Intelligence Support, Engineering, Research & Development
PRAEFECTUS is the core mission management software to TROJAN SWARM’s worldwide intelligence architecture. PRAEFECTUS provides a web-based common interface, giving soldiers the ability to share data, manage Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and other Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensors, as well as wireless core networks. It provides soldiers with real-time situational awareness, persistent queries, real-time entity/data correlation, and analytic capabilities that extend Exploitation, Analysis and Dissemination (EAD) to the tactical edge and dramatically reduces the turn-around time on actionable intelligence.
PRAEFECTUS was designed to bring the Army out of the 1970’s and into the 21st century. Voice communications still used a variety of handheld radios and data sharing. Images, video transmission, and GPS location hardly existed. PRAEFECTUS enabled all of this with low-cost commercial smartphones running Android software. It also simplified connecting IP-based SIGINT sensors, monitoring them, searching their data, and transmitting it back home for further analysis.
By using COTS smartphones and cellular radios we created a low-cost telecommunications network for use at the tactical edge. The system was a “network in a box” and could be deployed from a squad vehicle and managed locally via a web browser. Having a familiar looking, simple web interface was the key to success.
PRAEFECTUS was used for biometric data checkpoints in Afghanistan. Exercises also showed how the system, augmented with cellular-enabled surveillance cameras, could be used for landing zone security missions. The system also collected data about handsets trying to roam onto the network, showing the movement of the local population in vicinity of the network. The system used a plugin architecture for ease of adding new services and a web service interface so that multiple radio systems could be integrated.
The system has gone through numerous military deployments as well as the Army Network Integration Event. It has also been fully certified to operate on a classified network through the Army’s Risk Management Framework.
PRAEFECTUS supported PM Rite, R3G Last Tactical Mile, the Trojan Data Network, and most recently the USASOC MISO mission.
PRAEFECTUS has been deployed in multiple countries. Third party vendors have created plugins for it, four different radios have been integrated with it, and it has been integrated into other Army systems such as MCNITR. The use of open standards allowed for integration of multiple RF sensors, ranging from systems to scan the cellular RF environment to Wi-Fi network monitoring and wide-range RF detection and alerting.