Rapid Incident Adaptation through Real-time Discovery Services
Announcing Blueforce Discovery Services V2 plugin for BlueforceEDGE
The movie Jurassic Park features an enjoyable scene where Ian Malcom (played by Jeff Goldblum) attempts to explain chaos theory to Dr. Sattler (played by Laura Dern) where he drops a bead of water onto Sattler’s knuckle and shares how “tiny variations, the orientation of hairs on your hand, the amount of blood distending your vessels vastly affects the outcome” for how the bead of water will travel. National security operations and incident response present the same challenge: No matter how much advance planning is done, the plan won’t survive first contact on the ground because of a wide range of variables on the ground.
Diversity of responding agencies, communications, operational environment, weather, and available resources will all affect the speed of command and the actual outcome. While much of this is an operational mindset that acknowledges that we “don’t know all that we don’t know”, we all now carry robust mobile edge compute capabilities that can be used to provide recognitional support to augment human decision, as well as tools that make sense of the environment and can even facilitate the “finding” (not searching) of resources and competencies when things start to go sideways.
The concept of the Hyper Enabled Operator is more than mere movement of location and a mash up of fused tactical sensors shared amongst the team and with the commander. Mobile edge compute plus communications can deliver sense-making and horizontal fusion across a team of responders through self-synchronization of critical decision data augmented by stream analytics. This distributed sense making moves us from mere movement of data to applying meaning across a group and presenting processed information (which is a collection of data points that when combined, paint a picture) that is timely and relevant. This processed information tells a story of what is going on, but when combined with recognitional support, can convey “signatures” that denote deviations from expected outcomes which can allow for in-process correction.
As this article was authored in Evernote, the software was suggesting previous documents, blog posts, relevant web stories, and other content that had already been created. Evernote was providing awareness of institutional “memory” at Blueforce which can be leveraged and reused as appropriate. During the Knowledge Management (KM) era, this was called “explicit” knowledge, where institutional memory was housed in documents, CONOPS, TTPs, and other. While explicit knowledge is important, tacit knowledge (what people know to include competencies and experiential memory) becomes even more important given the speed of operations. Mobile edge compute + comms + hybrid cloud delivers the perfect storm of explicit and tacit knowledge colliding to move us from seeing to sensing, and from assessing to anticipating.
Blueforce’s mobile edge compute software platform provides IoT sensor fusion using edge-based processing, and combines location services, edge AI, and self-synchronization between people, sensors, and services to deliver superior shared situational awareness and enhanced life safety using mobile compute devices that we all carry with us today. This self-synchronization provides a constantly updated meta-data stream that provides near real-time awareness of what is going on with, and around, every endpoint providing valuable recognitional decision data to the commander. But what about endpoints the commander does not know about, and needs, as an incident evolves?
Blueforce is proud to announce the BETA availability of our new Blueforce Discovery Services V2 plugin for BlueforceEDGE. BlueforceEDGE is our IoT, AI, and data stream platform that provides autonomous access to sensors and information services, and makes these resources known to mobile edge users in a secure and highly just-in-time fashion.
Blueforce Discovery Services V2 for BlueforceEDGE was built to provide a “living and real-time” catalog of human, K9, ISR, information services, and data feeds that exist in an environment, but may not be known to the Commander or forward deployed mobile users. When the Discovery service is subscribed to via BlueforceCOMMAND or BlueforceTACTICAL endpoints, users may query the Discovery service for resources near their area of operation based on location, competency, and resources allowing for rapid adaptation as the incident unfolds. The Discovery Services V2 plugin provides the following capabilities:
- Provides awareness of “Resources” (i.e., things) in proximity to the requester
- Provides awareness of “Competencies” (i.e., skills) in proximity to the requester
- Provides dynamic updating as resources come into a geofence, but also leave a geofence
- Provides “one-click” subscription to discovered endpoints, bound by Blueforce’s FIPS 140-2 security model
- Provides “Discovery Domains” which allow awareness segmentation and access control
- Provides an interoperable interface for third-party query via a REST/JSON interface secured by temporary or long living API keys
Our scenario at Verizon’s Operation Convergent Response 2018 (OCR2018) provides a solid use case where Discovery Services can be used. OCR2018 featured Blueforce for the Subway Terror Attack. What started as a bomb attack on a subway quickly morphed into a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) response. Law enforcement units scrambling to the scene were focused on a bomb response. Once on-site, it became clear that a chlorine release had also occurred requiring another set of resources and competencies. Blueforce Discovery Services V2 allows the incident commander to quickly identify nearby resources with chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear (CBRN) core competencies, but also units with CBRN decon equipment (resources). As well, commanders at the scene would be able to discover and consume Smart City resources like the Wi-Fiber Smart Lamps to observe vehicle and pedestrian traffic as well as environmental monitoring to include weather and multi-gas detection to monitor hazards to the general population outside of the incident site.
The Discovery Services V2 plugin also features our new Inter-Process Messaging bus which allows other BlueforceEDGE plugins to communicate with the Discovery services, allowing for sophisticated stream analytics and intelligent workflows between other sensors and services. The Discovery Services plugin is now available to BETA testers. For more information, contact us at 866-960-0204 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.