systems globally, new sources of information and intelligence will emerge as information flows across the global commercial infrastructure. Commercial space-based imaging systems will provide timely submeter imagery worldwide. In addition to these commercial space-based assets and the significant information produced by National systems, the Department of the Navy must invest in unique radar and electro-optical sensors that will meet requirements for continuous coverage of the tactical battle space and allow for long-range precision targeting against all targets.
This expanding set of sensor systems will generate large databases that must be organized, accessed, interpreted, and presented in a time frame and format useful to the warfighter. Information content, understanding, and recognition theory are critical technology areas that will be increasingly important in an information-rich society, but there are many developments that must be supported by the DOD and Department of the Navy. In particular, database mining algorithms, sensor data fusion, and development of techniques for automatic target recognition must be supported.
The information infrastructure and the information content within that infrastructure must be protected, and U.S. forces must also be capable of denying an adversary access to the multiple sources of information available within the global commercial marketplace.
This volume reports on the panel's discussions of the future dependence of naval forces on information systems and the need to achieve information superiority to ensure the success of future warfighting strategies. It presents what the panel considers to be the characteristics of a robust information infrastructure and the information content carried to the warfighter over the infrastructure. It also discusses the sensor technologies and systems necessary to produce the data that will be processed, mined, and interpreted to generate the necessary information content, as well as the criticality of maintaining the security of the information infrastructure and the information flowing within those systems. The Navy Department C3 staff organizations have traditionally focused on communications, computers, and data links. What is missing are sophisticated coordination of the specifications for organic and remote sensors, information networks, and precision weapons; understanding of the reliance that can be placed on National and theater sensors; and the appropriate investment balance among these components, not only of the entire sensor-to-shooter chain, but also spanning the spectrum from preparation of the battlefield to battle damage assessment. As an outgrowth of those discussions, the panel draws some specific conclusions and makes recommendations throughout the report.
The panel makes the following specific set of recommendations related to information in warfare and U.S. ability to achieve information superiority.