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4 Meeting Army Needs with Commercial Multimedia Technologies This chapter shows how the building block technolo- gies of Chapter 3 can be used to meet the Army's operational needs described in Chapter 2. First, the committee maps the building block technologies onto the operational needs and functional requirements. The technologies are also examined in the context of the multimedia architecture introduced in Chapter 3 as well as other architectures. The committee then assesses the prognosis for future development of the building block technologies and offers recommendations as to whether the Army should adopt commercial technologies, adapt commercial technology, or invest in producing its own technology when drawing upon the building.block tech- nologies to meet its functional requirements. For additional clarity in how multimedia technologies can enhance the capabilities of the Army, the committee examines how battle command in a typical Army corps combat operation might be affected by the insertion of modern multimedia capabilities enabled by the building block technologies. The chapter concludes with an analy- sis of the operational example and how it relates back to the Army's operational needs. MAPPING ARMY NEEDS TO BUILDING BLOCK TECHNOLOGIES The building block technologies discussed in Chapter 3 are listed in Table 4-1. Table 4-2 presents the commit- tee's view of how the Army's operational needs and functional requirements will be enabled by these build- ing block technologies. The numbers in the third column of Table 4-2 refer to the technologies listed in Table 4-1. Note that most of the needs and requirements are enabled by a combination of two or more of the building block technologies. Table 4-3 lists the building block technologies and the associated Army functional requirements they enable. From Table 4-3, it is clear that most building block technologies can be used to satisfy multiple operational needs and functional requirements. 48 One possible approach to meeting the Army's opera- tional needs would be to develop individual information systems or domain-specific architectures to match each of the functional requirements. These systems could be designed and developed with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and made to interoperate through standard interfaces and data representations. While this approach may be preferred in some cases (e.g., because it offers an expeditious path to meet specific functional requirements), it does not take advantage of generic building blocks that could help satisfy several require- ments (for example, see the discussion of middleware services in Chapter 31. TABLE 4-1 Building Block Technologies 1. Lightweight, rugged, portable appliances and terminals 2. Storage systems for multimedia information 3. Communications platforms that support people on the move 4. Information capture technologies 5. Protocols and related functionality to support communications Distributed computing environments and operating systems Information filtering systems 8. Multimedia database management systems User-friendly multimedia user interfaces 10. 11. 12. 3. Multimedia information analysis and processing building blocks and middleware services Multimedia information access capabilities Decision support tools, groupware, multimedia teleconferencing Multimedia messaging capabilities Simulation: systems and applications 15. Security technologies 16. Network management systems 17. General purpose languages, tools, development environments
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MEETING ARMYNEED5 ~777] COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES TABLE 4-2 Summary of Army Operational Needs, Including Simulation, and Functional Requirements and Their Most Relevant Enabling Building Block Technologies Arrny Operational Needs (Including Simulation) Functional Requirements Building Block Technologiesa A. Improved situational awareness B. Common, relevant picture of the battlefield C. Command on-the-move C1 D. Improved target handoff E. Battle space expansion F. Information protection G. Exploit modeling and simulation A1 Sensors A2 Intercept capabilities A3 Accurate position location A4 Automated platform monitoring A5 Interconnected communications networks A6 Remotely accessed databases A7 Decision support aids AS Scalable data A9 Flexible graphics B1 Common distributed database B2 Ability to access database Interconnected communications to transmit imagery, data, voice/selective access 4 4,10 4,10 4,10 3,5,16 2,3,5,6,7,8,11,16 10,12 2,7,10,11 9 2,3,5,6,8 2,3,5,6,11,15,16 3,5,11,13,15,16 B4 "Eavesdrop" voice capability 3,5,11,12,15 B5 Portrayed graphically/scalable/easily 8,9 understood Reconfigurable software C2 Common hardware standards protocols C3 Rapid operation/turn-on C4 Easily accessible networks D1 Linkage of sensors, computers and communications E1 Satellite, fiber, wire, and long-range wireless communications E2 Automated systems F1 Nonjammable communications F2 Nonpenetrable databases Unbreakable canto and other security systems G1 Distributed interactive simulations G2 Support exploration of future requirements 6,17 1,3,5,6,17 1,3,5,6 3,5 3,4,5,6 3,5 2,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 3,15,16 2,15 15 All All a There are 17 technologies, represented here by number. The list of 17 appears in Table 4-1. An alternative approach is to develop a framework for information system development that leverages the com- monality across the requirements. This approach, which emphasizes reuse, modularity, flexibility, extensibility, and ease of evolution (Franker, 1994; Frankel et al., 1995), is central to the discussion of architectures that appears below. ARCHITECTURE The commercial sector has recognized the considerable advantages of developing an open architecture based on 49 widely accepted standards and interoperable components as a framework for new system development (Comer, 1991; International Standard ISO 7498, 1990~. The com- mercial marketplace has responded with a set of interop- erable hardware and software that facilitates technology insertion and mitigates obsolescence. Legacy systems, even those that are nonstandard, can continue to be used as long as they have standard interfaces. The advantages of open architecture are recognized in the Technical Reference Model (TRM) of the Depart- ment of Defense (DoD) Technical Architecture for Infor- mation Management (TAFIM) developed by the Defense
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50 COMMERCIAL MULlll~EDIA TECHNOlOGI~ FOR -FIRST CE~YA~YBA WHIFF as TABLE 4-3 Building Block Technologies and the Associated Army Functional Requirements They Enable Building Block Technologies 1. Lightweight, rugged, portable appliances and terrn~nals 2. Storage systems for multimedia information 3. Communications platforms that support people on the move 4. Information capture technologies 5. Protocols and related functionality to support communications 6. Distributed computing environments and operating systems Information filtering systems Multimedia database management systems User-friendly multimedia user interfaces 7. 8. 9. 10. Multimedia information analysis and processing building blocks and middleware services 11. Multimedia information access capabilities 12. Decision support tools, groupware, multimedia teleconferencing 13. Multimedia messaging capabilities 14. Simulation: systems and applications 15. Security technologies 16. Network management systems 17. General purpose languages, tools, development environments Functional Requirementsa C2, C3, G1, G2 A6, A8, B1, B2, E2, F2, G1, G2 A5, A6, B1, B2, B3, B4, C2, C3, C4, D1, E1, F1, G1, G2 A1, A2, A3, A4, D1, G1, G2 A5, A6, B1, B2, B3, B4, C2, C3, C4, D1, E1, G1, G2 A6, B1, B2, C1, C2, C3, D1, G1, G2 A6, A8, E2, G1, G2 A6, B1, B5, E2, G1, G2 A9, B5, E2, G1, G2 A2, A3, A4, A7, A8, E2, G1, G2 A6, A8, B2, B3, B4, E2, G1, G2 A7, B4, E2, G1, G2 B3, E2, G1, G2 G1, G2 B2, B3, B4, F1, F2, F3, G1, G2 A5, A6, B2, B3, F1, G1, G2 C1, C2, G1, G2 a The letter-numeral designations appearing here are drawn from Table 4-2. Information Systems Agency and applicable to all military services (DISA, 1994>. The Army Science Board has recommended a technical architecture for the digital battlefield based on the TRM and also on the same standards-based approach adopted by the commercial sector (Franker, 1994; Frankel et al., 19953. The Army Science Board approach defines an open architecture in terms of standards, protocols, and definitions, and it provides a means to insert new technology rapidly and to transition away from legacy systems. The Army Science Board approach includes a process and an organizational structure for developing and enforcing the technical architecture. The philosophy behind the committee's generic mul- timedia architecture (introduced in Chapter 3) and the Army Science Board recommendations for a technical architecture are similar, with the primary difference being the level of detail. The committee's multimedia architec- ture was depicted in Figure 3-2. On March 31, 1995, the Army issued Version 3.1 of its evolving C4I Technical Architecture (Department of the Anny, 19959. This document is part of the ongoing response
