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NRO needs to gather data against targets that move frequently and are harder to locate and track.

NRO needs to gather data against targets that move frequently and are harder to locate and track.

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is looking at technology developed by the video game industry to help it improve how it gathers and analyzes intelligence data.

NRO wants to tap into the video game industry’s “innovative algorithms” and “enhanced visualization techniques,” according to a proposal released in late June 2014. NRO works with the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to provide data to be analyzed to track weapons of mass destruction and potential terrorists, develop military target information, help with natural disaster assistance, and support international peacekeeping and relief efforts.

The Director’s Innovation Initiative, the agency says, is aimed at paying for research in collection, data processing, management and dissemination-enabling technologies. The various projects are expected to last no longer than nine months and cost no more than $450,000, NRO documents show.

NRO needs to improve its collection technologies, the document says, because the agency has shifted from “a set of fairly well-known and defined targets to data collection against a diverse, highly dynamic set of targets with spatial, 
spectral and temporal variations having ill-defined characteristics.” The agency needs to gather data against targets that move frequently and are harder to locate and track. Another priority, NRO says, is saving money and having more reliable and less vulnerable technology.

Image courtesy of NRO.

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