You’re the intelligence officer who must brief the operational commander on a critical mission. It’s up to you to make sense quickly and unfailingly on the mass of different information flowing in from various military sensing capabilities such as manned and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as satellites and information from troops on the ground.
How do you find what is mission-critical amongst all the data, images and reports so that the operational commander can decide on the best strategic course of action?
“Fusion and analysing multi-source information always creates a better picture,” says Matt Moore, Head of UAS Strategy and Product Development at Thales. “It’s an information jungle out there. That’s why clients come to us, we make that information clear and digestible in order to create information superiority that in turn allows better decisions on how to respond which could be by force, by diplomatic channels, or other means.”
Thales follows all the steps in clients’ intelligence cycle, starting with identifying the gaps in knowledge, then matching sensors to fill the gap, and planning the mission, which means getting the sensors in the right place at the right time.
“The threats, issues, and requirements vary from one client to another, so Thales acts as a customer capability consultant, first assessing their specific needs, then supplying an efficient solution, with help in the implementation, training and through life support to ensure mission success,” Moore says.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as drones and satellites are perfect for the military’s “dull, dirty, and dangerous” missions, such as patrolling a national border. They don’t get tired or need breaks, they can perform repetitive and persistent tasks more efficiently than a human, and are less expensive to operate as with some solutions they do not need expensive infrastructure to operate from such as runways or airfields.
However, communication and information dissemination and sharing is key, that’s where Thales comes in. Thales’ complete communications solutions exist for “manned, unmanned teaming” use collaborative platforms for a mosaic of cutting-edge sensors that can see through dust, clouds, and other obstacles.
Thales helps collect information gathered from sensors, satellites and ground assets – it is assessed, understood and then delivered to the operational commander at the right moment in order to allow the best decision to be made.
That is the key to useful information. “We provide the synthesis of various scenarios and options based on all this information that allows for the best possible decision,” says Ludovic Lefebvre, C4ISR marketing manager, Thales.
The next step, says Lefebvre, will be to add artificial intelligence to the mix of sensors and algorithms, in order to exploit the per cent of all information that is beyond the reach of human calculation.