New technology often enables new forms of intelligence, either directly or indirectly – and frequently in unexpected directions. Here are some examples:
The development of drone technology allows the use of a drone as an intelligence gathering platform – one of the aspects of drones that the IMSL IKARUS service keeps close tabs on as this technology rapdily evolves. A drone can carry a range of sensors – not just cameras, but radios, CBRN sensors and a range of other intelligence gathering capabilities. as drones get smaller too they get harder to prevent them having access to sensitive areas.
Social media technology too can provide opportunities for gathering intelligence – something that the IMSL OSINT specialists have done for quite a few years and our customers and clients are frequently seeking better, appropriate and legal ways to undertake this form of intelligence gathering.
In computing it was such new technology that enabled the breaking of “Enigma” and other codes using computer “bombes” at Bletchley Park. But earlier than that the development of databases as a tool for managing intelligence data made a profound change to police intelligence firstly in France around the time of Napoleon. (see some earlier blogs on this).
In history, the emergence of balloon technology enabled armies to go aloft and look down on enemy territory from above. In the US Civil War, Thaddeus Lowe used balloons to observe Confederate campfires and troop movements. This observation capability from above, of course, was further enabled by aircraft and then satellites.
Today as technology evolves ever faster, new technologies with application in intelligence continue to appear and part of IMSL’s role is to help harness and apply these. One particular technology we are excited about is the development of new space-borne capabilities driven by innovative technologies.
Spy satellites using optical and other sensors have been around for decades, of course, but our partner KLEOS SPACE have developed a highly innovative process to create large structures in space. Now, you may ask, what has that got to do with intelligence innovation? Well, here’s the trick. You stick a radio receiver up in space and you can receive radio signals. But if you stick two radio receivers up in space, a very exact distance apart, you can geolocate those radio signals.
Kleos’s technology creates super-massive long booms in space with radio receivers at either end. So now that’s a new intelligence capability, to geolocate radio signals from above all the time. We look forward to working with Kleos to deliver this capability as a service, and seek new ways to exploit this intelligence by fusing it with other intelligence to create new intelligence products.