Partnerships, Relationships and Shared Understanding
It’s Chief Wright again, just in from a field trip to Fort Carson’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team(1SBCT). Scott Paswaters, an ENVI software engineer, Kevin Wells, head of ENVI technical sales and the defense account, and I met up with Chief Warrant Officer Ricky Love who heads up 1SBCT’s GEOINT Cell. Before I get into the nitty gritty of what the visit was all about I’d like to shed light on the premise behind my current focus as this Training With Industry (TWI) tour winds down in the next few months. To build confidence among defense & intelligence ENVI users, and in chorus calibrate ENVI to better meet our missions’ demands, it takes partnership, relationships and shared understanding. It’s not every day a software engineer gets to step into the world of a tactical GEOINT Officer and see firsthand how he or she uses the software to meet requirements. It’s also rare for an Army GEOINT Officer to be afforded the opportunity to share user feedback directly with a developer.
Yesterday we made this a reality because we needed to test ENVI’s CADRG/RPF outputs directly on a Joint Capability Release (JCR) formerly known as Blue Force Tracker (BFT) before moving forward to automate the workflow. The JCR is used to facilitate friendly and enemy battlefield tracking through distribution of a Common Operational Picture (COP). During our visit we were able to successfully load ENVI’s CADRG output onto a JCR system. This ensures Army GEOINT Cells are able to carry out command directives of propagating a COP across Army systems spanning the ground and aerial maneuver fleet. If you have ENVI 5.2 or 5.3 you can now successfully produce specialized CADRG graphics too. The workflow is documented in the recently released ENVI Pocket Guide | Volume 1.
Speaking of the Pocket Guide, works are already underway to produce Volume 2 which will encompass advanced topics, but I need your feedback. What advanced topics, not covered in Volume 1, would you like to see incorporated?
Lastly I’d like to point out one other community involvement effort we’re pondering. We want to modernize Army data creation via machine learning algorithms. Harris’ Mega algorithm could significantly multiply Geospatial Planning Cells’ (GPC) production by automating extraction of certain features, but a test bed is required to train the algorithm to recognize what the Army wants to extract. Willing participants will be forded an opportunity to lease the required capability at a fraction for testing purposes. That’s all for now, but feel free to comment or reach out because it takes partnership, relationships and shared understanding to continue to advance the torch.