Charles River Analytics Developing Tool for Socio-Cultural Assessment in Counterinsurgency Operations

Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has been awarded a government contract to design and develop a system for Socio-Cultural Assessment from Passive Sensing (S-CAPS). With S-CAPS, Charles River aims to improve the analysis, forecasting, and decision-making needed to combat terrorism under counterinsurgency operations.

“Overhead intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), while providing great area coverage, often lacks the socio-cultural insight needed for today’s conflict environments. On the other hand, relying on human patrols or expert insight isn’t ubiquitous or objective enough,” said Mr. Michael Farry, Senior Scientist at Charles River. “S-CAPS intends to bridge the gap between these two distinctly different types of intelligence by bringing together two application domains that previously haven’t had much overlap: sensor network technology and social science.”

S-CAPS addresses the need for social-cultural intelligence in counterinsurgency operations, especially in areas of operations that are denied or austere. Because it’s dangerous to employ people in these operations and not enough people are available to gather all the data necessary, S-CAPS will collect data using sensors provided by Textron Defense Systems, which can wirelessly pull seismic, video, and acoustic data. This sensor network data will be analyzed within a social science framework provided by dynamic Bayesian networks, agent-based reasoning, and geo-registered social networks, to provide more insight into individual and group behavior. Ultimately, S-CAPS will be able to produce timely, local summaries of the civil operating picture that can lead to a better assessment of critical Political, Military, Economic, Social, Infrastructure and Information (PMESII) variables.

Mr. Sam Mahoney, Group Director in the Cognitive Systems division, said, “S-CAPS is an exciting opportunity for Charles River to apply a hybrid collection of selected computational intelligence technologies developed across a number of Charles River groups, to enable a new generation of sociocultural sense-making capabilities.”

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