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Chapter 4
System Description

The vast array of technologies, concepts, and innovations in the previous chapter described the pieces that must be integrated to form the "Cyber Situation Vision." As seen in fig 4.1, the Cyber Situation Vision provides a commander with an "eye to see" all within a given battlespace.

Figure 4-1. Cyber Situation Vision: Eye See Everything

Source: MSgt Gordon Morrison, CADRE/EDECT, Gunter Annex, Alabama

Figure 4-1. Cyber Situation Vision: "Eye" See Everything108

Cyber Situation Components

The Cyber Situation is the integration of the entire OODA Loop Cycle under the control of commanders, decision makers, and analysts. Supporting components include all-source information collectors, archival databases, the Information Integration Center (IIC), a microscopic chip implanted in the user's brain,109 and a wide range of lethal and nonlethal weapons.

Figure 4-2. Cyber Situation Components

Source: Microsoft Clipart Gallery© 1995, courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.

Figure 4-2. Cyber Situation Components

This chapter first describes the five Cyber Situation system components which could result from technological advances. Next, it relates these advances to each system component (table 5). It then describes Cyber Situation integration and focuses on developing the two key components to achieve information dominance and seamless interface between the users and systems-the IIC and microscopic chip (the third and forth components). The first two components (information collectors and databases) provide the inputs, while the fifth component (lethal and nonlethal weapons) is the link to the act-the end product that results from a system that provides battlespace awareness. Finally, this chapter compares and evaluates the system capabilities with the requirements discussed in chapter 2.

Table 5 - Technology Areas Versus Cyber Situation Components

Technology Areas

Cyber Situation Component Collection Platform Communications Infrastructure Computing Power Intelligent Software Human Systems & Biotechnology
All-source Information Collectors


X


X


X


X

Archival Databases


X


X


IIC


X


X


X


X

Implanted Microscopic Chip


X


X


X


X

Lethal & Nonlethal

Weapons


X


X

All-Source Information Collectors

All-source information collectors will transmit raw data to the IIC, discussed below. The collectors are linked by way of high-speed relay and dissemination systems. The collection platforms, in air and space, will be numerous and flexible.

Archival Databases

Archival databases will be used for historical analysis and to fill gaps if the information is not available for collection. Much of the archival data will be resident in the GII, while secured permanent ground stations will store classified data.

IIC

The IIC is a constellation of integration or "smart" satellites that receives all-source information. Within the IIC, resident intelligent software will run decision support tools, correlate and fuse data into useful information, identify inconsistencies and information gaps, and task collectors to seek data to fill information gaps.

Implanted Microscopic Chip

The implanted microscopic brain chip110 performs two functions. First, it links the individual to the IIC, creating a seamless interface between the user and the information resources (in-time collection data and archival databases). In essence, the chip relays the processed information from the IIC to the user. Second, the chip creates a computer-generated mental visualization based upon the user's request. The visualization encompasses the individual and allows the user to place himself into the selected battlespace.

Why the Implanted Microscopic Chip? While other methods such as specially configured rooms, special helmets, or sunglasses may be used to interface the user with the IIC, the microscopic chip is the most viable. Two real operational concerns support the use of implanted chips and argue against larger "physical" entities to access the Cyber Situation.

First, future operations will demand a highly flexible and mobile force that is ready at moment's notice to employ aerospace power. The chip will give these forces the ability to communicate, visualize, and prosecute military operations. Having to manage and deploy a "physical" platform or room hampers mobility and delays time-sensitive operations. US aerospace forces must be prepared to fight or to conduct mobility or special operations anywhere in the world on extremely short notice although some of these operations may be staged directly from the continental United States.111

Second, a physical entity creates a target vulnerable to enemy attack or sabotage. A highly mobile information operations center created with the chip-IIC interface makes it much more elusive to enemy attack. These reasons argue against a larger physical entity for the Cyber Situation.

While this is a reasonable portability rationale for the use of chip, some may wonder, "Why not use special sunglasses or helmets?" The answer is simple. An implanted microscopic chip does not require security measures to verify whether the right person is connected to the IIC, whereas a room, helmet, or sunglasses requires additional time-consuming access control mechanisms to verify an individual's identity and level of control within the Cyber Situation.

