Master Sgt. Blaze West, 911th Communications Squadron mission defense team crew lead, uses the Cyber Vulnerability Assessement/Hunter to view sensor data at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, Feb. 4, 2020. The CVAH allows the mission defense team to proactively assess and prepare against any possible vulnerabilities in the cyber world.

Beyond Images: Air Force Official on AI Quest for ‘Integrated’ Intel Image

Master Sgt.  Blaze West, team leader of the 911th Communications Squadron's mission defense team, uses the Cyber ​​Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter to view sensor data at Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, Feb. 4, 2020. The CVAH sets up the mission defense team able to proactively assess and be prepared for possible vulnerabilities in the cyber world.

Transforming data from abstract, machine-specific output into actionable, shareable information between machines is a goal of the Department of Defense’s new data strategy. (Joshua J. Seybert / Air Force)

WASHINGTON: The Air Force is scouting new ways in which artificial intelligence can be used to help collect and share data Specific for detection activities, including bringing in a variety of data beyond just images to create an “integrated” intelligence picture, The service’s deputy chief information officer tells Breaking Defense.

The service has been working on automated target recognition (ATR) for a while, but “only recently has the processing power of the systems we used really caught up with the ambitions of what we wanted to do with them,” Winston Beauchamp, Air Force deputy chief information officer , said in: an interview on June 15.

“So when we started the ATR journey, we were talking about hundreds of mostly still images, mostly black and white, coming in from overhead or airborne systems,” he said. “Now we’re talking thousands and we’re talking full motion video and multispectral, in some cases hyperspectral [images], coming from various platforms that are government and commercial. All of these need to be processed in some way and ideally find a way to merge them into an integrated image.

The Air Force has traditionally used a linear method of exploiting that data, using each data stream for a specific purpose and not necessarily passing them from one to another, he added.

The target of the current effort is to get to the point where the “smart of the system” can catch up with the exponential increase in data availability to perform real-time triage, identify items of interest in the field of collected images, and then integrate it with other sources that may have covered the same area in a recent period.

Ideally, it can also integrate with other data sets that don’t necessarily have to be images — it may be electromagnetic in nature — and use the combination of those signals to better determine what that data is.

“So, for example, if you collect an image from a… ground radar… and you find that it also has an electromagnetic signal coming out that you collect from another platform and then you integrate it together, that’s very interesting and very useful,” Beauchamp said. “And so that, with the volume we’re talking about of data, [is] the kinds of things that could benefit from AI as you move forward.”

The service also looks at how AI can improve weather models for planning purposes, an area of ​​increasing importance as climate change could affect future operationssaid Winston Tuesday at the UiPath TOGETHER Public Sector conference.

RELATED: Could ‘Weather Intelligence’ Take the Pentagon by Storm?

“Using AI, we’ve been able to improve our weather models to collect data that we didn’t collect on the ground, and extrapolate and interpolate between those data points to make weather forecasts for parts of the world,” Beauchamp said at the conference.

Military weather planning doesn’t always use the same data as civilian forecasters and can be a huge determinant of success or failure, he added.

In October 2021, the Pentagon released its climate change strategy calling for both the military and defense contractors to make changes to mitigate vulnerabilities caused by climate change.

“Climate change will be the context of the world we live in from now on,” Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of defense for environment and energy resilience, told reporters Oct. 8 during a roundtable discussion following the strategy’s publication. “No entity can waive their responsibilities or requirements to take necessary steps for adaptation or mitigation.”

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