«DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD SUMMER STUDY TASK FORCE ON INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE FOR THE BATTLEFIELD DTlC OCTOBER 1994 S ELECTE APR I 0 1995' G i 95-01137 I ...»
Due to continuing technical advances and shifting mission needs, organizational structures, and strategies, there is no "final solution" for an appropriate information infrastructure. Instead, the architecture process must allow continuous transition from what
exists to what is more appropriate:
Allow for rapid integration of applications developed outside the system;
"* Software must be portable across hardware platforms;
"* System must be scalable to meet evolving requirements and multiple users needs;
"* System should be able to accept "technology advance" infusions;
"* Use commercially available technology to reduce risk;
"* Heavy user involvement and feedback, plus operability testing, throughout development "* cycle;
"* Evolutionary acquisition/rapid development required;
"* "Open" system/distributed architecture standards; and "* User pull, multi-media, seamless system.
C-11 DoD needs to evolve a process for introducing future C4I capabilities in harmony with the consolidation of legacy systems. The common wisdom is that one must choose either the conservative migration or the radical leap forward. Current guidance is that the movement into the future is in fact a migration - an evolution and not a revolution. DoD may want to allow two distinct but coordinated tracks to be followed: the current path toward a Global Command and Control System common operating environment (COE); and migration to a future objective.
Investment in a second "COE" oriented more toward the information management in the future may be warranted. The Joint Task Force Advanced Technology Demonstration is an example of a new type of COE using new technology. It would probably be object oriented, representing the products and real-world representations that command and control information is all about.
DoD must change its information systems acquisition approach in order to:
" Establish a dynamic building code, inspection and permit process that embraces enterprise architecture concepts - the TAFIM;
"* Create incentives for program managers and contractors to exploit commercial capabilities; and "* Require cost/performance trades in acquiring information systems - e.g. 80% solutions at 60% of the cost of custom systems.
Joint Warfare Doctrine and the Joint Task Force concept are the organizing principles for the U.S. military. This is supported by the C41 for the Warrior (C4IFTW) concept that calls for vertical and horizontal sharing of information. The desire to drop military specifications notwithstanding, data elements, formats and waveforms must be standardized or we will continue to have the Tower of Babel seen in all recent conflicts.
The information sharing envisioned in C4IFTW will not happen unless data element standardization remains a high priority effort and dissimilar and redundant terms are ruthlessly rooted out. The Air Force "Horizon" concept and the "Army Enterprise Strategy" recognize that force projection will be anchored at the CONUS base. We are convinced that if terminology and information technology piece-parts are not interchangeable and rehearsed in garrison, the information systems that deploy forward will not "plug and play" on the battlefield.
Much attention has been paid to well architected information systems, (see the upper right hand box in Figure C-4) with particular emphasis on the design of computer, software, and communications systems that conform to commercially provided standards and subcomponents. To a large extent the process of developing flexible, reconfigurable systems has been subsidized and catalyzed by the availability of commercial technology that supports such systems. Each of the Services, and several of the DoD agencies, have undertaken efforts (both within individual programs as well as in procurement practices applicable to many programs) to capitalize on commercial systems. Those initiatives should be endorsed.
There has been corresponding attention, although not as well publicized, to organizational/operational architectures (see the upper left hand box in Figure C-4). The Services and the warfighting joint commands are exploring ways to bring different sizes and types Of organizations together into effective combat forces. Various options are explored by different training exercises - although trainLig exercises with full C4I and mission weapon regalia are relatively expensive to conduct. Consequently there is an emerging interest in distributed simulation and synthetic battlefield exercises. Those initiatives should be endorsed.
Given that system architectures are well supported by the commercial sector and current Service initiatives, that some data consistency is being sought by data standardization efforts, and that interoperation among executing forces frequently takes place, emphasis should now be placed on the new processes represented by the unshaded parts of Figure C-5. Processes need to be put in place to evolve the operational/functional information architecture and to augment the organizational and reconfiguration options available to the warfighter.
There is no single insertion point for these new processes. Several must be instituted simultaneously and the processes must interact iteratively. Nevertheless, they will be presented sequentially - in the order "A" through "G" - even though they should not be sequentially implemented.
C-13 Technical advances and engineering efforts should be applied to ongoing "* "A":
simulation initiatives to allow cheaper and more widespread (i.e., include all CINCs) experimentation with the advantages of interoperating C41 systems. Generation of distributed heterogeneous simulations which mix C41 systems "in-the-loop" with simulated systems and a synthesized environment will enable commanders to better understand the capabilities, limitations, and possible synergies of our legacy as well as newly developed or improved systems.
"* "B": Such practices will allow joint commanders to identify new configuration options for their organizations. Practicing with these will enable joint commanders to be better prepared for unpredictable warfare or OOTW events that may surface in the future.
As a consequence of the experience gained via enhanced fidelity simulations, "*"C":
exercises, and synthesized battle environments, joint commanders will be able to identify previously unanticipated operational requirements for information interoperability. Such experience will result in more functionaliy oriented architecture attributes for the information architecture, i.e. what information should be provided to whom, by when, and in what format. This is the Functional Architecture For Information Management.
