FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, May 09, 2005

Military Gets BUFF to Handle Information Overload

Like many institutions these days, the military relies on information technology to gather and compile terabytes of information, from battlefield action to strategic decision-making at the highest levels. To help make sense of all this data, the Pentagon is evaluating a technology called Brute Force Fusion (BUFF), which can sort through 170,000 hourly intelligence reports and compile data into real-time actionable items at the ground-force level.

The onslaught of electronic intelligence adds a new wrinkle to the time-honored "fog of war." "What we face on the battlefield is a massive glut of information to be sorted," says Jason Denno, deputy director of the Battle Command Battle Lab-Huachuca. "The amount of data generated by sensors on the modern battlefield is rapidly outpacing the ability of the human to understand. The problem is hard enough when sensing only enemy forces, but it gets completely unmanageable when you add the presence of coalition forces, non-combatants and even domestic or wild animals. To truly understand what's going on, all of these things must be identified and tracked."

Sources: Military Information Technology, Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends