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Defense & Security

DARPA director Dugan calls for systems, networks to address flood of collected data

SPIE Newsroom
26 April 2011

William Jeffrey (DSS Symposium Chair, HRL Labs), Kevin Meiners (Symposium Cochair, Office of the Secretary of Defense), Regina Dugan (Director, DARPA), Eustace Dereniak (Univ. of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, SPIE President Elect).

As a result of the rapid development of sensing capabilities, the defense and security community now has a new challenge, according to DARPA Director Regina Dugan -- data overload. 

Dugan gave a SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing symposium audience of more than 1,100 the first public briefing on the agency's new framework for global integrated ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), aimed at maximizing the capabilities of both computing capabilities and federated processing. This "consolidated computer power" is one of the newest challenges the agency faces, along with megatrends such as the power of large social networks and the challenge of dealing with data volume.

Photonics technology can answer many of the challenges faced in the field, including the need to accelerate development of solutions. DARPA is "an elite army of futuristic technogeeks," she said in the address on Tuesday, 26 April, "and this is how we choose to serve our country."

Dugan also related her experiences from visits with soldiers in the field, and their perception of DARPA's inability to respond quickly to technology needs. She presented this as a challenge and a call to action for those in the audience.

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