Technical Panel: Tactical Edge AI: Ruggedized Situational Awareness for New-Era Intelligence Demands

  • Room: Fusion
Wednesday, November 13, 2019: 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM


Moderator (confirmed)
Amber Corrin
Director of Content
Sage Communications
Panelist (confirmed)
Mark Barnell
Principal Computer Scientist
Air Force Research Laboratory
Panelist (confirmed)
Yemaya Bordain, Ph.D.
Internet of Things Group Public Sector Sales
Panelist (confirmed)
Jim Shaw
Executive Vice President of Engineering
Crystal Group
Panelist (confirmed)
John Shotwell
Technical Management Division Chief and Chief Engineer
US Army Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T)


Approved for 2 CompTIA CEUs: A+, Cloud+; 2 CertNexus CFR CECs

The military deploys countless IoT devices globally, creating a serious burden in managing and exploiting vast quantities of data. With sensors mounted everywhere from satellites to jet engines to airmen’s flight suits, the Air Force alone collects more than 22 terabytes of data daily, according to Defense Department officials. Meeting the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance needs of today’s operational and tactical missions means processing this growing volume of data closer to the sensors—at the edge.   

The difference between falling behind and enhancing the decisive edge depends on the ability to quickly disseminate insights to commanders and warfighters, but the majority of sensor-generated data today goes unseen. This means that the Air Force and other service branches are missing out on significant opportunities to gain actionable intelligence.    

The challenge expands beyond the high-performance computing of data collected in the field. Military systems operate in rough, disconnected and unpredictable environments, requiring resilient and reliable software and hardware. As storage and compute requirements grow, processing moves away from the network’s core—intensifying the need to ruggedize at the edge.   

The defense industry needs edge analytics capabilities that can withstand the harsh, dismounted environments where office-grade systems would fail. Solutions need to not only deliver unprecedented processing capabilities in real-time, but also fit within the size, weight and power constraints of deployed payloads. Additionally, the ability to experiment and test different approaches for evaluation and comparison is critical to mission preparedness. Improved readiness and lethality also require flexible systems that can accommodate inevitable technological advancements, upgrades and refresh—and their architectural implications.   

The panelists can discuss real-life use cases and provide insights into today’s tactical and operational mission requirements and approaches. The discussion will also examine applicable, in-demand high technology including computer vision and artificial intelligence techniques, the latest low-power computing configurations and capabilities, and fortified technology for the harsh combat environment. The dialogue will focus on commercial-off-the-shelf innovations that accelerate deployment and minimize spin-up time.


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Approved for 2 CompTIA CEUs: A+, Cloud+; 2 CertNexus CFR CECs