Big Data is Critical to the DoD Science and Technology Investment Agenda

May 26, 2011
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The Secretary of Defense signed a memorandum on 19 April 2011 which articulates the Science and Technology (S&T) priorities for the Department of Defense (DoD). This memo flows from extensive planning including reviews of all defense missions and architectures to support those missions. The result: seven S&T priorities have been identified for strategic investment.

These seven priorities are:

(1) Data to Decisions – science and applications to reduce the cycle time and manpower requirements for analysis and use of large data sets.

(2) Engineered Resilient Systems – engineering concepts, science, and design tools to protect against malicious compromise of weapon systems and to develop agile manufacturing for trusted and assured defense systems.

(3) Cyber Science and Technology – science and technology for efficient, effective cyber capabilities across the spectrum of joint operations.

(4) Electronic Warfare / Electronic Protection – new concepts and technology to protect systems and extend capabilities across the electro-magnetic spectrum.

(5) Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – advances in DoD’s ability to locate, secure, monitor, tag, track, interdict, eliminate and attribute WMD weapons and materials.

(6) Autonomy – science and technology to achieve autonomous systems that reliably and safely accomplish complex tasks, in all environments.

(7) Human Systems – science and technology to enhance human-machine interfaces to increase productivity and effectiveness across a broad range of missions

The CTOvision blog will use these seven priorities to continue to inform our writing and analysis. We have already been focusing on Big Data topics that are directly relevant to all of these S&T areas and will continue to do so. Several of these topics are also closely related to Cyber Security, which has long been a focus area of this site.

We have a few immediate recommendations that flow from this memo:

  • If you oversee technology activities at an integrator serving in the DoD market, this memo should help you build your roadmap of R&D efforts. The Pentagon is also building investment roadmaps but the R&D spending you can influence in your company may generate capabilities that accelerate DoD capabilities faster and may result in significant enhancements to the nation’s defense capabilities.
  • If you serve DoD by providing solutions, you should immediately invest time in learning and implementing solutions based on the stack of capabilities in the Hadoop Framework. For some ideas on how see Common Hadoopable Problems.
  • You will find continued articulation of use cases for Big Data, including use cases that flow from this DoD S&T agenda, in the Government Big Data Newsletter. Please sign up to receive this letter and stay in tune with these mission needs.
  • Learn more about how you can reduce the cycle time and manpower requirements for the analysis of and use of large data sets by tapping into the wealth of free information at Cloudera.