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MEETING ARMY NORMS ~ COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES to the 1994 Army Science Board recommendations. Ver- sion 3.1 defines the three-layer Common Operating Environment (COE) shown in Figure 4-1. The COE layers can be correlated with layers of the committee's multi- media architecture as described below. The top layer of the COE contains "Mission Area Applications" and Support Applications. These corre- spond approximately to specific applications (Layer V) and the generic applications/enablers (Layer IV) of the committee's multimedia architecture framework. The middle layer of the COE, called the Application Platform Entity, corresponds approximately to the functionality in Layer II and III of the committee's multimedia architec- ture plus Layer VI (security and network management functions). The bottom layer of the COE, the External Environment Interface, includes, mostly by implication, Layer I of the committee's multimedia architecture. The committee's multimedia architecture should be viewed as a conceptual (as opposed to detailed) speci- fication of architectural layers and interrelationship of components, fully consistent with the technical architec- ture currently being created by the Army. When viewed as a conceptual architecture, it becomes apparent that many underlying technologies (Layers I through IV and Layer VI) can and should be shared across the common 51 Army-specific applications that exist at Layer \. Further, as discussed below, building block technologies that may require Army-specific developments appear primarily in the bottom and top layers of the multimedia architecture, while the middle-layer technologies are more generic. This arrangement suggests that, in general, COTS tech- nology should be preferred when implementing the middle layers of future information systems. APPLICABILITY OF COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGY TO ARMY NEEDS In this section, the committee makes recommenda- tions as to whether the Army should adopt commercial technology (C), adapt commercial technology (M), or invest in producing its own technology (A) when draw- ing upon the building block technologies to meet its functional requirements. Because each building block technology is, in actuality, a collection of closely related enabling technologies, and because COTS technology may satisfy some Army requirements, but not others, the committee recommends a combination of C and M in four cases; a combination of C and A in two cases; and "Mission Area" Applications l Multi-Media Multi-Media Support, MCG & I Communications Message Processing, Communications Support Applications Business Processing Office Automation Environment Management On-Line Spt, Executive Mgr, Alert Service Database Engineering Utilities | Support Database, Admin, Correlation System Communications Information Human/Computer Services ~ Services ~ Services ~ Interaction Services Application Interface (API) Application Platform Software User Data Data Graphic . Engineering Interface Management Interchange Services Services Services Services Services Developer's File Mgmt Svcs, Data Interchange Kit Database Mgmt Services . Operating System Services, Distributed Computing Services Distributed Computing Services Security Services, System Management Services, Security Admin Network Admin, System Admin ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ External fir _ Environment Network Services Network Services ~ Communications Services ~ ~ Information Services _ ~ ~ ~ ~ Human/Computer Interface (EEI) Interaction Services - Communications | Information Exchange I Users TRY Functional Area Groupings GCCS COE Functional Areas FIGURE 4-1 Common Operating Environment (COE) Architecture. Source: Department of the Army, 1995.
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52 COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR 7.WENTY-FIRST CE~YARMYBA 1'11~IF-~OS a combination of C, M, and A in three cases. The committee recommends C only in the remaining eight cases. As will be discussed below, even where the committee recommends C only, it is recognized that the Army will need to adapt these technologies to take into account Army-specific security needs. Representing se- curity needs in Layer VI of the committee's multimedia architecture as a vertical layer is meant to indicate that security concerns are embedded in all layers of the architecture and should not be used as justification for Army-produced building block technologies where there is a large commercial sector market pull for the develop- ment of the same technologies. A more detailed defini- tion of C, M, and A follows. . The designator C indicates that the commercial market pull is so great that industry will develop these technologies faster than the Army could. More explicitly, the commercial sector is already or will soon be investing tremendous resources to develop the technology. 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 for itself 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. In some instances it will be possible to change the requirement with little or no compro- mise in functionality, in order to more readily adapt commercial technologies. In other instances, work- ing with industry as a partner or creative first user will foster the smoothest adaptation of commercial products. · The designator A indicates that the technology is one in which the Amity should invest. In this case the committee believes that some of the Army require- ments are unique and that industry will not develop this technology on the time scale the Army needs. It is through these investments that the Army can gain a competitive advantage over its adversaries. A summary of the committee's recommendations is given in Table 4-4. It is interesting to note, with reference to Figure 3-2 and Table 4-4, that 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 functionality and the Layers I-V building blocks will best allow the Army to keep up as commercial building block technologies evolve. An explanation of the individual recommendations is given throughout the rest of this section. To support these recommendations, it is helpful to refer to the discussion of systems in Chapter 3. As with the discussions of Chapter 3, the recommendations are ordered according to the layers of the committee's generic architecture (Figure 3-21. For example, when the committee looked at the existing and emerging applications of cellular and wireless systems in Chapter 3, it noted that users of these systems require lightweight, easy-to-use appliances with long battery life- times (between charging) and that they expect to be able to move freely while on foot and in vehicles. They also expect their communications to be secure from unauthor- ized interception and to be reliable in terms of both the integrity of the information communicated and the de- pendability of the applications they use. The committee sees a great deal of overlap between these commercial user needs and those of soldiers and commanders in the field. It is recognized that there are also some special requirements on the battlefield, includ- ing the need to deploy a supporting infrastructure of cell sites (or functional equivalent) as the battle unfolds and special concerns with respect to low-probability-of- detection of wireless emissions. When the committee looked at electronic commerce applications in Chapter 3, it saw major concerns by commercial users with regard to security and network integrity to guarantee high availability of applications. These concerns overlap substantially with those of bat- tlefield applications. The discussions of emerging commercial intelligent transportation systems in Chapter 3 illustrate the similarity of these applications with the Army's needs for situational awareness (discussed in Chapter 2~. Both intelligent transportation systems and the battlefield applications involve broadcast information that must be suitably filtered, and in some cases specifically formatted and routed, to meet the needs of multiple recipients. Both involve the achievement of a common view of a complex situation. Both will require that stringent reliability re- quirements are met. Finally, the discussions of residential-information-serv- ice applications underscored the importance of ease of use in mass market commercial applications. Ease of use is also of critical importance in battlefield applications. RECOMMENDATIONS (LAYER ~ PHYSICAL PLATFORMS) Building block technologies discussed under Layer I Physical Platforms of the generic architecture
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j4 COI~MERCIAT MULLEN ~CHNOLOGI~ FOR -FIRST CE~YA~YBA CHINS (Figure 3-2) include lightweight, rugged, portable appli- ances and terminals; storage systems for multimedia information; communications platforms that support peo- ple on the move; and information capture technologies. Lightweight, Rugged, Portable Appliances and Terminals The component hardware technologies underlying portable computing devices (e.g., laptop computers and personal digital assistants) include processors, volatile memory, long-term storage such as disks and flashcard memory, batteries, and displays. As evidenced in Chapter 3, commercial research and development (R&D) has produced remarkable technological advances in all of these areas, with continued advances forecast for the future. Processor speeds are increasing; memory storage densities are increasing; ever-improving (larger, higher brightness, better resolution) display technologies are appearing; lightweight batteries are offering increased energy densities and improved ruggedness. Perhaps most remarkably, these advances are occurring while prices for the new technology continue to fall. Given these positive trends and the expenses involved in developing ... There is a large perceived commercial market for these technologies and creating manufacturing facilities multimedia applications. Gaps between the needs of for them the Army should leverage commercial efforts ' these multimedia applications and the capabilities of in component hardware technology. For example, whereas the Army and, more generally, the Defense Department have pioneered in such tech- nologies as virtual reality displays and heads-up displays, commercial counterparts that are appearing in the mar- ketplace can be employed in applications such as hel- met-mounted displays and components of gunsights. These technologies will also enable an embedded train- ing capability for soldiers that can be utilized in both training and battlefield environments. There are, however, some areas in which Army-spe- cific requirements may not be met by existing and emerging commercial technology. Improved ruggedness and environmental tolerance of appliances and terminals may be needed to meet Army requirements. Commercial products are built with the bumps, drops, and foul weather encountered by a business person in mind a significantly more benign environment than would be found on the battlefield. Even when COTS technology can be used, ruggedness concerns may dictate that the Army choose a more expensive COTS technology over another (e.g., flashcard memory for long-term storage rather than disk drives with movable parts). Improved input devices (e.g., a replacement for a mouse or a trackball) may also be needed since these devices will be operated in stressful environments (e.g., in a moving tank or by a soldier in motion). Battlefield environments may expose physical equipment to nuclear radiation and to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects resulting from the high altitude detonation of a nuclear device. There may also be Army-specific requirements for low probability of intercept (LPI) and low probability of detection (LPD), that is, for limiting or controlling electromagnetic radia- tion from physical equipment that might be received and utilized by eavesdroppers or might disclose the presence and location of the equipment. All of these requirements may necessitate customized physical enclosures into