MacAulay-Brown subsidiary Enlighten IT Consulting (EITC) has signed a cooperative research and development agreement for advanced data analytics with the US Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York.

The new research agreement will help provide advanced data analytics and manage system challenges.

The agreement will also include studies to demonstrate the application of analytics within major cyber terrain in order to help battlefield commanders make decisions about network vulnerabilities, and learn how these applications can influence combined mission planning.

The collaborative effort will be led by EITC lead data scientist and former USMA instructor Dr Steve Henderson and USMA department of systems engineering professor Dr Patrick J Driscoll, along with a team of engineers and data scientists from the two organisations.

A number of army cadets will also participate as part of their senior engineering capstone design projects.

“This research will produce models for identifying and detecting key terrain across various cyberspace layers and integrate them into mission planning.”

Henderson said: “There has been little work done at the intersection of cyberspace and traditional kinetic operations, and this research will produce models for identifying and detecting key terrain across various cyberspace layers and integrate them into mission planning.

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“This collaboration will provide Enlighten with an untapped research base, and West Point with the outside perspective and expertise to inject realism for cadets to execute cutting-edge data science techniques.”

Under the agreement, the research teams will develop a framework for identifying cyber terrain for manoeuvre units based on their mission, assigned troops, equipment, and the enemy.

The framework will guide risk evaluations, mission planning and enemy targeting, with an overall aim to offer a model that would enable battlefield commanders and staff to make decisions about a modern war field that is influenced by cyber operations.

The majority of work on the project is slated to be carried out at the USMA facilities in New York.