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Can Reality TV Help the USAF Fix Data Management?

Written by on Thursday, September 13th, 2012

The USAF can’t keep up with the amount of data that it’s collecting. We hear that fact a lot, but it’s difficult to grasp just how bad the problem of data management has become. Let me put it into perspective for you. Imagine watching TV for 24 hours straight. Now, keep that up for 85 years nonstop. By then, you’ve watched all of the footage that has been collected from one sensor over one day.

And keep in mind that we have multiple drones collecting surveillance data nonstop. So how on Earth can the USAF even begin to catalog all of that digital data?

Jersey Shore

Image source: Mtv.com

The answer, believe it or not, might lie with Jersey Shore, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Keeping up with the Kardashians. You see, the problem of filtering through hours of footage for important bits of information is not a new problem. The people behind the scenes of reality TV shows have been grappling with the problem for decades, and they’ve been working on solving the problem ever since.

A team of dedicated cameramen have to follow around a person for hours just to catch a few seconds of TV-quality action. Reality show editors separate antibiotics you can buy over counter interesting scenes from the mundane with advanced software that tags the really juicy parts. When it’s time to compress several days of footage into a 42-minute-long segment, all they have to do is use that same software to pull up the relevant bits of data.

The USAF hopes that this software can help them fight off the flood of drone surveillance footage. It might sound absurd that the United States Air Force, one of the most powerful and well-funded organizations on the planet, needs to ask for help from trashy television, but it’s really not as farfetched as it seems. TV companies have spent years and millions of dollars perfecting this software, so it would be wasteful for the USAF to pour tax dollars into new data management software when they can just buy or copy a product that already exists.

Air Force Digital Data

Image source: Wired.com

It makes you wonder if the digital data is really worth all the time and money that the USAF has to invest. Well, yeah. In the field of battle, knowledge is power. The data from drone surveillance can ultimately spot the bad guys, protect or troops, and turn a lost cause into a decisive victory.

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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