which COTS physical computing technologies are incor- porated. In extreme cases these requirements may neces- sitate the selection of one COTS technology over another (e.g., some COTS technology may be more susceptible to EMP or may radiate more detectable radiation than another, above and beyond what can be compensated by physical enclosure design). Finally, any data stored in a computing device may be subject to capture and hence should be appropriately protected. Recommendation: C, M Storage Systems for Mliltimetlia Information commercial storage systems are being filled by a large commercial R&D effort. Although Army investment in research on promising new storage technologies (e.g., multilayer optical disks) may be appropriate, it is unlikely that Army-specific development of storage systems could close gaps between Army needs and commercial capa- bilities any faster than commercial R&D activities will close those gaps. The Army should adopt commercial multimedia storage and server technology, using custom- ized packaging (when required) to meet unique Army requirements with respect to shock and vibration resis- tance, ruggedness in general, low emissions of radiation to protect against intercept and detection, and nuclear radiation and EMP resistance. In addition, some physical packaging and other modifications may be required to protect stored information in the event of capture of a storage system. Recommendation: C, M Communications Platforms That Support People on the Move The commercial platforms described in Chapter 3 to support mobility do not, in general, meet traditional military specifications for anti-jam, LPI, LED, nuclear radiation and EMP resistance, and rapid deployment in
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MEETING ARMY NEEDS WITH COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES battlefield environments. Nonetheless, several of the emerging commercial low-earth-orbit satellite systems should be of interest to the Army because they are (a) truly global-coverage systems; (b) targeted for small, inexpensive information appliances that could be used by individual soldiers and on small vehicles; and (c) all-digital systems to which military-grade encryption subsystems could easily be added. These systems may be useful to the Army for maneuvers, rescue, day-to-day operations, and as a backup in wartime applications. The Army should study the capabilities and limitations of these systems and consider adding desirable Army-spe- cific modifications to planned commercial terminal equipment. Since these systems have multinational part- ners, the Army should expect that it may be politically difficult to add Army-specific "hooks" into system infra- structures. For local, mobile communications, the Army should approach commercial vendors of cellular, cordless, and personal communication systems to add unique Army needs to those already being considered for commercial markets. In particular, some components (e.g., handsets, subsystems) of the low-cost commercial systems being considered for rapid deployment in developing countries may be adaptable to Army needs, particularly if unique Army requirements are incorporated into their designs. Requirements for rapidly deployable and survivable cell sites (or functional equivalents in such forms as un- manned aerial vehicles) to serve battlefield environments are far less likely to be met by commercial products. It is here that the Army should develop Army-specific technology for its competitive advantage. As discussed in Chapter 3, in addition to providing links from wireless nodes to end users, a communications platform to support soldiers on the move must include backbone and feeder transmission and switching facili- ties to connect cell sites or their equivalent. In the commercial arena, these facilities often consist of fixed fiber optic, copper cable-based, and microwave facilities. The microwave facilities may be deployed on highly stable towers or buildings. In the battlefield, physical cables can be used in some situations, but often wireless facilities will be required to implement backbone and feeder links. In the battlefield, towers that support anten- nas may be relatively unstable, and LPI considerations may lead to the need for special adaptive antennas to project signals properly. As discussed in Chapter 3, standards are emerging in the commercial arena to support the transport of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) signals over error-prone environments, and thus the use of battlefield wireless systems to carry ATM will likely be enabled by these COTS standards. Recommendation: C, M, A 55 information Capture Technologies As with many of the building block technologies, much of the Army's gain comes from exploiting those technologies in its systems in which the commercial world has taken a lead. For example, the dramatic advances in video and image camera technologies (e.g., camcorders and cameras associated with multimedia personal computer applications) discussed in Chapter 3, as well as the associated technologies for digitally encod- ing and processing image and video information, repre- sent COTS technologies that should be applied to Army battlefield applications with only minor modifications to address such issues as ruggedness. There are, however, image and video capture tech- nologies in which the Army has traditionally been far ahead of commercial applications and which have pro- duced key differentiating advantages for the Army over its adversaries, particularly in the area of low-light image intensifying sensors and infrared sensors. Some infrared sensors have found widespread com- mercial use, such as the infrared motion detectors used in motion detector lighting systems and burglar detection systems. These systems differ from those required for Army use. Army systems must be more sensitive than justified by economic considerations for consumer de- vices, as the opponent must be presumed to be actively engaged in concealment. Army sensor systems may be chosen to operate in a purely passive mode, rather than emitting energy in a feedback mode, to preserve operator stealth. Finally, Army sensor systems must be presumed to operate in far harsher environments than consumer technologies. Many of these goals can be achieved with modifica- tions of commercial products, such as infrared motion detectors. Telerobotic sensors, some with commercial analogs, will play a key role in enabling and facilitating remote operations, reconnaissance, and intelligence- gathering on future Army battlefields. Systems with no commercial analog may be Army-specific. Examples include infrared binoculars and low-light amplification gun sights. Very specialized examples include active antennas in the electromagnetic spectrum, such as syn- thetic aperture radar (SAR). Commercial technology plays a role in the signal processing tasks associated with many advanced sensors. In particular, advanced digital signal processing tech- nologies can aid in separating useful information from chaff across the electromagnetic spectrum. The wide use of these chips in consumer multimedia applications has resulted in rapidly improving price and performance, but the same technology can be, and is being, used in signal recovery in a militaIy environment. Army use of informa- tion capture technologies also tends to be more sophis-
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56 COMMERCIAL MULL ~CHNOLOGI~ FOR -FIRST C~YA~YBA BLIPS ticated than consumer use since the goal is gathering location, size, movement rate, and other pertinent data about an opponent taking active steps to conceal these characteristics (e.g., by moving at night, in the rain, under cloud cover, in radio silence, or using other forms of sensory camouflage). Sensory data in this setting must be combined for decision-making purposes, meaning that the sensors must be integrated with other information collection and distribution mechanisms, such as the Army's communications networks. An important sensor capability that is now widely used commercially, although it emerged from DoD require- ments, is the Global Positioning System (GPS). A constel- lation of satellites generates signals which allow receivers on the ground to determine their longitude, latitude, and elevation. The accuracy with which this determination can be made depends upon whether the signals trans- mitted by the satellites have been intentionally degraded by varying their underlying timing precision and by broadcasting incorrect orbital position information. This "selective availability" degradation is used to deny mili- tary adversaries the higher accuracy that can be obtained by receivers capable of receiving an encrypted signal that bypasses the degradation. With selective availability activated to the extent typi- cally employed today, commercial GPS receivers can achieve an accuracy of 100 meters horizontally and 156 meters vertically with 95 percent probability. If selective availability is not activated, GPS receivers can achieve an accuracy of 20 meters horizontally and 30 meters vertically. In addition, the use of a method called differential GP~which depends on correction signals that are broadcast from locations which are in positions known to a high degree of accuracy—can allow receivers to determine their locations to accuracies of less than a meter. GPS receiver technology is being employed in consumer devices costing several hundred dollars, with costs declining along the usual trend curves associated with electronics technologies. These commercial GPS technologies and products can be employed in Army battlefields. Recommendation: C, M, A RECOMMENDATIONS (LAYER II - YSTEM SOFTWARE) Building block technologies discussed under Layer II- System Software of the generic architecture (Figure 3-2), include (a) protocols and related function- ality to support communications, and (b) distributed computing environments and operating systems. Protocols and Related Functionality to Support Communications With millions of computers worldwide running In- ternet protocols, there is a large base of installed ma- chines and commercial enterprises to support and develop technology based on Internet standards. Internet protocols are being extended to support real-time multi- media applications. Importantly, Internet protocols were designed with military applications in mind; several Internet protocols have status as military standards. The Internet standards body, the Internet Engineering Task Force, has an ongoing effort to develop protocols to support communication in a mobile environment an effort that should be of considerable interest to the Army. Since the