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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

National Target/Threat Signatures Data System [NTSDS]

The National Target/Threat Signatures Data System [NTSDS] is a DOD migration system. The DoD is in the process of establishing a simplified baseline of the best, common information systems across the business functions of the Department. These migration systems represent a stage of process improvement designed at achieving a common set of automated processes and practices in DoD.

Until recently, MASINT information wasn't managed centrally. Data was collected against service specific requirements, often supporting classified development efforts. As a result, information was hard to find or retrieve at a later date. In 1990, the Army started a MASINT data management effort intended to capture and provide MASINT information in a consolidated manner. This is similar to that available to the SIGINT and ELINT communities in the Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming (EWIR), Kilting and Non-Communications Systems Data Bases (NCSDB). This effort evolved into a DoD-wide initiative managed by NGIC, called the National Target Signature Data System (NTSDS).

The National Target/Threat Signature Data System (NTSDS) has been designated as a migration system, in accordance with guidance from ASD(C3I) and by the Intelligence Systems Board (ISB). NTSDS provides the DoD signature data community (ISR, MASINT, & Armament) signature data from multiple, geographically distributed sites via a unified national system. NTSDS Data Centers employ standard data parameters and formats for stored target signatures for national and DoD customers.

Managed by the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), NTSDS is a distributed MASINT data repository and analysis system accessible using the Secure Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNET) and Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications Network (JWICS). This distributed, federated database system links various data centers within the signature community using Netscape and Oracle applications operating on the common, secure DoD networks.

As part of the development of the NTSDS, NGIC also started the Signatures Data Development Working Group (SiDDWG), a forum for MASINT data users and collectors to exchange information. The SiDDWG meets annually in conjunction with an NTSDS progress review to discuss emerging signature data collection and analysis methods and technologies. SiDDWG sessions focus on subjects such as automatic target recognition technologies and the signature data necessary to support future weapons systems. Warfighters and other users of MASINT signature data attend the SiDDWG sessions to learn more about the national capabilities available to exploit signature data.

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http://www.fas.org/irp/program/disseminate/ntsds.htm
Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Monday, May 08, 2000 6:09:07 AM