Alion puts Guard Dog through its paces for DARPA

Contractor will test new information-gathering technology

Alion Science and Technology Corp. will evaluate new technology for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under a three-year, $4.5 million contract.

The DARPA award calls for Alion to conduct performance evaluations on the Graph Understanding and Analysis for Rapid Detection – Deployed On the Ground (Guard Dog) program, which is designed to improve how patrols record and analyze information, according to a company announcement released today.

While on patrol, troops conduct interviews with the local population, and their findings are usually jotted down and brought back to camp for manual processing and analysis, the announcement states.

But Guard Dog makes use of recent advances in graph-theoretic analysis techniques, database technology and hardware technology to improve how patrols process and use information derived from those interviews and field observations.

Alion’s team will help ensure that the technology is adequate and can be used successfully in the field to assist patrols as they conduct counterinsurgency, counterterrorism and counter-drug missions.

The work includes experimental designs, test plans, data collection instruments and software, virtual simulations, training scenarios, evaluation results, and analysis briefings for major test events, Alion said.

To make sure this improved technology achieves its goal, Alion will construct research models and develop a variety of testing methods to rapidly detect issues in technology approaches and algorithms, said retired Navy Rear Adm. Dick Brooks, Alion senior vice president and manager of the Distributed Simulation Group.

Alion's subcontractors include Applied Research Associates Inc. and KaDSci LLC.

Alion Science and Technology Corp., of McLean, Va., ranks No. 41 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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