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Navy BD Part 12: Navy Technology Focus Areas

Technology Focus Areas (TFAs) are specific categories to focus growing to help achieve technology goals. The United States Navy has identified seven of these:

  1. Artificial Intelligence: Provide warfighters with analytics-driven, data-informed, and technology-empowered capabilities to drive decision advantages and optimal mission outcomes.

  2. Assured Communications: Address the demand for resilient, and sometimes covert, wired and wireless communications in degraded and/or denied environments.

  3. Cloud Computing: IT modernization and digital transformation for resilient infrastructure, platform, and software services.

  4. Cybersecurity: Provide protection from unauthorized use of and/or defend electronic data, hardware, software from disruption or of the services they provide.

  5. DevSecOps: Replace siloed Development, Security and Operations to create multidisciplinary teams that collaborate with shared and efficient practices and tools.

  6. Mobility: Provide Wireless Technology and enterprise access for the warfighter to engage with a mobile environment and applications, anytime, anyplace.

  7. Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE): Technologies used to support the development, management and application of virtual constructs of varying fidelity across the spectrum of systems engineering.

A small navy boat speeding through the water
Source: NIWC Atlantic

Information Warfare Research Project Technology Focus Areas

The Navy Technology Focus Areas may have been derived and possibly combined from an overarching Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP).


Logo for the Information Warfare Research Project Consortium
Source: IWRP

IWRP engages industry and academia to develop and mature technologies in the field of Information Warfare that enhance Navy and Marine Corps mission effectiveness, focusing on underlying technologies that advance information warfare capabilities through a consortium that can support research, development, and prototyping.


IWRP specific technology focus areas include:

  • Cyber Warfare: Defensive and offensive technologies used to operate, configure, control, secure, maintain, and restore the infrastructures and resident data, including Internet Protocol (IP) networks, radio frequency (RF) networks, computer systems, embedded processors and controllers, process, and physical systems.

  • Data Science/Analytics Technologies: Technologies and technical processes enabling and enhancing the reliability, assurance, integration, interoperability, delivery, value of data and information assets. Data may be derived from diverse verticals (Combat, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR), Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW), Cyber, etc.) includes specialized technology capabilities that capture, ingest, persist, analyze, and visualize data and help our customers perceive, visualize, and make decisions about their environment.

  • Assured Communications: Technologies providing robust, protected, resilient, and reliable information infrastructure to the Navy’s overall information environment and allowing uninterrupted worldwide communication between deployed units and forces ashore. Technologies will include application in multiple transmission spectrums, including RF, millimeter wave, optical; networking technologies such as application awareness, resilient routing, and attack tolerance.

  • Cloud Computing: On-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, measured service, software as a service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); Private Cloud, Community Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud.

  • Enterprise Resource Tools: Collection of computer programs with common business applications, tools for modeling, and development tools for building organization unique applications focused on solving enterprise-wide problems to improve the enterprise’s productivity and efficiency.

  • Integrated Fires (IF): Capability to fully employ integrated information in warfare by expanding the use of advanced electronic warfare and offensive cyber effects to complement existing and planned air, surface and subsurface kinetic weapons.

  • Battlespace Awareness (BA): Advanced means to rapidly sense, collect, process, analyze and evaluate information content to exploit the warfighting operating environment. BA uses AC2 and IF elements to provide the characteristics and conditions to understand the operating environment. BA is aided by passive discrimination, identification and tracking of objects, persistent sensing and real-time/multi-spectral awareness, and cyber situational awareness within the operating environment.

  • DevSecOps: DevSecOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to end users. The contraction of “Dev” “Sec” and “Ops” refers to replacing siloed Development, Security and Operations to create multidisciplinary teams that now collaborate with shared and efficient practices and tools. Essential DevOps practices include agile planning, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and monitoring of applications.

  • Autonomy: Techniques applicable to systems, incorporating assistants and decision support systems implemented through artificial intelligence and machine learning enabling them to adapt their actions to changes in their mission and operating environment without the intervention of a human operator.

  • Mobility: Includes the wireless technology and infrastructure to connect and authenticate to the enterprise while enforcing enterprise specific security policies on mobile devices to access to enterprise data.

  • Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE): Technologies used to support the development, management, and application of virtual constructs of varying fidelity across the spectrum of systems engineering activities; including operational capability functions, system requirements, design, analysis, verification, validation, operations, and maintenance activities.

  • On-Demand Manufacturing: Additive and/or Traditional manufacturing methods such as Stereo Lithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Printing (DMP), Color Jet Printing (CJP), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), and 3D Additive Manufacturing (AM).

  • Assured Command and Control (AC2): Capability to exercise authority and direction when access to and use of critical information, systems and services are denied, degraded or exploited. AC2 is enabled by essential network and data link services across secured segments of the electromagnetic spectrum to transport, share, store, protect and disseminate critical mission/combat information.

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML): Technologies that aid in the creation of computational tools that can perform tasks traditionally accomplished through human cognition. These tasks include such disparate applications as interpreting visual data, transcribing or translating spoken language, predicting behavior (including human behavior), and recommending courses of action to achieve specific goals. Including technologies that support machine learning methods that can be used to automatically construct models from data.

  • Elegant Design and User Experience: Practices and techniques to understand user goals, tasks, task triggers, task workflows, and information requirements in order to design user interfaces to improve overall systems performance and reduce training. Processes begin with user context research, knowledge elicitation, workflow descriptions, crude sketches and prototypes (in Sketch, Axure, Figma) and more advanced prototypes with usability testing. Principles of perception and cognition are applied to avoid confusion, overload and stress, and achieve situation awareness and proactive activities.

Some naval commands have added additional Technology Focus Areas based on current needs or projects, such as Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) to their focus areas most likely due to winning the Joint Artificial Intelligence Robotics Competition giving them a leg up in this field.


If you are interested in learning more about the Navy’s technology focus areas, IWRP, or IWRP’s focus areas, reach out to us – Giesler is a member of the IWRP and qualifies to bid on Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) coming out of the project.




Sources:

2. IWRP

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