Today’s battlefield space is extremely complex, dealing with an enemy that is neither well-defined nor well-understood. Adversaries are comprised of widely-distributed, loosely-networked groups engaging in nefarious activities. Situational understanding is needed by decision makers; understanding of adversarial capabilities and intent is essential. Information needed at any time is dependent on the mission/task at hand. Information sources potentially providing mission-relevant information are disparate and numerous; they include sensors, social networks, fusion engines, internet, etc. Management of these multi-dimensional informational sources is critical. This paper will present a new approach being undertaken to answer the challenge of enhancing battlefield understanding by optimizing the utilization of available informational sources (means) to required missions/tasks as well as determining the “goodness’” of the information acquired in meeting the capabilities needed. Requirements are usually expressed in terms of a presumed technology solution (e.g., imagery). A metaphor of the “magic rabbits” was conceived to remove presumed technology solutions from requirements by claiming the “required” technology is obsolete. Instead, intelligent “magic rabbits” are used to provide needed information. The question then becomes: “WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED THE RABBITS TO PROVIDE YOU?” This paper will describe a new approach called Mission-Informed Needed Information - Discoverable, Available Sensing Sources (MINI-DASS) that designs a process that builds information acquisition missions and determines what the “magic rabbits” need to provide in a manner that is machine understandable. Also described is the Missions and Means Framework (MMF) model used, the process flow utilized, the approach to developing an ontology of information source means and the approach for determining the value of the information acquired.
Michael A. Kolodny, "Mission informed needed information: discoverable, available sensing sources (MINI-DASS): the operators and process flows the magic rabbits must negotiate," Proc. SPIE 10190, Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR VIII, 1019010 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 12, 2017; Published: 4 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2266326.
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