Internet standardization process is an open one, the Army should participate in this process to ensure that emerging and planned Internet standards adequately address Army needs. The asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) protocols are still in the process of being "fleshed out" but are antici- pated to be of considerable importance in the future. The committee notes that there are several ATM test beds within the DoD. A rapid standardization process is being pursued by the ATM Forum. The Army can play an important role as an active participant in the ATM Forum and other ATM standards development activities. In particular, wireless ATM has received little attention in the Forum to date, and the Army's needs would be an excellent driver for wireless ATM. Given the documented success and scope of the Internet, the widespread industry support for ATM, and the level of commercial effort being expended to expand the capabilities of both, it is unlikely that defining and developing a new or proprietary Army-specific commu- nications protocol suite could provide the Army a com- petitive advantage, as opposed to adopting and adapting COTS technology. Recommendation: C Distributed Computing Environments and Operating Systems The DoD's need for better-integrated information shar- ing within and between the Armed Forces can be well served by commercial distributed computing technolo- gies and operating systems. Rather than developing new operating systems or environments, the Army should adapt the commercial technologies by adding multilevel security, special character sets for multinational language support, and other unique capabilities. The effective use of distributed computing environ- ments and operating systems is closely tied to the need
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MEETING ARMYNEEDS WITH COMMERCIAL MUL TIMEDk4 TECHIVOLOGI~ for an Army "enterprise-wide," logical information-shar- ing architecture. Army efforts to create a technical archi- tecture, which were discussed earlier, represent an excellent start. Two challenges accompany using such a model. First, the model is inherently computing-centric. While this is appropriate for sharing text, images, and other forms of data, the use of the model for voice communications is not so clear. A fully integrated multi- media information system requires that voice not be handled separately. Second, full implementation of the model will go beyond what can reasonably be included in hand-held or other small information appliances. The details of the architecture must be designed so as to allow small-scale implementations of portions of the architecture. Recommendation: C RECOMMENDATIONS (LAYER 111 MIDDLEWARE) Building block technologies discussed under Layer III Middleware of the generic architecture (Figure 3-2) include information filtering systems; multimedia data- base management systems; user-friendly multimedia user interfaces (e.g., speech, graphical user interfaces); and multimedia information analysis and processing building blocks and middleware services. Information Filtering Systems Because information filtering capabilities are critical to the success of the commercial applications envisioned for an emerging advanced national information infra- structure, there are large commercial R&D efforts under way to develop new and better approaches for indexing and storing information in electronically accessible form, searching through heterogeneous distributed databases, and filtering arriving information according to user needs and preferences. Much of this existing and emerging technology should be directly applicable to Army needs and should be used off-the-shelf. There may be some modifications required to handle multilevel security con- cerns. However, the Army should (a) endeavor to influ- ence commercial technology to put in the "hooks" required to meet the Army's security needs, or (b) adapt its own requirements to be compatible with commercial security capabilities, rather than attempting to develop Army-specific information filtering systems, which have counterparts in the commercial domain. The committee recognizes the fact that the Army has traditionally been at the forefront in technologies that 57 enable machine interpretation of images and specialized types of data fusion. In these areas, Army-specific R&D can lead to unique, competitive capabilities. Finally, the Army should continue to fund promising research in information filtering to accelerate the emergence of commercial capabilities that meet Army needs. Recommendation: C, A Multimedia Database Management Systems For commerce, advertising, education, and entertain- ment, the commercial potential for multimedia database management systems is overwhelming. In most cases, commercial R&D in this area will progress much more quickly than it would with Army-specific development programs. For its needs, the Army should experiment with emerging multimedia database technologies as any large commercial customer would. Some examples of large-scale, ongoing trials using multimedia databases include the Library of Congress and digital libraIy efforts noted earlier in Chapter 3. One Army-specific concern in multimedia database technology not addressed in these ongoing efforts is the issue of data security and authen- ticated user access. Recommendation: C User-Friendly Multimedia User Interfaces Administrative and logistical functions in the military could adopt speech recognition on standard desktop systems having suitable processor performance and nec- essary sound-card functionality. Applications would fall into the same categories in use in the commercial sector (e.g., speech-enabled forms processing) as well as non- frontline military applications such as supply and equip- ment maintenance. Combining COTS speech recognition capabilities with mobility through the use of COTS portable computing systems could be of significant value in rear-area activities. However, the effect of background environmental noise in some of these applications on the accuracy of current speech recognition systems needs to be quantified. The value of current speech recognition systems in combat environments is doubtful. In such life-and-death situations, accuracy and response time are critical. To- day's systems are not accurate and responsive enough in such environments. Nevertheless, significant progress in voice recognition technologies may result in advances that overcome the limitations of these technologies in combat environments. Such breakthrough advances are difficult to predict, and the Army should continue to
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58 COMME:RCLA1 MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR TWEN7~Y-FIRST CEN7V2YARMYBA7TL~EFIF9)S closely monitor progress in the field of speech recogni- tion, both at universities and at industrial laboratories. in order to detect breakthrough advances as they emerge in their earliest stages and prepare to be an early adopter of such advances in battlefield applications. Because of the large and growing commercial R&D investments in improving speech recognition accuracy to meet the needs of commercial applications, it is unlikely that Army-specific speech recognition technology devel- opments could produce a competitive advantage for the Army. The base technologies for speech recognition are available immediately on the commercial market or will be maturing into the mainstream within the next few years. Expenditures by the military should be leveraged off these COTS technologies, with little modification or customization for systems used in the administrative applications. For its high-noise applications like equipment main- tenance, the Army should leverage the rapidly moving commercial market, which is currently pursuing speech recognition in adverse environments (e.g., a heavy equip- ment operator on a factory floor). The Army should also stay abreast of the commercial advancements for possible future opportunities to use speech recognition in more robust ways. As with speech input and recognition technology, multimedia presentation (e.g., graphical user interfaces (GUIs)) and COTS input technologies (e.g., mouse and pen-based devices) would be applicable in Army rear- area activities. These technologies would also be appro- priate in other nonstressed Army environments where the worker-at-a-desk model for which these technologies were developed is applicable. In combat environments, however, there are addi- tional considerations that may require that the Army adapt COTS multimedia user interface technology. For example, the weight and ruggedness of input devices will be Army concerns. In a stressful battle scenario, a soldier may have limited ability to view or choose among information, making the multiwindowed, multi-icon GUI typically found in COTS desktop or laptop multimedia computers inappropriate. Also, the soldier on the move (whether on foot or in a vehicle) may have difficulties with desk-based pointing devices, such as a mouse, trackball, or other device requiring fine motor control. This concern was noted by Army personnel during the committee's visit to Fort Gordon. Although the committee believes that the Army should adopt and adapt COTS user interface technology, one important area that should receive further attention is research on human perception and performance in highly complex, temporally sensitive, information rich environments representative of battlefield situations. A vast amount of scientific data has been collected and is being collected (e.g., in the commercial deployment of residential information services, as discussed in Chapter 3) that will impact both commercial (entertainment and industrial) and military applications. Work in these areas includes visual, auditory, and other sensory acquisition of information. This type of work is particularly pertinent to (a) enabling commanders to convey their intentions and distribute information in the most effective manner, and (b) enabling subordinate commanders and individ- ual soldiers to receive the information and understand the commander's intentions. Recommendation: C' M Multimedia Information Analysis and Processing Building Blocks and Middleware Services Because of the importance of multimedia information analysis and processing building blocks and middleware services in commercial multimedia applications, as well as the large size of the commercial multimedia applica- tion marketplace, commercial R&D efforts to advance these technologies will be great and driven by many firms. The committee believes that gaps between com- mercial technology capabilities and unmet commercial and Army needs will be closed much more quickly by commercial R&D activities than they would be by Army- specific R&D. The Army may find it advantageous to participate in commercial activities to influence these trends in ways that support Army-specific requirements and to fund promising research efforts that can produce new dual-use technologies. There may be some special middleware building blocks that are needed for Army applications and have no commercial counterparts. These would require Army-specific development. Recommendation: C RECOMMENDATIONS (LAYER IV - ENERIC APP[ICATIONS~NABLERS) Building block technologies discussed under Layer IV Generic Applications/Enablers of the generic architecture (Figure 3-2) include multimedia information access capa- bilities; decision support tools, groupware, multimedia teleconferencing; and multimedia messaging capabilities. Multimedia Information Access Capabilities With the remarkable growth of the World Wide Web last year, 1994 will likely be marked as the year that
