependent upon software. Layer I includes lightweight portable terminals, storage systems, and com- munications subsystems and systems to support people on the move. Layer II includes protocols for interconnect- ing subsystems, systems, networks and gateways, oper- ating systems for managing computational resources, and distributed computing environments for managing dis- TABLE ES-1 Summary of the Army Operational Needs, Including Simulation, and Functional Requirements Army Operational Needs (Including Simulation) Functional Requirements Improved situational awareness Common, relevant picture of the battlefield Command on-the-move Improved target handoff Battle space expansion Information protection Exploit modeling and simulation Sensors Intercept capabilities Accurate position location Automated platform monitoring Interconnected communications networks Remotely accessed databases Decision support aids Scalable data Flexible graphics Common distributed database Ability to access database Interconnected communications to transmit imagery, data, voice/selective access 'eavesdrop' voice capability Portrayed graphically/scalable/ easily understood Reconfigurable software Common hardware, standards, protocols Rapid operation/turn-on Easily accessible networks Linkage of sensors, computers, and communications Satellite, fiber, wire, and long-range wireless communications Automated systems Nonjammable communications Nonpenetrable databases Unbreakable crypto and other security systems Distributed interactive simulation Support exploration of future requirements tributed sof~vare processes. Layer III provides capabili- ties such as information filtering, database management, and user-friendly multimedia user interfaces. Layer IV provides generic applications/enablers such as multime- dia teleconferencing capabilities and groupware, which can be tailored for Army-specific applications (e.g., simu- lation systems) residing on the top layer, Layer V. Woven throughout the architecture in what the committee con- siders to be a sixth "layer," Layer VI, are network management and security technologies.

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EXECU77VE SUMMARY The relevant building block technologies, categorized according to the layers named above, are depicted in Figure ES-2. (Note that the building block technologies are numbered in the figure from bottom to top layers to indicate the order in which discussed in the report.) These technologies, and the capabilities they enable, are evolving rapidly under the pressure of commercial mar- ket forces and underlying technological advances. This bodes well for the availability of solutions from the commercial world to satisfy the Army's requirements. Some examples of commercial system-level applica- tions of these technologies include cellular and wireless telecommunications systems, electronic commerce, intel- ligent transportation systems, and residential information services. Cellular and wireless users are increasingly demanding more reliable and secure service with the ability to move around freely. In electronic commerce, network integrity, reliability, and security are major con- cerns. Applications of intelligent transportation systems include sending sensed traffic information to centralized nodes, distribution of traffic information to mobile trav- elers, location tracking and reporting, and map delivery systems for guiding travelers. Residential information services are striving to achieve user-friendly graphical (and other) user interfaces. Lessons learned in the commercial world include the following: 3 layer V Specific Applications As, .~ s 1 it, Creation of an effective communications and com- puting architecture requires that a few resonant minds create it, that they be given time to work, and that the architecture be enforced. With standards, enterprises can exploit their com- petitive advantages without having to be vertically integrated suppliers of end-to-end systems. Development efforts should be focused on areas where one intends to achieve a differentiating ad- V. Specific Applications IV. Generic Applications/Enablers II. System Software I. Physical Platforms FIGURE ES-1 Generic architecture for multimedia communications. .} 3) - c - _` - a. , :^ Or. S: ~ ~ C:: ~ ~ _ ~ ~ _ \, ~ :~. ~ ._ ~ ~ An, Z ~ . . . us \5 ~ 14 Simulation. systems and applications Layer IV Gerze~c Applications/Enablers 13 Multimedia messaging capabilities 12 Decision support tools, groupware, multimedia teleconferencing 11. Multimedia information access capabili- ties Layer lI - Middleware 10. Multimedia information analysis and processing building blocks and middle- ware services 9. User-friendly multimedia user interfaces 8. Multimedia database management sys- tems 7. Information filtering systems LayerI~System Software 6. Distributed computing environments and operating systems 5. Protocols and related functionality to support communications Layer WPhysical Platforms 4. Information capture technologies 3. Communications platforms that support people on the move 2. Storage systems for multimedia informa- tion 1. Lightweight, rugged, portable appli- ances and terminals FIGURE ES-2 Building block technologies in the generic multimedia architecture. vantage over competitors,! and everything else should be outsourced. Businesses tend to solve problems using as much off-the-shelf technology as possible; they meet the need and leave the detailed requirements flexible. The issue of "what to do with legacy systems" is growing in importance. The spiral model of development (i.e., quick itera- tion through requirements specification and respe- cification, prototyping, and testing) leads to tin the context of Army battlefields, 'competitors" correspond to ' potential adversaries.'