Further, survey any group of commanders, decision makers, or other military personnel if they enjoy carrying a beeper or "brick" at all times. Likely, few like to carry a piece of equipment. Now, imagine having to maintain a critical instrument that allows an individual to access the Cyber Situation, and thus control the US military forces. Clearly, this is not an enviable position, since the individual may misplace or lose the helmet or sunglasses, or worse yet, the enemy may steal or destroy it. These are unnecessary burdens.

Ethical and Public Relations Issues. Implanting "things" in people raises ethical and public relations issues.112 While these concerns may be founded on today's thinking, in 2025 they may not be as alarming. We already are evolving toward technology implanting. For example, the military currently requires its members to receive mandatory injections of biological organisms (i.e., the flu shot). In the civilian world, people receive mechanical hearts and other organs. Society has come to accept most of these implants as a fact of life. By 2025 it is possible medical technology will have nerve chips that allow amputees to control artificial limbs or eye chips that allow the blind to see.113 The civilian populace will likely accept an implanted microscopic chips that allow military members to defend vital national interests. Further, the US military will continue to be a volunteer force that will freely accept the chip because it is a tool to control technology and not as a tool to control the human.

Lethal and Nonlethal Weapons

A wide range of lethal and nonlethal weapons will be linked to the IIC, allowing authorized users to directly employ these weapons. A user's authority to employ weapons will depend on the person's position, responsibility, and rank.

Putting It Together

The Cyber Situation is not a traditional operations or command and control center. Not a physical infrastructure, it consists of many components geographically dispersed, redundant, and networked. When an authorized individual needs situational updates and analyses, the user will link to an IIC satellite by way of the implanted chip.

Figure 4-3. Cyber Situation Connectivity

Source: Microsoft Clipart Gallery© 1995, courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.

Figure 4-3. Cyber Situation Connectivity

The Cyber Situation is applicable at all levels of war. At the strategic and operational levels, it provides the user the capability to monitor global activity, analyze developing situations, monitor and control the battlespace, assess battle damage, and conduct reconstitutions. Tactically, the Cyber Situation offers battlespace situational awareness by conveying in-time enemy and friendly information. At all levels, the Cyber Situation gives decision makers and analysts the ability to coordinate, respond, and execute battlespace operations.

Measures of Merit

Thus far, this paper has shown how the five key technology areas (collection platforms, communications architecture and dissemination systems, computer-processing power, intelligent software, and human systems and biotechnology) will logically synergize by 2025 to realize the Cyber Situation vision to enable information dominance. The paper asserts that to achieve this vision, technology must allow military commanders to integrate the functions of the OODA Loop and enable the military commander to control momentum. Whether Cyber Situation meets the goal is best answered by evaluating the Cyber Situation against the measures of merit developed in chapter 2. The measures of merit encompasses a list OODA Loop tasks with associated attributes that describes how the task should be performed.

Observe Tasks

Table 6 - See the Battlespace

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Fused, integrated, and deconflicted view of the desired battlespace

Yes

  • Sum of all possible information sources

Yes

  • System identification of information gaps and subsequent collection of missing information

Yes

The IIC component of the Cyber Situation provides the avenue to meet the attributes of this "see the battlespace" task. The IIC includes an inherent capability to fuse, correlate, and deconflict available all-source information. Further, built into the system description is the ability to identify information gaps. Links allow the IIC to task collection assets to fill information gaps and deconflict contradictory information. If the collection assets are not able to obtain further information, the IIC uses historical archival databases to fill in gaps. Accordingly, the IIC lets the user know the picture's reliability.

Table 7 - Maintain Mobile Battlespace View

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Able to pull updated view anytime, anywhere

Yes

  • Easily deployable and transportable with user

Yes

Within the Cyber Situation vision, the ability to maintain a "mobile" battlespace picture is perhaps its most significant characteristic. The use of the implanted microscopic chip linked to the IIC allows the user to pull a computer-generated mental visualization of the desired battlespace anytime, anywhere. Further, the user is not confined to any physical room or platform to enter the Cyber Situation system, making it impenetrable. Even more advantageous, the user has no worry of losing or having someone steal the microchip because it is not a detached physical entity that requires accounting and protection.

Table 8 - Universal Access to Battlespace View

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Able to tailor picture for relevant AOR, missions, and tasks

Yes

  • Many able to see the same battlespace picture

Yes

The IIC allows virtually unlimited number of users to simultaneously access the system because it operates on the user-pull concept. This system's characteristic allows multiple users to access the same battlespace picture and create a "cyber conference" within the Cyber Situation system. Further, IIC's resident intelligent software, coupled with taskings transmitted by way of the chip, allows the user to define the battlespace picture dimensions. This process enables the user to tailor the battlespace computer-generated mental visualization to the relevant area of responsibility (AOR), mission, and tasking to prosecute military operations.

Orient Tasks

Table 9 - Tailor View of the Battlespace

Attributes

Yes or No

  • In-time view of the battlespace

Yes

  • Able to define dimensions and locations of battlespace

Yes

Since the IIC uses the most current data to create battlespace picture, the user's mental visualization will be the most up-to-date information available. As with the previous task, IIC resident intelligent software, coupled with taskings transmitted by way of the microscopic chip, allows the user to define the battlespace picture dimensions.

Table 10 - Comprehend the Battlespace View

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Eliminate biased inputs from one person to another114

Yes

  • Eliminate need for mental picture based on another's biases

Yes

  • Able to query for further information and receive in-time answers

Yes

Commanders using the Cyber Situation system receive battlespace information that is less biased than the same information when conducted by human processing, interpretation, and presentation. Further, the system minimizes the need for the commanders to mentally reconstruct the information presented by analysts and briefers. If the users sense the battlespace picture does not logically compute, or if they just want additional information, they may request the IIC confirm the situation. The IIC then tasks additional collection assets to seek further data and searches the archival database for further analysis.

Decide Tasks

The IIC acts both as a receiver and as a transmitter. As a receiver, it accepts data from collection assets, users' queries for additional information, and commander's orders to employ remote weapons, space-based lasers, and UCAV. As a transmitter, it responds to users' information requests, prompts users of significant events, tasks collection assets, and relays orders from the users to space based lasers and UCAV to employ weapons. Within the transmitter and receiver components of the IIC, intelligent software automatically filters, sorts, and prioritizes data for processing and fusing. Ultimately, the IIC prompts the user of significant event and the user decides whether action is required for the situation.

Table 11 - Decide What is Important and What May Require Action

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Decision support tool in transmitter and receiver to filter, sort, and prioritize

Yes

  • Prompts user of significant events for monitoring and action

Yes

As a decision aid, the Cyber Situation system allows users to model outcomes of potential actions and inactions to determine the optimum course of action. The modeling process lets the user best apply precision force at the least risk to friendly forces to achieve military objectives.

Table 12 - Determine Action Required to Rectify Undesirable Situation

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Model effectiveness of potential actions and inactions with in-time feedback

Yes

  • Optimize application of precision force

Yes

  • Ensure least risk to friendly forces

Yes

Act Tasks

The IIC will be linked to such lethal and nonlethal assets as space-based laser and various UAV. The authorized user will have immediate access to these assets to rectify an undesirable situation. Precision-force assets could allow users to optimize weapons to achieve one shot and one kill.

Table 13 - Immediate Access to Assets to Rectify Undesirable Situation

Attributes

Yes or No

  • Ready lethal capabilities for employment

Yes

  • Ready nonlethal capabilities for employment

Yes

  • One shot, one kill capability

Yes

Upon taskings from authorized users to employ space-based laser assets and UAV, the IIC also will task collection assets to accumulate data from the target. The IIC then processes and analyzes the data to provide in-time feedback to the users. It also recommends additional actions if the target is not satisfactorily affected.

The Cyber Situation system could change dramatically how commanders process information and take action or cycle information through the OODA Loop. To be effective, the Cyber Situation system be optimized to minimize vulnerabilities. The next chapter reviews those potential weaknesses and countermeasures.

Table 14 - Feedback on Actions and Inactions Taken

Attributes

Yes or No

  • See in-time mission results

Yes

  • System recommends additional action or inaction

Yes


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Contact: Air Force 2025
Last updated: 11 December 1996