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MEETING ARMY NFFr)S WITH COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES net~vorked-multimedia-information access (particularly, access and display of stored, combined text and images) became a reality. Commercial ventures in this area are just beginning to appear with products such as enhanced, networked multimedia viewers (e.g., Mosaic, Netscape~. World Wide Web growth, the quick startup of commercial ventures, and the level of interest in both the technical and popular press indicate future significant commercial interest in this area. Research efforts in multimedia information access are also ongoing in nu- merous industrial, government, and university research labs. Regardless of whether the World Wide Web and its protocol become the future standards, it is almost certain that the underlying multimedia data will be represented in the standard formats discussed in Chapter 3. It is crucial that the Army maintain its data in such formats (or be able to convert data to and from such formats) if it expects to leverage fully commercial efforts in the area of multi- media information access. Recommendation: C Decision Support Tools, Groupware, Multimedia Teleconferencing As evidenced in our discussion of the decision support technology in Chapter 3, many commercial products have been announced that support collaborative, group- oriented communication and information sharing. Unfor- tunately, products from one company will likely not interoperate with those from another company. This reflects the lack of accepted standards in the area and a technology that is not yet fully mature. Nonetheless, the need to interoperate is a compelling one, and open standards will emerge over time. The significant number of currently available commercial products, combined with ongoing research efforts in industrial, government, and university research laboratories, indicates that this is an area in which the Army will be able to significantly leverage commercial technology. Once again, security considerations are one area where industrial efforts may fail to meet Army-specific needs. Recommendation: C Multimedia Messaging Capabilities The need to transmit, store, and display multimedia messages will be a common requirement of all future networked systems, whether commercial or military. The already pervasive use of text-based electronic mail today will evolve into the multimedia electronic mail of tomor- 59 row as network users continue to acquire multimedia-ca- pable computers. Standards for multimedia mail have already been defined both for the Internet and Open Systems Inter- connection (OSI). Given the large installed base of Internet and OSI-compliant protocols, it is likely that future commercial multimedia mail systems will conform to these standards. If multiple standards exist, it is likely that mail programs will be able to convert between standard formats, since interoperability is of critical importance. Recommendation: C RECOMMENDATION (LAYER V - PECIFIC APPLICATIONS) General Observations This section addresses Layer V of the generic architec- ture of Figure 3-2. As discussed in Chapter 3, the factors that determine whether an application should be devel- oped on a customized basis or be adopted or adapted from off-the-shelf software are the perceived uniqueness of the needs that the application must meet, whether or not the organization or individual who will use the application aspires to obtain a competitive advantage by optimizing the application to meet its needs, and whether or not the organization or individual has a realistic expectation of being able to produce a customized application that will be better than what it can purchase off-the-shelf in the time frame that customized applica- tion would be available and used. For example, it seems self-evident that the Army would develop customized application software to man- age target acquisition, tracking, and associated weapons assignment and fire control. This is a collection of related applications with which the Army would seek to obtain a competitive advantage over its adversaries, and where it is not likely that analogous commercial applications, to the extent they exist, would cause the creation of COTS application software that is better than what the Army could produce on a customized basis. However, as stressed throughout this report, the Army should utilize COTS building block technologies to the maximum extent possible in creating such applications in order to leverage the rapid pace of technological improvements that these building blocks enjoy; and the Army should create such applications in the context of an overall technical architecture to achieve the benefits of building block reuse, interoperability, and the ability to insert new technologies, as discussed earlier and in Chapter 6 of this
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60 COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR 7-WE~IY-FIRST CEN7-URYARMYBA 77.LEFIEI~DS report. It is far less clear that the Army would need to create customized word processing or spreadsheet appli- cations rather than use those that are available off-the- shelf commercially. Thus, the committee will make no general recommen- dations regarding whether the Army should adopt or adapt COTS application-level software or whether it should develop Army- specific application-level soft- ware, other than to urge the Army to adapt or adopt COTS software whenever its needs are not unique and it does not expect to gain a significant competitive advantage from that application software. Also, the committee urges the Army to utilize COTS building blocks in the context of a technical architecture when creating customized applications. The committee has focused specifically on simulation systems and simulation applications because of the em- phasis that has been placed on simulation by the repre- sentatives of the Army who met with the committee. The committee's recommendations with respect to simulation systems and applications follow below. Simulation: Systems and Applications Commercial simulation software is moving toward more integrated support of the modeling and simulation enterprise, including support of software development, database management, model specification, model-to-ar- chitecture mapping, and multiple resolution levels. Such methodological tools are necessary for the development of the large virtual and live simulations of major interest to the Army. Commercial simulation software that sup- ports visualization, such as computer-aided design and manufacturing software, should have application to bat- tlefield visualization of complex two- and three-dimen- sional objects, including the battlefield itself. Commercial simulation software used in medical imaging applications has already been shown to have application to tele- medicine on the battlefield. Therefore, the Army should employ COTS develop- ments along these lines where they exist and encourage their development where they do not. For example, through the "federated" laboratory concept, the Army could solicit work toward the objective of integrating commercial (or commercializable) simulation environ- ments into the design and management of distributed simulations. The actual implementation of distributed interactive simulation for virtual and live training appli- cations is very much Army-specific and will not be HA concept for extending the capabilities of the Army Research Laboratory by using civilian laboratory resources. developed commercially on any significant scale without Army participation. Recommendation: C, M, A RECOMMENDATIONS (LAYER Vl- MANAGEMENT/SECURITY) Building block technologies discussed under Layer VI Management/Security of the generic architec- ture (Figure 3-2) include security technologies; network management systems; and general purpose languages, tools, and development environments. Security Technologies As discussed in Chapter 3, there are increasing con- cerns regarding the security of commercial networks in terms of their vulnerability to eavesdropping, protection of information from unauthorized access, vulnerability of networks and servers to major outages caused by acci- dents, denial-of-service attacks, and other problems. These concerns will grow as the vision of a national information infrastructure emerges in the form of in- creased usage of networks to conduct all aspects of commerce, health care, government services, personal business, and other civilian activities. On this basis, one could argue that commercial appli- cations will produce a very large market pull leading to the creation of effective security technologies that can readily be adopted and adapted to meet Army needs. Commercial technology in the area of security is evolving rapidly, particularly in areas related to electronic com- merce such as digital signatures, digital time stamps, and electronic cash. The desire for privacy has been strong enough that credible systems (such as the "Pretty Good Privacy" system) are in widespread use on the Internet worldwide. Freely available Digital Encryption Standard (DES) software can operate at or near Ethernet LAN speeds. On the other hand, defense and intelligence applica- tions have traditionally been the driving force behind the creation of many of the most advanced and the most powerful security technologies, some of which have subsequently been adapted for commercial use. The DoD, Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), and the National Security Agency are currently playing a key role in helping to promote the creation and proper use of security technologies in commercial applications. On this basis, one could argue for a continuing strong role of the Army, DoD in general, and the intelligence com-
