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3 of Steven Wert’s Priorities for 2021 and 4 Air Force Program Challenges

3 of Steven Wert’s Priorities for 2021 and 4 Air Force Program Challenges
Steven Wert, program executive officer, Digital, addresses defense and industry leaders during the AFCEA New Horizons 2021.” (U.S. Air Force photo)

In This Blog Post

  1. 3 of Steven Wert’s Priorities for 2021
  2. FishEye’s AFWERX Experience with Mr. Wert’s Priorities
  3. 4 Air Force Program Challenges 

FishEye recently attended AFCEA New Horizons 2021 where Steven Wert, PEO Digital discussed his business opportunities, ideal acquisition strategy and digital engineering priorities. Here is FishEye’s view.

3 of  Steven Wert’s  Priorities  for 2021

  1. “Speed, innovation, and technology are major priorities for us,” he said.1

2. “We really seek out non-traditional (acquisition) strategies. We want to work with small businesses and start-ups and we want to avoid existential source selections that take years and become a make-or-break for the companies.” … ”My notion of an ideal acquisition strategy is to include a large domain expert, a small business or two, and maybe a start-up or two,”he said.2 Since 2012, PEO Digital has increased small business contracts from 3% to 24%.

3. Mr. Wert also expressed his concept of how he envisions digital engineering:  “We just need to start getting after it,” he said. “We need to follow design patterns that enable JADC2. That is, better instrumenting our systems and our software to expose data for many purposes; then to build systems to consume data from many sources to be more effective; (and) to leverage agile software development to enable machine-to-machine connections, as we are already doing in many cases.”3

FishEye’s AFWERX  Experience with Mr. Wert’s Priorities 

FishEye appreciates Mr. Wert’s objectives and technical challenges first hand. As a small business, FishEye works with the Air Force’s AFWERX innovation group and is midstream on the “Accelerated Analysis to Real-Time (AART)” project integrating the FishEye Real-Time Platform to cut analysis time from days to real-time. The project, funded by the Air Force’s AFWERX innovation group, connects Fisheye’s product into a complex radar running on IBM AIX servers to improve sustainment productivity. 

Mr. Werts objectives for “better instrumenting to expose data for many purposes” and his desire to “leverage agile software development to enable machine-to-machine connections” are common objectives of Fisheye’s customers. Our customers look to access, manage and analyze data from large, complex, real-time systems. Their new and legacy systems are now producing data three times faster than can be collected, managed, and turned into information. 

Traditionally, complex systems are debugged by instrumenting and post-processing huge flows of binary data to analyze system behavior. The process requires that many stakeholders maintain system-specific post-processing tools and wait for upward of days for analysis. This process slows productivity and hampers innovation. 

This AFWERX project provides an innovative approach that automatically exposes a flow of hard-to-access internal data to enable analysis of complex systems in real-time. Analysts can now tune and evaluate the system while it is running, cutting the test-to-analysis cycle from days to real-time. The innovation also improves sustainment productivity, maximizes maintenance window utilization,  increases operational availability, leverages machine learning and extends mission capabilities.  

Just as the Air Force AFWERX innovation group and Mr. Wert look to expose data for multiple purposes and enable machine to machine connections, FishEye looks to streamline defense data and analysis processes and realize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) potential to improve defense real-time systems.  

4 Air Force Program Challenges 

Does your program have one of these four challenges?  

  1. Electronic Protection – Access to real-time internal system data to achieve next-generation electronic protection. 
  1. Machine Data Management – Enable cloud-sharing of multi-domain machine data to reduce data maintenance and computer costs while streamlining machine data workflow. 
  1. Real-Time Analysis – Increase innovation and streamline development and sustainment of complex systems. 
  1. Machine Learning Prognostics and Classification – Enable real-time machine learning insight into embedded systems. 

Challenge #1 – Electronic Protection

Access to real-time internal system data to achieve next-generation electronic protection. 

Operational electronic embedded systems are vulnerable to electronic attack and exploits through system interfaces and insider threats. Defense agencies need methods to identify and respond to these attacks in real-time. Traditional protective moats – firewalls, virus protection, air gaps – detect attacks by identifying subtle indicators within large volumes of operational data crossing the moats.  While these boundary approaches can be a retrofitted, they lack access to available deep and valuable sources of internal system data to sense attacks.

Through real-time interfaces, the FishEye Real-Time Platform approach provides secure exposure of internal system data to analysis tools, machine learning (ML) and signal processing tools providing real-time insight and triggers for rapid attack detection and system posture modification.

Steven D Wert, “Digital Directorate Presentation”4

Challenge #2 – Machine Data Management

Enable cloud-sharing of multi-domain machine data to reduce data maintenance and computer costs while streamlining machine data workflow. 

There is desire to tap the benefits of emerging low-cost fungible cloud computing capabilities. But tapping these new resources requires  dynamic intelligent curation of  data at the edge to be able to upload and access embedded system data.  The commercial world has a plethora of databases and unstructured data solutions  but is unable to provide the performance required by the technical and machine data generated by Defense systems.     

Learn more about these machine data management challenges and how to enable cloud-sharing of multi-domain machine data to reduce data maintenance and computer costs while streamlining machine data workflow. 

FishEye Real-Time Platform

Challenge #3 – Real-Time Analysis

Increase innovation and streamline development and sustainment of complex systems. 

Data analysis is a foundational component of complex real-time systems. The Department of Defense develops, operates and sustains many such systems and would benefit from an accelerated analysis process. As mentioned above, the AART project revolutionizes complex system sustainment by eliminating post-processing and moving analysis into real-time. The innovative approach automates access to legacy complex data and metadata using HDF5, an open and commercially available scientific file format from hdfgroup.org. The technology radically accelerates analysis by reducing the time spent waiting for results, thus changing the pace of large, complex system sustainment.  This greatly improves Air Force sustainment productivity, maximizes maintenance window utilization, and increases operational availability.  Cycle time from test to analysis is reduced from days to hours or real-time.

Challenge #4 – Machine Learning Prognostics and Classification

Enable real-time machine learning insight into embedded systems. 

The world’s technology is producing a mind-boggling 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily1, and this pace is rapidly accelerating with the growth of computing power, embedded systems, and sensors. Data is being produced three times faster than current systems can digest, store, and analyze. While AI machine learning (ML) offers innovative insight from this data tsunami, it is hampered by curating and integrating huge flows of disparate machine data that consume up to 80% of the ML lifecycle. This problem is particularly vexing for complex systems that are difficult and costly to modify. It hampers innovation, slows delivery of capabilities to the warfighter and adds costs.  

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FishEye is excited about Mr. Wert’s objectives. We look forward to continuing this discussion.

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