by Michael Steele

Intelligence analysts are helping to protect vital national security interests at home and abroad by harnessing NVIDIA GPUs and Intergraph’s GeoMedia Motion Video Analyst software.

Getting accurate, timely intelligence has always been difficult for security analysts. Even the best intelligence is worthless if it can’t be analyzed quickly and pushed out to the front lines in time to prevent the next attack or respond decisively to critical events.

Fortunately, we have access to plenty of solid intelligence today – too much of it in fact. As Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, has put it: “We’re going to find ourselves, in the not too distant future, swimming in sensors and drowning in data.”

That future is now.

Today, the challenge has shifted from data gathering to data analysis. Video intelligence poses the biggest problem. It has exploded in sheer volume and frequency, and at higher and higher resolutions – ultimately requiring massive computing power to process.

Take drones, which are used by the military to gather valuable video intelligence from hot spots around the globe. The frequency and size of incoming video streams they produce is simply too much for analysts to handle.

Enter Intergraph’s Motion Video Analyst Professional software. It allows analysts to more efficiently evaluate and act on full-motion video from drones, as well as other sources. The software stitches together thousands of individual video frames and corrects for distortions caused by taking photos from varying elevations – the result is referred to as an “ortho-mosaic” image. This image can then be combined with other geographically accurate data (e.g., aerial photos, satellite imagery, or geospatial data). This is a tremendously intense computing problem best-suited for the parallel processing capabilities of NVIDIA GPUs. The result is much quicker turnaround from acquiring the raw video to taking decisive action.

There’s no doubt that the use of video and imaging data will be a large and increasingly important tool for national intelligence in the future. The evolution of intelligent GPU-accelerated technologies will give security professionals scores of powerful new tools to quickly gather, analyze and act upon intelligence in any form.

This should help us all sleep just a little bit easier at night.