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MFFTING ARMY NFFr)S WITH COMMERCIAL MUL 77MEDIA TECHl)JOLOGIES munity in the creation of security technologies that produce a competitive advantage over adversaries. As mentioned earlier in this report, it is well to view security as a journey rather than a destination. New and more sophisticated threats continually emerge, based on the availability of more sophisticated computing tech- nologies, more efficient algorithms, and other advances by talented hackers, criminals, and terrorists. This sug- gests that true security in the Army sense will always involve more than can be provided by routine application of off-the-shelf technologies. Thus, it is not clear at this time whether the Army and DoD in general will continue to lead in the creation of the most powerful security technologies, whether they will transition toward the use of COTS for essentially all of their applications, or whether they will pursue some combination of these. The committee believes it is likely that at least some large classes of Army security applications can be satis- fied by COTS security technologies, even if there remains a significant residual set of applications that must be served by Army-specific developments. It should be pointed out that the committee did not have access to classified information that might allow a more thorough assessment regarding the extent to which COTS technol- ogy could be applied to the broad range of Army security applications. With all of the above as background, the committee decided to make the recommendation that the Army adopt and adapt as much emerging COTS security tech- nology as possible, while still engaging in Army-specific development of those security technologies needed to meet truly unique Army requirements. The Army, and the DoD as a whole, can stimulate the development and accelerate the use of robust security protocols built on publicly available technologies. This approach has the advantage that these protocols will then be embedded in next-generation COTS that the Army can purchase and embed in its systems. Examples of this process include ARPA's stimulation of better network and protocol secu- rity mechanisms in the next generation Internet Protocols and the desirable participation of the Army or DoD in evolving a secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (H'l'l~. This process should continue as threat models change over time. Even with all of the caveats and ambiguities described above, the committee expects that the percentage of Army security applications that can be satisfied with emerging COTS security technologies will be substan- tially larger in the future than in the past. In addition to issues related to algorithms, key man- acement. and system administration to ensure that secu- r~ty requirements are met, the Army may have requirements with respect to electromagnetic emissions O , 61 (LPI and LPD) and with respect to nuclear radiation and EMP effects (various denial-of-service threats including loss or destruction of data) that are more stringent or more compelling that those associated with most com- mercial applications. This was discussed earlier in this chapter under the heading Layer I Physical Platforms, where the need for Army-specific physical packaging and the careful selection among alternative COTS technolo- gies was pointed out. Finally, the Army, and DoD in general, may have requirements for bulk encryption of very high speed data signals (i.e., encryption of the entire multiplexed signal, rather than its lower speed tributary signals) which cannot be met by using general purpose microprocessors to execute encryption algorithms ex- pressed in software. This may lead to the requirement for Army-specific hardware modules, which can be add- ons or appliques to COTS equipment which implement very high speed encryption algorithms using custom hardware-based methods. Network Management Systems Recommendation C, A Because of the importance of network management in commercial applications and the large R&D efforts under way to create network management products for commercial information networks, the Army should adopt commercial network management technologies and systems off-the-shelf for its network management applications. There will probably be some Army-specific modifications required to deal with specific security requirements and concerns regarding multiple, simulta- neous failures of network elements. However, many of these concerns also exist in commercial applications involving commerce, health care, air traffic control, and so on. The committee recognizes that, when given a more detailed analysis of Army requirements, the Army may conclude that battlefield conditions are so stressful with respect to failures of systems and subsystems, movement of systems and subsystems, and recovery requirements that commercial network management technologies, even in modified form, cannot meet all of the Army's battlefield requirements. In that case, Army- specific development will be required. However, the committee recommends that the Army start out with the mind set that it will adopt and adapt commercial network man- agement technologies, and that it consider Army-specific developments as a fallback strategy to be avoided if at all possible. Recommendation: C, M
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62 General Purpose Languages, Tools, Development Environments COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR TWEN7Y-FIRST cEN7~yARMyBAl7ZEFIFrDs The development of a general purpose computer programming language and its acceptance within the software development community (as evidenced by its use by software developers) is an extremely lengthy process. Ada is a case in point. Even after the issuance of an Ada standard and almost two decades after the Ada effort was first conceived, there exist very few unqualified Ada success stories. More recently, the situation has improved as indicated by success stories (many in com- mercial applications) reported by the Ada Joint Program Office. It is important to note, however, that whatever success the language has achieved has come 20 years after its inception and has had the strength of the Ada mandate behind it. Because there are several existing general-purpose computer programming languages (such as Ada and C++) that were designed to meet the needs of reliable, real-time systems and embody the principles of modern software engineering, there would appear to be little reason for the Army to pursue anything but pure COTS technology in the general-purpose computer program- ming language area. Even if deficiencies in existing languages are uncovered, the time frame for developing an accepted language is too large. A more fruitful path would be to influence and extend existing languages through the standards process. Recommendation: AN OPERATIONAL EXAMPLE c Having presented the above recommendations, the committee now moves to an example of how multimedia information technologies could be used by the Army for battle command in the future. Battle Command in the Twenty-First Century In Chapter 2, the committee discussed the Army's operational needs to achieve battlefield success in the information age. These needs were described in terms of functional requirements from the user's perspective. Chapter 2 also indicated that the Army recognizes the potential military advantages that can be gained by leveraging the power of information distribution technol- ogy. To realize these advantages, Army leaders have initiated a series of battle laboratory experiments, analy- ses, and field trials aimed at finding optimal approaches to digitize the battlefield. The Army's strategy for change, described variously within the context of "Force XXI," the "Enterprise Strategy," "joint Venture," and the "Louisiana Maneuvers," also recognizes that the application of mul- timedia information distribution technologies will lead to fundamental changes in organization, doctrine, training, and all the activities associated with how the Army prepares for and executes combat operations (Army Director, Louisiana Maneuvers Task Force, 1995 and Department of the Army, 19939. While all the ramifications of how military organiza- tions and warfare could change in the next century may not be clear, the goal of applying the technologies through digitization of the battlefield is to achieve over- whelming battlefield success rapidly and with few casu- alties. The expectation is that advanced automation and multimedia technologies will lead to a dramatic reduction in uncertainty, significant improvements in shared knowledge, and the practical elimination of misunder- standing between and among all the involved command- ers and cooperating organizations on the battlefield. When a commander knows with certainty where all his units are (and their status) and knows with equal cer- tainty the location and status of the enemy; when that information is shared by all subordinate, adjacent, and senior commanders, regardless of their location; when battlefield information and its meaning can be rapidly disseminated to all who need it; and when all of this can be done unambiguously in real time and in a format useful to each commander, the result is a dramatic improvement in battlefield performance and the ability of the commander to control the pace and tempo of the battle.2 These capabilities define operationally what im- proved situational awareness and a common picture of the battlefield mean to a commander in battle. They constitute the essential underpinnings for success throughout an expanded, fast-paced, mobile battlefield. Although it is not the committee's intent in this chapter to predict new tactics or how commanders may execute future battle command, it is clear to the committee that the application by the Army of the information technolo- gies available now or by the turn of the century can have far-reaching effects. If information is shared more quickly and if it is more accurate and timely, it should permit commanders to extend their span of effective control. Organizations may be flatter, with smaller support staffs and fewer levels of command. Actions can be coordi- nated over wider areas and synchronized more precisely, which may permit innovative tactics for concentrating combat power with fewer forces because of the more 20f course, it is equally important that a commander know with certainty that his battlefield information is not available to the enemy and that the enemy has neither destroyed nor modified it.
