Will the Air Force ever catch up with its UAV data backlog?

It may be years before the Air Force has the human resources and tools in place to keep up with the enormous amounts of data gathered from its fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles and the sophisticated sensors that they employ on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters March 5, according to Spencer Ackerman at Wired's Danger Room blog.

The Air Force, intelligence community and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are teaming with each other to find a way out of the predicament of falling behind on data analysis and get out in front of the matter, said Donley, who described the current situation as "unsustainable." 

The solution might lie in automating the sensor cameras with algorithmic “sifters,” which would send pre-selected data to imagery analysts, the blog says. However, the problem continues to fester because next-generation, wide-angle sensors are able to gather data on swaths of land the size of entire cities.

Reader Comments

Sun, May 13, 2012 Keswick, Virginia

Data workload was calulated with every application of full motion video that came along. The problem has been that the Air Force and the Intelligence Community just refused to think beyond their blinders that focused on single pretty pictures with no time limit for anaylsis. It was wrong in the 80s. It was wrong in the 90s. It was wrong in the first decade of the 21st Century. It is wrong today. As long as those blinders stay on, the USA will be getting the short end of the stick when comes to full intelligence when and where its needed. We have waited so long that that the UK and China have passed us by in this area.

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