IXO Mission Statement:
"The DARPA Information Exploitation Office (IXO) will develop sensor and information system technology and systems with application to battle space
awareness, targeting, command and control, and the supporting infrastructure required to address land-based threats in a dynamic, closed-loop process.
IXO will include both legacy DARPA efforts and critical, significant new starts. These will focus on addressing the systemic challenges associated
with performing surface target interdiction in environments that require very high combat identification confidence and an associated low likelihood
for inadvertent collateral damage.
To address these problems, IXO will address the synergies between:
1) Appropriate sensor, sensor control and sensor data exploitation capabilities to achieve confirmed target identification, to ensure that specified
targets (including challenging targets) are correctly engaged without undesirable collateral damage.
2) Dynamic battle management systems, to ensure effective and efficient use of, sensor platforms, weapons, weapons platforms, and resources required
for exploitation and decision-making and assessment.
3) Supporting infrastructure, to ensure rapid dissemination, timely processing, effective human-computer interaction, and the availability of suitable
threat and terrain models.
Threats of interest include mobile and fixed surface targets in all environments: open, partially obscured, in hide (e.g. under foliage), in evasive
maneuver and in urban settings.
The challenge of high-confidence, confirmed target identification impacts a wide range of operational systems and requires development, maturation and
integration of new sensor and sensor exploitation approaches with application in rough priority order to:
a) Intelligent seekers to reliably achieve high confidence endgame
b) Focused identification surveillance automation to confirm ID, and maintain target identity confidence during weapon assignment, launch, and fly
c) Local area surveillance to track and identify specific targets while minimizing False alarms which is then used to cue the focused identification
d) Wide area surveillance to detect targets while minimizing False Alarms which is then used to cue the local area surveillance, and establish
critical situation context;
e) Dynamic battle management (planning and execution) to prosecute fleeting surface targets in difficult environment and
f) Integrated and responsive battle damage assessment to evaluate operational effectiveness and guide replanning.
Dynamic battle management technology is needed to unify control of tactical ground and air-to-ground operations, implement effects-based target
analysis and attack against networked systems, and support overall interactive campaign planning and assessment.
IXO will pursue innovative sensor technology that will provide new target set features to enhance target detection and recognition and provide the
high confidence identification needed for attack decisions. Sensor/target phenomena that can reduce a target's potential to hide, deceive or counter
a surveillance sensor or weapon seeker will be exploited with new sensors and sensor modalities. Technology enhancements to legacy sensor systems and
seekers will also be developed to greatly expand their capability for precise target identification.
IXO will strive to increase the automation of sensor data and information processing and analysis to reduce the manpower and training needed to
exploit advanced sensors. This will emphasize the application of advanced sensors and sensor modes to acquire target features coupled with intelligent
acquisition of features by multiple-looks and multiple sensor modes.
IXO will investigate command and control technology at the tactical level to automate control of air and ground forces, with minimal but immersive
supervision by unit commanders. This will include a focus on dynamic mission planning to improve strike effectiveness. At the targeting level, IXO
will explore effects-based option generation and analysis concepts to achieve precise and timely outcomes with minimal undesired effects. At the
campaign level, IXO will investigate mixed-initiative systems to allow geographically distributed planning staffs to collaborate in the continuous
construction and assessment of the complex, multi-threaded operations plans required to support dynamic operations in high-threat environments with
constrained rules of engagement. At all levels, IXO battle management concepts will address the constraints imposed by the requirement to provide
combat ID confidence across the full range of rules of engagement.
Sensor, exploitation and battle management systems will achieve flexibility through the use of an advanced computing infrastructure. IXO will address
advanced correlation, pattern matching, and pattern discovery technologies that exploit relational structures in data, models, and knowledge to
describe adversarial networks, organizations, and activities, both in conventional ground operations and in unconventional situations. Agent-based
architectures, semantic webs for information dissemination, and reference knowledge bases will allow warfighters to adapt information flows to deal
with unexpected or unconventional mission requirements.
IXO will address these challenges with a balanced program focused on the development, integration and demonstration of systems, subsystems and
component technologies and on investigative efforts designed to improve the state of the art in supporting core technologies.
We look forward to working together with customers, partners and industry as IXO works the leap-ahead sensor and information system technologies
required to achieve the promised benefits of information dominance on the traditional and nontraditional battlefields of the 21st century."
It sounds to me like they are experimenting with projects similar to ECHELON, in my opinion.