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MEk-77NG ARMY 1!lEEDS WITH COMMERCIAL MUL TIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES efficient use of that power and the confidence that it is being applied effectively. Army Commanders, the Battlefield, and Multimedia Technology The committee recognizes that the Army has extensive plans for the operational evaluation of the application of information technologies as part of its efforts to digitize the battlefield. While doctrinal and organizational deci- sions will evolve from these evaluations, it is useful at this point to describe how commanders in a particular combat operation might use the technologies identified in Chapter 3 to meet the functional requirements outlined in Chapter 2. The committee's description takes the form of the hypothetical scenario at some point early in the next century. In that scenario, it is postulated that an Army corps is deployed to a theater of war as part of a joint command that will conduct combat operations against an armed enemy. The scenario follows. As the Corps commander begins to plan for offensive operations, his focus is on securely gathering information about the enemy and the environment within the area of operations while ensuring that the units within the Corps are prepared, trained, and supported. Explicit require- ments for the commander are to preauthorize who may share the information and to have an effective crypto- graphic key management scheme. The initial warning order to subordinate commands is initiated over a protected broadcast network. Shortly thereafter, the Corps commander briefs and leads a discussion of the upcoming operation with all the in- volved commanders via video teleconferencing. Subor- dinate commanders participate from their own command posts with the necessary staff present to listen, under- stand, and take part in the discussion. Images of the objective areas and routes of advance are called up from stored files or in real time from satellites, aircraft, or ground sensors for all to view simultaneously. The map images at each command post are identical, and the Corps commander is able to explain his intent, point out specific items of importance, and sketch pictorially the options being considered. This process uses encrypted data transfer over low-probability-of-intercept, anti-jam communications. At the conclusion of the initial briefing and warning order, intelligence collection systems begin to focus on the most likely courses of action. Support organizations 63 conduct electronic queries of the participating units to determine personnel and logistical status and to assess available materiel stocks. Automated processes deter- mine requirements in accordance with the commander's announced priorities. Necessary replacements, equip- ment, and supplies are delivered to the appropriate units or identified for later delivery based on predicted con- sumption and battle intensity. The Corps commander runs a quick check of unit status. Applying established criteria and standards, the commander is alerted automatically to any unit whose status has fallen below the predetermined standards. These may be adjusted once the battle begins. The Corps staff reviews uncompromised, accurate data on enemy units within the area of operations, directs additional collection efforts, and employs automated processes to analyze terrain, estimate time and distance implications, compute probable consumption rates, and compare al- ternatives. Computers conduct the repetitive, computa- tional tasks, store information for rapid retrieval, provide prompts and alerts based on preset criteria, and continu- ously update the databases, maps, and individual status displays. Use of the computers leaves the staff and commanders free to think, consider options, and apply the human perspective to preparing for the operation. Employing an interactive simulation, the staffs rapidly compare courses of action, modify conditions and as- sumptions, and complete their assessments. The Corps commander calls up a satellite image of the objective area, then follows in real time an unmanned aerial vehicle as it takes still or video images over the objective area, the approaches to it, and enemy units that could affect the operation. The commander conducts a personal reconnaissance of as much of the area as feasible, but he remains in contact with his own head- quarters and subordinate commanders as the plan is developed. Once the commander selects a course of action, the staff completes the plan. Secured information is shared electronically and through voice communications with the staffs of all the organizations involved in the opera- tion to permit simultaneous parallel planning. When complete, the briefing and discussions once again are via video teleconference. Detailed questions are answered and precise coordination effected so that all clearly understand the intent and concept of the operation. The Corps commander employs a simulation at this point (or possibly later) to review the plan, actions at critical phases, and contingencies to meet unexpected enemy action or potential opportunities. At lower levels, commanders and their staffs are involved in similar activities. Intelligence information is received continuously from theater and Corps assets as well as those controlled by subordinate commanders. r ~ r 1
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64 Preset filters determine the information to be received and stored in the local unit database and the security level to be assigned to the information. The filters are deter- mined by geographic boundaries, types of enemy units, enemy activity, or time frame. Each commander sets specific filter requirements and also establishes criteria for special alerts or prompts. Throughout the planning process, information is shared between supporting Air Force and Navy units, as well as adjacent Army and Marine Corps maneuver headquarters. Standards, protocols, and operating envi- ronments common to all services permit the automated retrieval of relevant information from the databases of all the organizations involved in the operation, regardless of service, and prevent unauthorized modification to the data. Other protections involving user codes, bulk en- cIyption, and physical and electronic hardening prevent penetration or destruction of the shared databases by the enemy. The lead combat maneuver formations involved in the initial penetration of enemy defenses conduct extensive reconnaissance and training for the operation. Overhead photography and imaging, scout helicopters, foot patrols, and implanted sensors collect information on specific weapons and positions. Commanders at these levels establish precise criteria for alerts concerning the posi- tions of single weapons, the possible construction of new obstacles, and indications of the movement of tactical reserves. They are assisted in the determination of the precise locations of equipment and soldiers by location reports enabled by the GPS. Shortly before execution of the attack, the penetration force conducts a rehearsal supported by a simulation that feeds enemy activity into the intelligence system. The units and soldiers involved participate with their actual weapons and equipment. Data ports on the armored vehicles and electronic imaging systems transform them into simulators operating in a virtual reality, as seen on their thermal imaging devices, vision blocks, and sights. Follow-on units rehearse similarly, with unexpected situ- ations introduced to force commanders at the lowest levels to execute immediate action drills and contingency plans. On the evening prior to the attack, patrols infiltrate to positions where they can observe the area selected for the penetration. The joint surveillance and target attack radar system OSTARS) maintains deep surveillance, watching for the movement of operational reserves. Unmanned aerial vehicles and scout helicopters confirm the locations of tactical reserves and artillery. After arriving in position, one of the patrols detects the movement of tanks into forward defensive positions. Using thermal viewers and miniature cameras, the patrol takes several pictures and contacts the lead unit commander. The images are trans- COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR 7.WENTY-FIRST CEN7V2YARMYBA TTLEFIELDS misted securely with precise time and location tags. The commander (a) directs the fire support officer to coordi- nate artillery and attack helicopter fires to commence 30 minutes prior to the attack, and (b) forwards the images to his commander. This transmission automatically trig- gers transmission to the adjacent commanders, senior commanders, and the Corps commander, all of whom have preset automatic alerts for information of tank movements in the area of the penetration. The attack begins with artillery fire on known enemy positions and the precision attack of selected targets. The attack helicopters make contact with the patrol leader, who employs his laser designator on each of the tanks and hands off the targets to the engaging helicopters. The lead combat elements launch a violent attack. Dismounted soldiers and engineer vehicles clear the mines and obstacles, overmatched by supporting tanks and fighting vehicles. Artillery fire is called for and adjusted by forward observers with automated handoff of targets to the fire direction centers. The location of each tank and combat vehicle and the dismounted elements attacking the enemy position are displayed in each vehicle and on displays at the controlling headquar- ters, fire support units, and fire direction centers. This information is protected against enemy access. Auto- mated combat identification codes distinguish between friendly and enemy combat vehicles and heavy weapons. Identified targets that cannot be engaged by one tank are handed off automatically to another tank or supporting weapon. Commanders operating from mobile armored vehicles or helicopters follow the battle by listening on the command nets of subordinate and adjacent units and through visual observation. Their display screens provide rolled-up information on the center of mass location of units and their status. After clearing the position, follow-on forces begin to roll through. The senior commanders request the status of the lead units with automated queries to respective databases; the responses are transparent to the subordi- nate commanders. Logistical units conduct similar que- ries on ammunition and fuel status that has been rolled up from the sensors on each combat vehicle in the lead units. Resupply and medical support begin to move forward before the units sense the need and without a request on their part. At this point, the Corps or other senior commanders adjust the plan slightly, based on unit locations and status and the success achieved. The changes in objectives, routes, and missions are encrypted and sent to all commanders involved. Control measures are depicted on all map displays automatically. Alerts are provided electronically and over a protected broadcast network. If necessary, the commander describes his intent graphically in real time to ensure full under- standing.