"D": The FAFIM needs to be converted into practical application and there are two "* aspects of this task. One is relatively static; develop a description and mechanism for C-14 revising it that allows data consistency to be built into the C4I systems that are sent to the field. The second is relatively dynamic; develop a set of options for managing information access, content, and vulnerabilities, and a set of tools which complement those options.
" "E": In addition to the data dictionary initiatives, there is a need to establish mechanisms that ensure data model consistency. To the extent technology supports it, there will be improved interoperability among systems. In the period before technology offers tools and techniques for automating data model consistency, system engineering oversight may compensate.
"• "F" and "G": The presence of a sound information architecture, the tools to manage it, and the warfighters' organization that exploits it will lead (in concert with the flexibly architected systems) to a capability which will produce information dominance on the battlefield.
As joint warfighters improve their skills in managing battlefield information, they will evolve new requirements for how information needs to be managed on the battlefield. Some information, such as maps and imagery, has high bandwidth requirements for sending or storing information, but has general use for a large number of people. Broadcast schemes for passing update information might be most appropriate for this data. Other information, such as a direct order to execute some maneuver, requires few bits and is usually of interest to only a small number of people for a relatively short period of time. Acknowledged message transmission might be most appropriate for this data. However, exceptions exist. Specialized intelligence information may be of interest to only one site and for this a query based information passing scheme might be more appropriate. Synchronization required for "execute the maneuver" commands might be best supported by broadcast schemes. It is therefore important to build into our systems the flexibility to shift from one information management scheme to another.
Some Unique Timing Aspects Of The Acquisition Of Information Systems3.3
Figure C-6 on the next page depicts the startling disparity in the development and life cycles associated with commercial information systems hardware and software contrasted versus DoD weapon systems. The horizontal axis represents the duration of these cycles in years. The reader should note that the scale is logarithmic.
Reading from the bottom up, we note that typical commercial hardware and software development cycles for information systems range from a few months to a few years at most, and further, that typical life cycles for use of these same commercial systems again ranges from a few months to only a few years - certainly less than a decade. For most commercial hardware and software systems, it is now cheaper to replace them after four to five years than to repair their components. It is likely that one or more generations of hardware/software serving the same purpose with better capabilities would have been fielded in that time.
In stark contrast, the typical DoD weapon system development cycle ranges from about seven to fifteen years - a decade or more. The lifetime for most of our DoD weapon systems is C-15 measured in decades. This is due in part to the fact that the technologies that drive our weapons systems - airframe and propulsion technologies for military aircraft, for example - are evolving at a much slower pace, and acquisition and life cycles of these durations can, in most cases, accommodate them.
To achieve and sustain information dominance on the battlefield, warfighter information systems operators and developers must take advantage of the very rapid evolution in commercial information technologies and continuously infuse new capabilities into our military information systems. For example, if a DoD weapon system life cycle is thirty years, six to ten generations of commercial hardware and software could be inserted into the weapon if we could make our C41 acquisition timelines as short as the commercial development cycles. In order to do this we must develop new acquisition processes to reconfigure, evolve, acquire, test, and field both embedded and stand-alone warfighter information systems at a rate that takes full advantage of these rapid, commercially driven, technology generational cycles.
Many of the capabilities that we can buy can also be bought by our adversaries. To attain and maintain information dominance of the battlefield and get and stay inside our adversaries' information cycle time, DoD must aggressively invest in development of C41 tools and technologies to provide unique value added to commercially available information systems.
C-16 Improving The Acquisition Process For Our Warfighter Information Systems 3.4 In recognition of the need to improve the acquisition of its weapons systems, DoD has already established a number of major and constructive improvements to its acquisition processes. The Acquisition Reform Initiative undertaken by the SECDEF and the initiative to buy commercially available components and systems are two excellent examples. A number of recent studies have prcposed mechanisms to improve the acquisition process in general and for
battlefield C4I systems specifically. These studies include:
"* Air Force Science Board Study on Information Architecture "* Army Science Board Study on Battlefield Information "* DSB on Global Surveillance "* DSB on Acquiring Software Commerically "* DSB on Acquisition Reform.
It is important to note that most of these initiatives deal with reducing the length of the System Development Cycle in Figure C-6 on the previous page, and not with inserting increasingly more rapid, yet commercially driven, technology and products into our legacy and new weapon systems. This opportunity is almost unique to our information systems, and may demand unique acquisition processes for warfighter information systems beyond the acquisition reform initiatives already underway. It is also possible that the innovative incorporation of these new technologies may yield substantial improvements in functionality and capability at costs far lower than for similar changes in DoD-unique systems.
In order to take full advantage of the significant opportunities and leverage which our battlefield information systems can provide to us, the full potential of the Acquisition Reform initiatives currently underway must be realized. Failure to do so will put our warfighters at a disadvantage with respect to the sophisticated, adroit adversary who buys the latest information technologies and systems on the commercial markets and equips his forces with them more rapidly than our acquisition processes allow us to do.
The Management Panel and the Task Force recommend that the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology undertake an initiative to identify and implement the unique aspects of the reconfiguration, evolution, acquisition, testing, and fielding processes
which can be used to exploit the full capabilities of information systems. We recommend that:
this initiative draw upon the excellent work done in the recent acquisition process studies cited earlier, and recent information systems acquisition process successes such as the Army's Mobile Subscriber Equipment; the process take full account of the warfighters' views and perspectives;