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4 COMMERCIAL MUL77MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR TWE~IY-FIRST CEN7V2YARMYBA7TLEFIELDS substantially lower development costs, more rapid development, and substantially greater satisfaction of real user needs. These lessons, and others, provide support for the committee's later recommendations to the Army regard- ing the use of commercial multimedia technologies. MEETING ARMY NEEDS WITH COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES The committee mapped the commercial building block technologies onto the Army's operational needs and functional requirements. Table ES-2 summarizes this mapping; the building block technologies in Table ES-2 are numbered according to Figure ES-2. Note that most of the needs and requirements require a combi- nation of two or more of the building block technolo- gies. Also, most of the building block technologies can be used to satisfy multiple needs and requirements. Thus, common technologies can be leveraged across the array of needs. An open architecture facilitates such leveraging and provides a means to insert new tech- nologies rapidly. The committee proceeded to make recommendations for each building block technology according to the following designators: The designator C indicates that the commercial market pull is so great that industry will develop this technology faster than the Army could. The Army should adopt these technologies off-the-shelf to meet its needs because it will not likely be able to create a competitive advantage by pursuing Army-specific development. The designator M indicates that the committee recommends the Army modify or adapt commercial technologies to meet its requirements. Where this is the case, it is advisable that the Army consider its requirements with a view toward commercial prod- uct availability. The designator A indicates that the technology is one in which the Army should invest. In this case the committee believes that the Army requirements are unique and that industry will not develop this technology on the time scale the Army needs. Furthermore, the Army has a reasonable opportu- nity to develop a competitive advantage vis-a-vis its adversaries by investing in these technologies. This competitive advantage will likely result from developing an enabling technology which more effectively leverages commercial off-the-shelf tech- nologies in battlefield applications. . Because each building block technology may meet some Army requirements, but not others, the committee has also recommended a combination of C, M, or A in some cases. A summary of the committee recommenda- tions is given in Table ES-3. With reference to Table ES-3, the recommended Army investment is heavily focused at the bottom layer and top layer of the architecture and on security technology in Layer VI. For the most part, the middle-layer technologies should be acquired through commercial sources. With respect to security concerns, isolating Army-specific se- curity requirements by using standard interfaces between security functionalities and the building blocks in Layers II-IV will best allow the Army to keep up as commercial building block technologies evolve. A recurring observation was that the Army should use commercial off-the-shelf technology wherever possible, even to the extent of redefining requirements to do so. To support this recommendation, the committee argued that most estimates of the size of the emerging commercial multimedia market for technologies, services, and appli- cations range from 10 to 20 percent of the gross domestic product of developed countries. This enormous market, whose applications are in many ways similar to Army applications, creates a correspondingly enormous market pull for the creation of technologies by commercial suppliers. The Army can achieve maximum competitive advantage over its adversaries in the same way that commercial firms achieve market advantage by focusing on applying these technologies as quickly as possible in battlefield applications, rather than by competing in the creation of the underlying technologies themselves. Fur- thermore, when the Army does invest in research and development to create technologies other than applica- tions to meet unique Army requirements, the principal purpose in doing so should be to produce physical platforms, communications capabilities, and security and network management functionality that will enable the Army to adapt commercial off-the-shelf technologies to Army applications. These adaptations result from stringent military requirements for such things as anti-jam radio characteristics or resistance to electromagnetic pulse. The committee did note a few exceptions to the above in technologies such as automatic pattern recognition for image analysis, and large-scale distributed simulation, where the Army has requirements that are more compel- ling than those in commercial applications. By means of an operational example, it became clear to the committee that application by the Army of the information technologies discussed above can have far- reaching effects. While the activities are nominally the same whether supported by automated systems and multimedia communications or by manual systems and messengers there are many differences. These are the

