Quantum Leap tests network warfare

The Defense Department will conduct an experiment today to test network-centric warfare operations.

The test, called Quantum Leap, seeks to make intelligence quickly available to warfighters. The 12-hour trial is crucial to DOD's transformation to a lighter force that can be rapidly deployed and to the vision of DOD's chief information officer, John Stenbit.

The $80 million experiment is the first of five planned through 2007 that will cost almost $1 billion, a top department information technology official said. "We want to give DOD leadership a glimpse of what net-centric warfare can do short of a real military engagement."

Quantum Leap was scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at several sites, including the Defense Information Systems Agency in Washington, the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command facility in Charleston, S.C., and the Army's top soldier training center at Fort Benning, Ga. The experiment will test 12 horizontal fusion concepts and technologies planned for 2004, including:

* Power to the Edge computing: Posting data quickly so warfighters can access it.

* Global Information Grid publishing: Posting information to defense networks that people trust.

* Interoperability improvements: Integrating intelligence systems so they easily exchange information.

* Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance data sharing: Combining intelligence to give U.S. forces clear battlefield pictures.

"Information typically has been retained in agencies' channels until the product becomes intelligence," said John Osterholz, director of architecture and interoperability for the defense CIO office. "We don't want to hoard data until it is done. We want to provide it as soon as possible."

Osterholz and Marian Cherry, the department's horizontal fusion program manager, will lead Quantum Leap.

Quantum Leap will test these 12 concepts and technologiesArea testedDescriptionLead agency
Collateral Information SpacePutting intelligence in a distributed net area that is readily reachedDefense Intelligence Agency
Horizontal Fusion Enterprise ServicesAccessing the Collateral Information Space with core software toolsDefense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
Content StagingConverting information dissemination management to a smart-pull capabilityDISA
Basic Language Translation ServicesChanging foreign language documents to English then posting them to the InternetArmy Intelligence
Non-Obvious Relationships AnalysisModifying the commercial NORA software prevalent in the gaming industry for DOD use, such as screening security personnel Counterintelligence Field Activity
Basic Image ServicesAccumulating imagery and making it easily available National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)
Cooperative Engagement Capability Data Tagging and PostingCollecting Navy radar images, assigning a name to them for easy understanding and then posting them to the networkNavy CEC Program Office
U-AIMAmassing, tagging and updating intelligencePennsylvania State University
P-3 FusionMaking Navy spy plane systems capable for ground operationsNavy Research Laboratory
Distributed Common Ground Station IntegrationAdapting the land system so warfighters can use it to quickly send and receive intelligence Army Intelligence and Security Command
Global Net-Centric Surveillance and TargetingCreating smart software agents that uncover hard-to-find enemy targets and systems when off, such as a surface-to-air missile sites hidden in treesNSA, NIMA and Army Intelligence
Warrior's EdgeSending and receiving intelligence from small robots that follow and aid ground forcesArmy

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