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Frank Pound: DARPA Builds 3D Display Platforms for Cyber Mission Planning, Adversary Tracking Activities

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DARPAThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has designed two military platforms that aim to help warfighters organize cyber operations and track adversaries in a large-scale digital environment, the American Forces Press Service reported Wednesday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes that DARPA built a three-dimensional touch table display for mission planning functions and a virtual-reality headset for enemy targeting activities through the agency’s Plan X initiative.

“The big goal of Plan X is to make cyber operations tools and their capabilities more available to the common military, which right now doesn’t have [such] cyber capabilities,” said Frank Pound, a DARPA program manager, told AFPS in an interview.

Service members have been exploring methods to assess possible weapon effects and battle damages, Pellerin reports.

“What we’re trying to do with Plan X is to quantify cyber effects so the military understands how [such effects] work and what the collateral damage could be,” Pound added, according to AFPS.

“We want to make sure when we deploy a cyber effect at an adversary that there’s no collateral damage.”

Pellerin writes that DARPA’s holographic display is built to provide battle planners a 360-degree view of critical data or interact with military assets in cyberspace without the need to wear special glasses or devices.

The agency also designed a head-mounted computer known as Oculus Rift for warfighters to locate friendly forces, opponents and mission resources in a 3D environment, according to Pellerin’s article.

“The idea with the Oculus is to give the operator the ability to counter that and use his native human intuition to counter those attacks,” Pound told AFPS.

“Think of part of Plan X as like Google Earth or Google Maps,” he added, according to the publication.

“We want to make it that easy for the military to use — to filter information and look at different routes and alternatives for routes and see where there’s a lot of traffic, just like with Google Maps. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

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