McDonald Bradley to build net-centric intranet

McDonald Bradley Inc. has won a $20 million contract from the Defense Department to build a global military intranet, the company said.

Herndon, Va.-based McDonald Bradley will be prime contractor for the Horizontal Fusion Portfolio Collateral Space Initiative at the Defense Intelligence Agency. The project is one of several meant to achieve the network-centric operations that the Defense Department is implementing.

The Horizontal Fusion initiative is a portfolio of net-centric programs designed to push information to the edges of DOD's Global Information Grid to let warfighters and intelligence agents access and publish data critical to their jobs. The Collateral Space will be what DOD Chief Information Officer John Stenbit calls "an information tapestry" accessible via an intranet portal.

McDonald Bradley's expertise in semantic Web technologies made it a strong choice for the Collateral Space project, said Kenneth Bartee, the company's president and chief executive officer.

"Vast quantities of data currently exist in independent data stores," Bartee said. "Our challenge will be to find ways to make accessing that data on a secure network both easy and fast, while transforming that data into timely knowledge for the fighter in the field."

In a semantic Web infrastructure, published information is broken into parts, rather than posted as Web pages. As a result the information is more usable and can be processed easily by network-based computers. Using Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other Web services, a semantic Web acts like a huge searchable database.

McDonald Bradley will provide software architecture, design, development and system integration to support Collateral Space and other Horizontal Fusion initiatives. In addition to securing data that travels over the new intranet, the company will develop automated search agents that simplify data access with minimal human guidance.

Privately held McDonald Bradley was founded in 1985 and employs about 230 people. The company specializes in data visualization intelligence tools and Web integration services that help agencies gather and analyze diverse information sets.

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