Conference paper

Distributed policy based access to networked heterogeneous ISR data sources

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Within a coalition environment, ad hoc Communities of Interest (CoI's) come together, perhaps for only a short time, with different sensors, sensor platforms, data fusion elements, and networks to conduct a task (or set of tasks) with different coalition members taking different roles. In such a coalition, each organization will have its own inherent restrictions on how it will interact with the others. These are usually stated as a set of policies, including security and privacy policies. The capability that we want to enable for a coalition operation is to provide access to information from any coalition partner in conformance with the policies of all. One of the challenges in supporting such ad-hoc coalition operations is that of providing efficient access to distributed sources of data, where the applications requiring the data do not have knowledge of the location of the data within the network. To address this challenge the International Technology Alliance (ITA) program has been developing the concept of a Dynamic Distributed Federated Database (DDFD), also know as a Gaian Database. This type of database provides a means for accessing data across a network of distributed heterogeneous data sources where access to the information is controlled by a mixture of local and global policies. We describe how a network of disparate ISR elements can be expressed as a DDFD and how this approach enables sensor and other information sources to be discovered autonomously or semi-autonomously and/or combined, fused formally defined local and global policies. © 2010 SPIE.