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TABLE ES-2 Summary of Army Operational Needs, Including Simulation, and Functional Requirements and Their Most Relevant Enabling Building Block Technologies Army Operational Needs (Including Simulation) Functional Requirements Building Block Technologiesa A. Improved situational awareness A1 Sensors 4 A2 Intercept capabilities 4,10 A3 Accurate position location 4,10 A4 Automated platform monitoring 4,10 A5 Interconnected communications 3,5,16 networks A6 Remotely accessed databases 2,3,5,6,7,8,11,16 A7 Decision support aids 10,12 AS Scalable data 2,7,10,11 A9 Flexible graphics 9 B. Common, relevant picture of the B1 Common distributed database 2,3,5,6,8 battlefield B2 Ability to access database B3 Interconnected communications to transmit imagery, data, voice/selective access B4 'eavesdrop" voice capability B5 Portrayed graphically/scalable/easily understood 2,3.5,6,11,15,16 3,5,11,13,15,16 3,5,11,12,15 8,9 C. Command on-the-move C1 Reconfigurable software 6,17 C2 Common hardware standards, 1,3,5,6,17 protocols C3 Rapid operatiorL/turn-on 1,3,5,6 C4 Easily accessible networks 3,5 D. Improved target handoff D1 Linkage of sensors, computers and 3,4,5,6 communications E. Battle space expansion E1 Satellite, fiber, wire, and long-range 3,5 wireless communications E2 Automated systems 2,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 F. Information protection F1 Nonjammable communications 3,15,16 F2 Nonpenetrable databases 2,15 F3 Unbreakable crypto and other 15 security systems G. Exploit modeling and simulation G1 Distributed interactive simulations All G2 Support exploration of future All requirements a There are 17 technologies, represented here by number. The list of 17 appears in Figure ES-2. speed and accuracy of information distribution, continu- ous and automatic update of databases, simultaneous informing of all involved, and freedom of commanders and staffs from repetitive tasks. The effect on unit organ- izational structure and tactics could be dramatic. Smaller forces, widely separated, will be able to operate simultaneously and at a vastly increased pace and tempo. Ammunition and logistics stockage levels can probably be reduced as support units maintain a real- time, accurate knowledge of each unit's status and deliver the needed supplies on time and without requests. Smaller staffs employing automated systems and support aids will be able to coordinate the operations of more subordinate formations and provide more accurate and more timely support to commanders. The scenario implies an information architecture where data are a corporate resource shared by many applications. The technology challenges in this regard lie

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L:XECU77~ SUMMARY in transitioning legacy systems; building open and dis- tributed computing environments that are secure and reliable; and provisioning and managing the capacity of information servers, processing resources, and commu- nications. These are major challenges that will be ad- dressed mostly by commercial technology trends. The Army should monitor these trends and adopt the best commercial practices. Even in the case of security, some commercial encryption schemes might be acceptable, although the Army will have to influence commercial trends to accommodate any unique requirements. REINVENTION IN THE INFORMATION AGE The changing business environment coupled with accelerated technological introductions have made no corporation exempt from re-examining the basics of its business. However, successful corporate change seldom results from technology alone the nature of the work and the structure of the organization usually change as well. Three successful corporate reinvention cases consid- ered relevant to the Army were discussed in detail: Citicorp brought the workstation environment and corporate information to virtually every employee with large productivity gains. Citicorp also has been restructuring its business, outsourcing more non- critical business functions, and dramatically down- sizing its work force. Federal Express successfully implemented an en- terprise-wide tracking and monitoring system for its packages, which stemmed from the realization that knowing the location of a package was as important as the shipment itself. The Federal Ex- press story underscored the need for iterative de- sign and development. The Ford Motor Corporation made a significant turn-around in the 1980s. Much of its success can be attributed to continuous quality improvements and participatory management techniques. Ford's redesign of its accounts payable department is frequently cited as a reengineering success story. Only about one in four reengineering projects suc- ceeds. Among the many ways they fail are (a) attempting to reengineer processes or business functions that are better left alone; (b) not starting small and building from success; (c) not having the critical skill sets available; and (d) not being able to change the culture to accommodate reengineering. The rapid evolution of information tech- nologies and the application of information technologies 7 in Army battlefields have implications that can be inferred from these commercial corporate reinvention experi- ences. The Army will need to change its organization, doctrine, and tactics. It will need to actively experiment with new organizational structures, doctrine, and tactics, and it will need to iteratively design and develop systems that derive maximum impact from information technolo- g~es. It is wrong to believe that just the technologies will change. The Army will have to analyze the role and functions of unit staffs in the information age and the purpose served by each level of command, with an eye to the following: Processes and work flow in unit staffs will change. They can be smaller and are likely to be restruc- tured around the functions that must be performed. It may be possible to eliminate one or more levels of command. Flatter, more integrated, and less vertical entities will evolve. Intervening levels be- t~veen the decision maker and executor will be- come redundant and an impediment to efficient operations. Operations can take place faster and be synchro- nized over a wide area. The implications for Army doctrine and tactics are likely to be extensive. While the effects are