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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming Database (EWIRDB)

The Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming Database (EWIRDB), managed by the Defense Intelligence Agency, is the primary Department of Defense (DoD) approved source for technical parametric and performance data on noncommunications electronic emitters and associated systems.

The EWIRDB is the product of merged data modules from three separate organizational components. The modules are:

Much of the EWIRDB community is experiencing reorganization, resulting in many new people coming on board. Many organizations are downsizing and representatives from several agencies. face a personnel shortage to perform EWIRDB work. Thus, there is a great deal of interest in productivity enhancements and in efficient tasking to ensure more effective EWIRDB production and use. Resources are being reduced due to staffing and funding pressures at a time when the requirements are growing. The new emphasis on gray and blue systems has significantly increased the requirements for EWIRDB production and complicated the design of mission libraries. Increased automation by EWIRDB users demands a higher precision and accuracy in the product. Staffing and training issues become critical with downsizing and reorganization. Use of the EWIRDB is very labor intensive and relies on subject matter experts who require a long learning curve. Selective prioritization, automation, and streamlining are being used to minimize the impact on the EWIRDB.

Communications within the EWIRDB community are a major issue. EWIRDB production involves fourteen offices at ten different organizations. There are hundreds of user organizations with dozens of different applications. Policy issues, technical issues, and changes affect all of them. User problems are rarely reported, and even then, reports do not always reach the proper person. Response to user reports has been poor. Coordination and continuity within the community is continually becoming more difficult.

Some communications strategies are being defined with points of contact being documented and published. Increased electronic and network communications methods are now available and are being exploited. Small representative working groups are being established for efficient coordination of policy and technical issues. Procedures for tracking action items are being defined within and between EWIRDB organizations. The EWIRDB newsletter will be revived and published quarterly, to correspond with each EWIRDB update released on CD-ROM.

Automation is a major initiative throughout the EWIRDB community. Software tools, networks, and new database concepts are being deployed to improve quality and efficiency. Producer automation can stimulate improvements in efficiency and quality. User automation tends to impose new and costly demands on the EWIRDB producers. Software is usually not very smart or forgiving. The EWIRDB is a very sophisticated and complex product, while the automated user tools are still rudimentary and simple. Automation promises better and more efficient Electronic Warfare (EW) data analysis but imposes new demands on design and production.

Quality has become a major issue in the EWIRDB. Standards of precision and complexity have both risen dramatically. Resolution of even minor problems can require significant effort by many users. Several recent initiatives will address the quality problems. Production tools from National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC), Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), and others will improve both the quality and efficiency of new and updated files.

Sources and Methods

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Friday, May 05, 2000 8:10:39 AM