September 22, 2016

Enhancing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability

Enhancing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability

What the market is worth:

• The US military spends approximately US$65 billion on R&D and US$6.6 billion on C41 systems (command and control systems), with video representing a major part of these budgets


In September 2014, a division of the US Army Communications Electronics Research and Engineering Centre put out a request for information (RFI) to various cellular network equipment manufacturers.

The intent of this RFI was to adapt “commercial cellular/wireless technology to provide soldiers at the tactical edge with extended secure wireless communications across the battlefield.”

The US Army sees this as a way to enhance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

In other words, how best to use commercial media delivery technology to deliver critical media across the various stages of the battlefield using networks that reach into zones, areas and onto devices that specific Armed Forces technologies do not.

From this RFI it is clear that traditional closed networks are being hybridised to leverage the power and reach of established carrier networks.

Video is highly used throughout the military. In any given engagement, the number of video streams might range from five to 50 or more, and the streams could come from a ground-based forward reconnaissance team, or from a moving vehicle on the ground or in the air. Aerial feeds can be either from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or from manned aircraft.

The concept of “need-to-know” factors heavily into the way diverse video streams are distributed.

For instance, field operations could require the same signal to be sent to multiple soldiers, from a small squadron to a much larger battalion, even if the troops are on limited connectivity or are strung out across an advancing line over the course of many miles.

At the command level, on-the-ground live feeds are available, in addition to feeds from support aircraft. There might also be interdepartmental feeds, image-only feeds from a satellite or reconnaissance vehicle, or feeds from other government agencies.

With this need for multiple streams come several challenges, broken down into technology, operational, and security challenges especially when coupled with the ability to leverage commercial networks for video content delivery.

Imagine if

• Video content was delivered in a manner where the content was not video – it was a series of data chunks that could be virtually controlled so the assembly of these chunks happens within a secured data container.
• Video files were never delivered in a manner that could be intercepted and reassembled across disparate networks
• Video could be indexed so a certain series of events on a battlefield or in a reconnaissance scenario could be isolated and repackaged on the fly where the content comes in from different intel sources (Camera, UAV, Aircraft, Operative)
This is the power of Linius. Our technology brings a blockchain methodology to content, where the content is more secure than ever, yet can be restricted to a specific military network layer, regardless of carrier specifics.

Linius enables a more secure and distributed content delivery system where content is data casted and delivered virtually.

“Virtual content” is a method where the content is delivered in two separate components at different times (like a lock and a key). These components are synchronised together and the file cannot be reassembled without the correct synchronisation.

Jodi Cutler
Head of Media Marketing Linius
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