not yet fully evident, corporate experience indicates that those who fail to reassess the fundamental way business is conducted and adjust to newly enabled ways will not leverage the advantages of information technologies. Success is made with plans of limited scope that are intended to be built, tested, redesigned, and expanded. Digitizing the battlefield will require much experimentation and refinement. Thus, Army battle laboratories will become even more critical and probably expanded in coming years. TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY The key elements of a technology management strategy by which the Army can leverage multimedia information technologies for battlefield applications are described below. Although some of what follows may echo familiar themes, the committee wants to reiterate them to (a) accelerate their implementation, (b) provide support in the context of applying multi- media information technologies, and (c) emphasize its concern that they are not being implemented aggres- sively enough. In particular, the committee believes that these recommendations are specifically relevant to multimedia information technologies and applications because of the very short time scales within which

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8 COMMERCIAL MUl AMMO ~CHNOLOGI~ FOR -FIRST CE~YA~YBA~I~S these technologies evolve and because of the wide- spread application of these technologies in commer- cial domains. The technology management strategy consists of eight primary recommendations. The recommendations follow in boldface type: RECOMMENDATION 1: The Army should be a hunter-gatherer of technologies, seeking out and acquiring the best technologies wherever it can find them, to meet overall strategic objectives, and ap- plying them in an opportunistic manner to meet battlefield demands. The Army should leverage com- mercial off-the-shelf technology (i.e., design applications and systems that can utilize such technology rather than setting objectives and requirements that require the in- vention of nonexistent technology). The Army should not compete with the commercial sector in developing gen- erically applicable technology. RECOMMENDATION 2: The Army should care- fully distinguish between: (a) those technologies that are emerging and evolving in the commercial marketplace and will be available to everyone, in- cluding the Army's adversaries, and (b) those tech- nologies that the Army can reasonably expect to create as competitive enablers to differentiate the Army from its adversaries. For those technologies that fall in the former category, the Army should focus on their expedited and innovative use in battlefield applica- tions. For those technologies that fall into the latter category, the Army should invest in Army-proprietary research and development efforts to achieve the desired differentiating advantages. Recommendations for specific building block technologies are summarized in Table ES-3. RECOMMENDATION 3: The Army must achieve a better balance in its procurement processes be- tween the imperative to make these processes fair and competitive and the imperative to effectively acquire, insert, and deploy information technolo- gies whose life cycles can be as low as 18 months. Specifically, the Army must recognize the iterative inter- action between requirements and what is technically feasible. RECOMMENDATION 4: The Army should create and enforce a technical architecture. That architec- ture should (a) promote reuse of building block tech- nologies across multiple systems, interoperability between systems, and expedited insertion of new tech- nologies to achieve cost reductions and performance improvements; and (b) facilitate ad hoc modifications of systems and applications to meet short-term needs in crisis situations. RECOMMENDATION 5: The Arrny should be an active participant in technology development in the commercial sector. The Army should access informa- tion regarding commercial technology trends, influence commercial technology trends to accommodate Army- specific requirements, and proactively endeavor to bene- fit from commercial experiences and innovations in the application of technology. To accomplish this, the Army should act in the role of a leading-edge customer provid- ing commercial firms access to its needs. It should actively participate in standards activities. The Army should continue to participate in internal and external research and development activities directed toward its . . unique requirements. RECOMMENDATION 6: The Army should respond to the need for reinvention. It should expect that rapid advances in communications and computational capa- bilities resulting from trends in commercial multimedia technologies will result in more than quantitative im- provement in the ability of soldiers and commanders to execute existing command and control paradigms. It is likely that the Army will have to reinvent its organiza- tions, doctrines, and tactics related to command and control to leverage these rapidly evolving technologies and to remain competitive with its adversaries. RECOMMENDATION 7: The Arrny must adopt a spiral model of development where the iterative specification of requirements, prototyping, testing by users, and refinement/respecif~cation of require- ments proceeds in periods measured in months to create new systems and applications. This process must make heavy use of simulation, modeling, and experimentation in order to achieve the desired iteration speeds and to achieve realistic prototyping and desired user feedback. RECOMMENDATION 8: The Army should create and adopt a qualitative index to measure progress made toward achieving its technology management goals. A Commercial TechnoloQv and Practice.s Index i. r ~ _ C~ ~ _ ~ consisting or tour levels was developed by the committee as an example.