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MEETING ARMY :IEEDS WITH COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDL4 TECHNOLOGIES As the attack picks up speed and more units move through the penetration, traffic jams are avoided by constant updates to unit commanders, to the controlling military police, and to engineers supervising the passage. Speeds are adjusted and assembly areas occupied and vacated at appropriate times to ensure continuous rapid forward movement. The Corps commander moves forward. While the commander is airborne, sensors emplaced by special operations forces indicate the movement of a large tracked vehicle force. The Corps commander is alerted by an airborne communications system. At the same time A_ . _ ~ . ., _ . . . Ib lAKb resorts a similar movement. calling UD the . _ . . . . . J~ 1 AKS track on his display, the Corps commander determines that it is probably a tank brigade previously identified in the area. He directs aerial surveillance and overhead imagery to confirm. The artillery commander and aviation commander are directed to coordinate an attack with long-range tactical missiles, an attack helicop- ter battalion, and tactical air strikes. Control measures are established to provide for troop safety and adequate separation distances; these are broadcast to all organiza- tions in the Corps. The database is automatically updated and maps posted electronically. Scout helicopters oper- ating with the armored cavalry units leading the attack are alerted electronically. Their on-board displays depict the enemy targets and the planned attack. Following the attack, the scout helicopters conduct battle damage as- sessment, providing imagery and direct readout to the Corps commander and all other involved commanders. Surviving enemy targets are handed off electronically to supporting artillery or other weapons that can engage. Units converging on the battlefield are alerted to each other's presence automatically as the database is updated from position location sensors on combat vehicles and the radios of dismounted units. Battlefield combat iden- tification sensors respond with coded identification of friendly vehicles when in the heat of battle they are spotted by the laser range finder of another friendly weapon. Targets are handed off from tank to tank or to attack helicopters, artillery, or close support aircraft. As the attack proceeds deeper into the enemy, the situation becomes more complex and confusing. Vehi- cles break down or are damaged. Enemy units are bypassed. Unarmed support vehicles move forward to resupply or refuel the combat vehicles. Units deviate from planned routes as a result of combat, obstacles, or changes in plans. Automated position location provides continuous updates to the database and keeps units informed of unit locations. Commanders and supporters conduct automated queries without distracting the ele- ment being queried. Automatic coded identification sig- nals minimize the likelihood of fratricide between friendly units. Commanders at each echelon determine 65 what information they need and set predetermined criteria for alerts and prompts to avoid information overload. After the battle is over, the same communications and electronic systems assist commanders in reassembling their units, assessing casualties and battle losses, com- pleting resupply and repairs, and preparing for follow-on operations. Data from the battle are called up from the secure database to permit an assessment of the operation and lessons learned for future operations. The committee's analysis of the above scenario is contained in the following section. ANALYSIS OF THE SCENARIO The activities described in the preceding scenario are essentially the same activities that would be conducted in any-operation, whether supported by automated sys- tems and multimedia communications or by manual systems and messengers. The difference is the speed and accuracy of the information distribution, the continuous, automated update of the databases, the ability to coordi- nate actions simultaneously throughout the battlefield and inform all of those involved in real time, and the ability to free commanders and staff from the drudgery of repetitive and monotonous tasks. The effect on unit organizational structure and the tactics employed to leverage the advantages achieved could be dramatic. Smaller forces, widely separated, will be able to increase these combat effects 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. As the committee analyzed the scenario depicted above, it concluded that the gaps between current tech- nological capabilities and what is needed to realize the future capabilities, as described, are as follows. The scenario implies an enterprise information architecture where data are a corporate resource that is shared by many applications. This sharing is a goal of many com- mercial enterprises. The technology challenges lie in transitioning existing legacy systems; building open and distributed computing environments that are secure and
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66 COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR 7~ FIRST CEN7URYARMYBA l lilies reliable enough; and provisioning and managing the capacity of information servers, processing resources, and communications facilities to assure that all needs are met in a timely way. These are major challenges that will be addressed mostly by commercial technology trends. A principal focus for the Army should be on monitoring these trends and adopting best commercial practices. In addition, the Army should focus on creating and deploying an appro- priate secure communications capability that can support battlefield needs and is compatible with the functionality and interfaces of communications capabilities that will be used in commercial enterprise information systems. A serious problem for the Army might occur if the battle- field communications capabilities were not able to sup- port the communications requirements of higher layer commercial enterprise information system building blocks. This might result in the inability to leverage those COTS technologies and a corresponding major capability shortfall for the Army. The Army will also have to influence commercial technology trends to accommodate its unique security and access control requirements (if they are unique), as well as the serious network manage- ment challenges associated with multiple, simultaneous failures of equipment that can occur in battlefield situ- ations.3 Finally, the Army must create physical packaging technologies or influence commercial trends to accom- modate its unique or more compelling requirements with respect to emissions of electromagnetic interference, resistance to nuclear radiation and EMP pulse effects, shock and vibration resistance, and ruggedness in general. The committee emphasizes here the importance of performing battlefield activities securely, in a fashion that will protect critical information from the enemy and ensure that it is not corrupted by the enemy. When building an effective security environment that protects information while retaining ready access, it is essential that security be built into the communication architecture from the start. There must be a tradeoff between the speed of sharing information and the effort expended to protect it. For example, if the criticality of certain infor- mation will expire in a few minutes, it might be desirable to use commercial encryption schemes (e.g., the DES (digital encryption standard)) or other techniques such 3An area that is not amenable to being addressed within the scope of this unclassified study is that of vulnerabilities of the systems envisioned In this scenario to major, simultaneous, unrecoverable disruption. The committee has mentioned such things as nuclear radiation and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resistance requirements for physical equipment and the requirement to protect systems from various intrusions that can lead to denial of services. The committee has mentioned the importance of influencing trends In commercial as frequency hopping. In cases where information must be absolutely protected for long periods of time, Army- specific mechanisms may be more appropriate. This future scenario implies a great deal of automated information processing and filtering. This is also required in the commercial marketplace for such applications as electronic commerce (e.g., electronic shopping and ad- vertising) and intelligent transportation systems. Technol- ogy for automatically indexing multimedia information objects, such as maps to facilitate searching and filtering, is relatively immature today. Although there are impor- tant commercial uses for such technology, this is an area where the Army may wish to invest in R&D to develop a competitive advantage over its adversaries. As previously discussed in this chapter, the simulation capabilities described in the scenario represent an area of current Army leadership. The Army should continue to invest in robust simulation capabilities to maintain its competitive advantage. Also, the sensors, including sat- ellites and unmanned aerial vehicles utilized in this scenario, represent areas where the Army (and more generally DoD) should continue to invest to retain com- petitive advantage. Above all, the committee wishes to reiterate that it is the successful integration of all of these technologies into end-to-end applications, which work securely and reli- ably on the battlefield and are easy and intuitive to use for both commanders and soldiers, that represents the most important opportunity for the Army to retain its advantage over its adversaries. SUMMARY In this chapter, the committee showed how the build- ing block technologies can be used to meet the Army's operational needs and functional requirements. The building block technologies and the needs and functional requirements were mapped onto one another. The chap- ter also outlined why it is desirable to have a technical architecture. An architecture provides a framework for information systems development that leverages the commonality between specific applications. The commit- tee's multimedia architecture introduced in Chapter 3 was shown to correlate with the current Army architecture. network management technologies to accommodate graceful degrada- tion in the face of multiple, simultaneous failures. However, the committee feels obligated to point out that much research, develop- ment, and experimentation is needed to create technologies, system architectures, operational methodologies, and doctrines that remove, reduce, and work around major system vulnerabilities associated with battlefield applications. These vulnerabilities represent major concerns in commercial applications as well.
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MEETINGARMYPJEEDS W777I COMMERCIAL MULTIMEDl~4 TECHNOLOGIES Using the committee's multimedia architecture, the Army- specific requirements were shown to appear primarily at the bottom and top layers while the middle is typically filled with generic components. The committee assessed each of the building block technologies and expressed its collective position on whether the commercial marketplace would drive the development of the technologies in a manner that would meet the Army's requirements. The committee's conclu- sions were offered as recommendations on whether the Army should adopt commercial technology, adapt com- mercial technology, or invest in producing its own technology for each of the building blocks to meet Army functional requirements. A rec?~mng observation was that He Army should use COTS technology wherever possible, even to the extent of redefining requirements in order to do so. These tech- nologies are available in the commercial world now, or they will be available before the turn of the century. They can be adopted or adapted rapidly and relatively easily to many Army applications. To illustrate how using commercial multimedia tech- nologies could meet Army operational needs and func- tional requirements, an operational example was given. This example was followed by an analysis that indicated some of the challenges that will have to be met in order to achieve this futuristic state. By following the approach described in this chapter and applying the technologies as recommended, the 67 committee is confident that the Army can achieve a large part of its vision of the future. REFERENCES Army Director, Louisiana Maneuvers Task Force. 1995. America's Army of the 21st Century Force XXI. Fort Monroe, Va. January 15. Comer, D. 1991. Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol. 1: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture. Second edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall. Department of the Army. 1993. Army Enterprise Strategy The Vision. July 20. Department of the Army. 1995. Department of the Army C4I Technical Architecture. Version 3.1. March 31. DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency). 1994. DoD Technical Architecture for Information Management (TAFIM). Vol. 2, Techni- cal Reference Model. June 30. Frankel, M. S. 1994. The 1994 Army Science Board Recommended Technical Architecture for the Digital Battlefield. Army Research, Development and Acquisition Bulletin. Alexandria, Va.: HQ, U.S. Army Material Command. November-December. Frankel, M. S. (Chair), P. C. Dickinson, J. H. Cafarella, W. P. Cherry, G. D. Godden, I. M. Kameny, W. J. Neal, T. P. Tona, M. B. Zimmerman, D. C. Latham. 1995. Technical Information Architecture for Army Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence. 1994 Sum- mer Study. Washington, D.C.: Army Science Board. April. International Standard ISO 7498,1990. Information Processing Systems, Open Systems Interconnection: Basic Reference Model. In McGraw- Hill's Compilation of Open Systems Standards, ed. H. C. Folts, 2878-3042. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Representative terms from entire chapter: