Article Entry

31 Mar 2010


DARPA’s “Rapid Eye” and a Replacement for HUMINT

Added by Category: Daily Intelligence Brief, General

Every week, DARPA seems to be coming out with new innovations that will fundamentally change the way we gather intelligence and deal with the enemy on the battlefield. Last week, we covered DARPA’s new innovations that allow U.S. military helicopters to pinpoint enemy fire coming from the ground. And, this week, we found a story about DARPA developing a new system that would use complex algorithms and advanced computing techniques to essentially replace HUMINT when it comes to collecting on-the-ground intelligence. In addition, DARPA’s “Rapid Eye” caught our attention as well, which based on placing a folding drone inside the nose cone of an intercontinental ballistic missile. This folding drone will then be launched and can reach a distant target within an hour. To read more DARPA news, and check out a video of “Rapid Eye,” we recommend that you check out the rest of this post.

Pentagon: Replace Human Intel With High-Tech ‘Guard Dog’
U.S troops operating overseas face insurgent threats and affiliations that are constantly changing. Not to mention the language barriers and cultural differences that can make even minor interactions — let alone intelligence and interrogation — more difficult. Now DARPA wants to develop a foolproof system that analyzes social networks and cultural tendencies using graphs, complex algorithms and new advances in computing, to interpret and predict human actions. The agency is hosting a proposal workshop for Graph Understanding and Analysis for Rapid Detection – Deployed on the Ground (priceless acronym: GUARD-DOG). Ideally, Darpa wants a replacement for current war-zone human intelligence, called HUMINT, which involves putting trained interrogators on the ground, identifying and tracking sources, and compiling data on relevant social networks. HUMINT is effective, but it can be dogged by slow turnaround: As DARPA notes, the lag between data collection and analysis can be 48 hours. And that means more than 80 percent of information may be irrelevant by the time troops take action. Read the fill Wired Danger Room story here.

Rocket-Launched ‘Rapid Eye’ Drone’s Rapid Demise
Drones are an indispensable tool in modern warfare: They can loiter for hours, providing crucial surveillance of distant targets. But what if you need to get a drone somewhere in a hurry? That was the idea behind Rapid Eye. In 2007, DARPA announced plans to package a folding drone inside the nose cone of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The concept was fairly straightforward: In the event of an emerging crisis, you could launch Rapid Eye. Within an hour, the drone would be on station, and once its mission was complete, it could be replaced by another long-loitering, pilotless aircraft. Read the full Wired Danger Room story here.

In addition, check out this DARPA video of “Rapid Eye:”

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