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Airmen sharpen leading edge of domestic response AI technology

By Tech. Sgt. Luke Strum 181st Intelligence Wing

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HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. – New systems in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology for domestic response were tested by managers of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (JHU-APL) and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center's (JAIC) Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) program.

The testing took place Nov. 2 at an Indiana Unclassified Processing, Assessment and Dissemination (UPAD) site at the 181st Intelligence Wing.

Air National Guard Intelligence Analysts assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing, 137th Intelligence Squadron UPAD, were chosen to assist in new developmental programs expected to be launched in the next year. This was the first time any of these programs or systems were tested by a UPAD site and UPAD analysts.

"The AI technology uses commercial satellite static imagery, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) imagery, and MQ-9 full-motion video (FMV). Utilization of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery is in the works as well," said Tech. Sgt. Keaton Robertson, a supervisor with the Indiana UPAD.

"The four lines of effort include route analysis, damage assessment, flood water detection, and fire perimeter analysis," he said. "The AI gives analysts all the information to make these assessments within a couple of minutes compared to the many man-hours or weeks it would typically require."

In November 2018, Indiana the UPAD site began working with the JHU-APL and the JAIC HADR program. UPAD analysts have provided guidance and feedback to both teams in Washington, D.C., and Maryland on building an AI component to aid disaster relief efforts.

"Indiana IAA has been working diligently with the two teams over the past year on developing artificial intelligence capabilities for domestic response," Robertson said. "Indiana UPAD will remain the primary UPAD for user feedback and further improvements to each line of effort."