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COTS Solutions for DOD Organizations

Mark Alonzo

As the DoD continues to develop ways to increase agility for forward deployed military personnel, the need to provide better intelligence will increase. War fighters need both basic situational awareness, as well as a better understanding of the relationship among mission variables to facilitate rapid decision making.  This can be accomplished through the application of analysis and judgment to geospatial information.

Commercial off the shelf (COTS) software tools allow Intelligence units to quickly tease highly accurate information from geospatial data.  These tools may be deployed within operational centers or via cloud-based processing networks to tackle the increasing abundance and fidelity of geospatial data.  ENVI is one such COTS package.  Equipped with a comprehensive suite of advanced, scientifically-proven algorithms incorporated into streamlined workflows, ENVI allows war fighters to derive tactical awareness and planning intelligence from complex, multidimensional data sources.  The capability to extract features, detect change, identify targets, and categorize terrain, in combination with the context of map data from a GIS, such as ArcGIS, allows war fighters to quickly assemble a common operational picture (COP) to support operations anywhere on the globe at any scale.

COTS software also promotes the collaboration of data and analysis products among multiple intelligence agencies and military intelligence units.  By deploying standardized workflows based on analytical processes and interoperable geospatial technologies, such as ENVI and ArcGIS, an organization benefits from greater accuracy and reliability of analysis results, the ability to leverage a single technology investment across multiple groups, and reduced training overhead.  The benefits of COTS analytical tools translate to enhanced capabilities for situational awareness and tactical understanding, which are force multipliers for the war fighter.

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