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ISR Transformation Requires Vast, Advanced Technology

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

DENVER, Sept. 30, 2004 – Using data collected through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to its full potential requires better technology than is currently in place, the director of the Defense Information Security Agency said here.

Clearly bandwidth and security needs are increasing, Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege said at the ISR Transformation Government Symposium. As the number of ISR platforms increase, there is a projected need for more bandwidth.

"The ISR need for bandwidth seems to be an age-old issue," Raduege said.

DISA experts project an eight-fold increase in bandwidth requirements between 2006 and 2015, or a jump from 20 gigabits to 160 gigabits. And normally, Raduege said, projected estimates fall short.

A gigabit refers to 1 billion bits of data, and bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a set amount of time, usually expressed as bits per second. So to put it in perspective, in 2006, DISA experts expect to need to be able to transfer 20 billion bits of data per second.

Steps are being taken to address the need for increasing bandwidth.

"The (Global Information Grid)-Bandwidth Expansion will be the newest terrestrial component of the GIG," Raduege said. "This GIG-BE is designed to be robust enough to eliminate current and future bandwidth constraints.

"GIG-BE's advanced fiber-optic backbone and switching technology will upgrade telecommunications links at critical Department of Defense installations, providing unprecedented bandwidth to our nation's warfighters around the globe."

The need for a bandwidth expansion stems from today's telecommunications lines not being robust enough to handle the volume of information in a timely fashion, Raduege said. This slows decision-making.

The GIG-BE program is targeting 92 sites worldwide, but will benefit DoD users throughout the GIG. It also will be tied in to the Defense Information System Network for total bandwidth connectivity, he said.

The first six locations will have initial operating capability today. Full operational capability is expected to be reached in September 2005. GIG-BE also will directly support tactical users and be operational at all of DISA's teleport locations. DISA created the teleport program to increase military bandwidth, Raduege said.

"The system will integrate, manage and control a variety of communication interfaces between the DISN terrestrial and tactical SATCOM assets at a single point of presence," he said. "This is the bridge between deployed tactical units and the strategic capabilities that they all need."

GIG-BE is the connection between C4 -- Command, Control, Computers and Communication -- and ISR data. It is one cog on the wheel to the defense and intelligence communities becoming netcentric -- making sure that everyone who needs information has access to everything available whenever and wherever it is needed.

Contact Author

Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr.

Related Sites:
Defense Information Systems Command

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