Navy's tactical cloud would see all in expeditionary warfare

The Office of Naval Research wants to combine cloud, big data and cross-domain technologies into a comprehensive, real-time view.

The Navy wants to take advantage of cloud computing and big data to develop tactical tools that could, for example, allow a commander aboard ship to view a dashboard that tracks everything happening during a mission in real time, anticipates changes in conditions and predicts likely outcomes.

The Office of Naval Research is soliciting white papers and full proposals on ways to take full advantage of all available data in expeditionary warfare, by developing the Expeditionary Warfare Naval Tactical Cloud.

Airborne, shipboard and other deployed systems today generate boatloads of data, and the cloud computing environment the military is moving to provides “unprecedented” access to that data, ONR said. But making use of all that data while in a combat setting hasn’t been so easy.

ONR is looking to tie its big data ecosystem software platform, called the Naval Tactical Cloud Reference Implementation, or NTC RI, with analytics tools and an interface to provide real-time views of all data relevant to a situation. The program combines cloud, big data and cross domain technologies.

ONR specifically is not looking for proprietary technologies or a unique system, but for systems that interoperate with the Naval Tactical Cloud. It wants that cloud to be able to contribute to the planning and execution of expeditionary missions without requiring new “infrastructure, systems, tools or middleware,” the solicitation said.

ONR said it expects to make three to six awards totaling $12.25 million over five years for the work. White paper submissions are due on Oct. 12. Full proposals, which must be preceded by a white paper, are due Oct. 24, and ONR expects to announce its final selections Nov. 21.

The expeditionary cloud project is being run more or less in parallel with a similar effort to develop a big data system focusing on anti-submarine warfare and integrated air/missile defense. ONR in June issued a call for white papers and proposals for the project, which focuses on building a foundation for naval data science, source ingestion and indexing, naval warfighting analytics and cloud security. ONR was to select white papers to more forward last month, with full proposals due Oct. 3. Anticipated spending on that project is $28.5 million, also over five years.