The MITRE Sensor Layer Prototype is an initial design effort to enable every sensor to help create new capabilities
through collaborative data sharing. By making both upstream (raw) and downstream (processed) sensor data visible,
users can access the specific level, type, and quantities of data needed to create new data products that were never
anticipated by the original designers of the individual sensors.
The major characteristic that sets sensor data services apart from typical enterprise services is the volume (on the order
of multiple terabytes) of raw data that can be generated by most sensors. Traditional tightly coupled processing
approaches extract pre-determined information from the incoming raw sensor data, format it, and send it to predetermined
users. The community is rapidly reaching the conclusion that tightly coupled sensor processing loses too
much potentially critical information.<sup>1</sup> Hence upstream (raw and partially processed) data must be extracted, rapidly
archived, and advertised to the enterprise for unanticipated uses.
The authors believe layered sensing net-centric integration can be achieved through a standardize-encapsulate-syndicateaggregate-
manipulate-process paradigm. The Sensor Layer Prototype's technical approach focuses on implementing this
proof of concept framework to make sensor data visible, accessible and useful to the enterprise. To achieve this, a "raw"
data tap between physical transducers associated with sensor arrays and the embedded sensor signal processing hardware
and software has been exploited. Second, we encapsulate and expose both raw and partially processed data to the
enterprise within the context of a service-oriented architecture.
Third, we advertise the presence of multiple types, and multiple layers of data through geographic-enabled Really Simple
Syndication (GeoRSS) services. These GeoRSS feeds are aggregated, manipulated, and filtered by a feed aggregator.
After filtering these feeds to bring just the type and location of data sought by multiple processes to the attention of each
processing station, just that specifically sought data is downloaded to each process application.
The Sensor Layer Prototype participated in a proof-of-concept demonstration in April 2008. This event allowed multiple
MITRE innovation programs to interact among themselves to demonstrate the ability to couple value-adding but
previously unanticipated users to the enterprise. For this event, the Sensor Layer Prototype was used to show data
entering the environment in real time. Multiple data types were encapsulated and added to the database via the Sensor
Layer Prototype, specifically National Imagery Transmission Format 2.1 (NITF), NATO Standardization Format 4607
(STANAG 4607), Cursor-on-Target (CoT), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), Hierarchical Data Format
(HDF5) and several additional sensor file formats describing multiple sensors addressing a common scenario.