[Satellite TODAY Insider 10-24-11] U.S. Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, warned satellite industry service providers in the government sector that the rising amount of data collected by U.S. satellites and other aerial platforms is starting to exceed the Pentagon’s ability to process it.
In a statement issued during an Oct. 19 address at the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) symposium, Kehler said that the solution to the data overflow problem does not exist on the U.S. Department of Defense side. “This problem cannot be corrected by hiring new analysts. It would take thousands of more analysts to process the data, which is just not realistic for the Pentagon.”
According to U.S. Strategic Command, the amount of satellite data for a variety of applications received by the U.S. military has increased 1,500 percent since 2006, while Kehler claims the government’s ability to process and analyze the data has only increased 30 percent in the same timeframe.
“One possible solution to this issue would be to remove the emphasis on an analyst’s geographic location and surveillance platform used,” Kehler told symposium attendees. “Currently, analysts are assigned by region and are not available to the Pentagon’s other regional commands. Let’s bring the information to the analyst, not the analyst to the information.”
Kehler also acknowledged that assigning an organization to coordinate image analysis has also been a challenge for the Pentagon and that U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program could provide a potential fix to the issue. “There may be other and better solutions, but my department encourages and welcomes a dialog with satellite operators and service providers on this,” he said.