GEOINT Research & Development

Four National Labs to present at GEOINT Foreword


New this year at GEOINT Foreword, the pre-conference science and technology day to USGIF’s GEOINT 2016 Symposium, will be presentations from four National Laboratories. The National Labs presenters discussed with The GEOINT Symposium Show Daily by trajectory a preview of what they plan to share with the GEOINT Foreword audience:

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M.

Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) is known for pursuing experimental science and is seeing increasing GEOINT applications in the missions it supports. Dr. Jon Schoonover, program director in LANL’s Emerging Threats Program Office, and Nicholas Generous, digital epidemiologist, plan to dig deep into biosurveillance technology and capabilities during their GEOINT Foreword presentation.

The presentation will include a look at how open-source intelligence can be used to mine social media data and help understand disease spread in cases such as the recent Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks.

Generous specializes in digital disease detection through the internet, smartphones, fitness trackers, and more. According to him, wearable technology and the Internet of Things are becoming more relevant for uses such as disease layer epidemiology or studying natural disasters—imagine looking at the shock wave from Fitbits as people wake up during an earthquake, he explained.

“Fusing that kind of data to make insights is becoming increasingly important,” Generous said. “I hope to show people the types of data that are out there and stimulate thoughts of how they might be able to use it themselves.”

LANL will exhibit in Booth 1921 sharing more of the science it’s pursuing around GEOINT missions.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Mass.

Paul Metzger, group leader for intelligence and decision technologies with MIT Lab’s ISR and Tactical Systems Division, will present on the processing, exploitation, and dissemination of data. His presentation will include a discussion of some of the GEOINT sensors developed by his division, as well as multi-INT fusion using open-source data and applying deep learning to military problem areas.

This will be Metzger’s first time attending GEOINT Foreword.

“One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen is that often it’s really hard for people to find out who in the community is working in what areas,” he said. “In general, people are much more willing these days to collaborate. It’s really good for events like [GEOINT Foreword] to help spread awareness.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) will focus its presentation on three main subject areas: population distribution and dynamics—which the lab is most known for, geographic data sciences, and scalable geospatial computing and visualization.

Presenters will be Dr. Budhendra Bhaduri, corporate research fellow and group leader; Eddie Bright, lead for the Population Distribution and Dynamics Team; and Dr. Robert Stewart, lead for the Geographic Data Science Team.

Their overview of geographic data sciences will touch on machine learning, pattern recognition, geospatial statistics, algorithm development, volunteered geographic information, and more. Scalable geospatial computing and visualization means taking GEOINT research beyond the desktop, according to Bhaduri. For example, he said, ORNL is home to the largest machine ever to be used for GEOINT research.

Bhaduri emphasized the lab’s focus on mission-driven research and development as a reason he looks forward to presenting at GEOINT Foreword.

“Having that mission represented in the audience gets us instant feedback in terms of whether we are on the right course,” he said.

ORNL will also exhibit throughout the week in Booth 1915.

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.

Bert Tise, distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia National Labs (SNL) plans to brief on the labs’ GEOINT and ISR development.

Tise will share an overview of SNL’s advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) test bed and research and development capabilities, as well as present ideas on how to rethink SAR for an advanced exploitation and automation environment.

“I am looking forward to showing how SAR imagery is a key component of complete ISR mission solutions,” Tise said. “It’s not just about delivering exquisite imagery but about how the SAR system supports critical ISR decisions.”

His presentation will also include insights on human-system integration and the future of radar technology.

Photo Credit: MIT Lincoln Laboratory



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