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SSC Data-Management Software Plays Critical Role in SDA, Afghanistan Airlift

  • Published
  • By Sonny Han & Lisa Sodders
Sophisticated data management and analytic software programs are not only enhancing Space Systems Command’s (SSC) ability to carry out its Space Domain Awareness mission, but also have been leveraged to provide a rapid response to humanitarian crises across the globe.
“Data is the life blood of our digital force and our commercial partners have a lot that they can offer,” said Col. Jennifer M. Krolikowski, senior materiel leader for SSC Enterprise Corps’ West Coast data/cyber coding factory serving the United States Space Force (USSF). “These commercial solutions allow us to go faster which ultimately helps us turn that data into knowledge to drive decision-making.”
As the USSF's first operationally accepted Category A capability, Warp Core serves as the Data as a Service (DaaS) platform for data ingestion, retention, processing, normalization, analysis, and visualization across the global space enterprise.
Developed and managed from SSC's Cross Mission Data and Kobayashi Maru teams, Warp Core successfully expanded from Space C2’s initial development, and currently supports SSC’s Space Domain Awareness mission by providing a common data interface and enabling better data sharing, streamlined manual reporting processes, and decommissioning of legacy systems.
SSC’s Cross-Mission Data organization also manages USSF’s Unified Data Library (UDL), the content-management solution that enables optimal exploitation of any data type, are being developed and managed by to ensure enterprise efficiency in the development of data/cyber and platform capabilities.
As these data platforms grow, they also will drive significant cost savings as more labor-intensive legacy systems can be decommissioned. This allows for greater performance, at lower costs, while being more cyber-secure.
By leveraging commercial cloud solutions, USSF data platforms provide enterprise use across all of the USSF Operational Deltas as well as the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) community.
The UDL and Warp Core’s usefulness is not limited to the space domain. Recently, both were leveraged to integrate numerous data sets to help leaders make swift and informed decisions to assist humanitarian efforts to evacuate U.S. allies from Afghanistan.
During Operation Allies Refuge, led by Air Mobility Command under the U.S. Air Force, critical logistics and operations data from across the U.S. Department of Defense, the State Department, and other U.S. agencies was needed to ensure quick and efficient evacuation efforts. Later, during Operation Allies Welcome, data management and analytics were focused on ensuring successful relocation, in-processing, and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the United States.
Multiple data sets related to aircraft tracks, mission status, mobility, logistics, personnel, and supply-chain data were integrated into the UDL. Warp Core consolidated, curated, and fused data provided from the UDL with data collected from other on-going DoD-wide initiatives to deliver an authoritative picture of events, both in Afghanistan and the continental United States (CONUS), for decision-makers across the government and Joint Staff to support OAR and OAW, including mission tracking, in-country operations, and CONUS processing.
For example, Warp Core centralized all passenger records, including passenger information from the Custom & Border Protection’s Arrival and Departure Information System (ADIS) system and USAID's Dulles Airport spreadsheets. Warp Core became a single source for answering State Department and Department of Homeland Security’s Requests for Information (RFIs) regarding the status of specific individuals.
Users were able to search records from both ports of entry from a single interface to find passenger family members who had already arrived. Similarly, saved searches were used to screen for specific names to inform interested parties when an individual first arrived.
To display the data consolidated and curated through Warp Core, SSC’s developer team quickly produced the OAW Workspace, a dashboard with modules that use a common operating infrastructure to allow for rapid and secure collaboration across local, state, and federal entities.
The OAW Workspace better equips personnel to deal with the complex situations they face in real time, supporting refugee processing, scenario planning, and logistics management under OAW. It allows passenger grouping based on intake data where passenger records are linked to family units, a step previously done on spreadsheets and whiteboards.
The workspace automated these functions, enabling operations to be streamlined and ensuring individuals were placed onto the same transports as their travel companions and families. In the event where family members were separated, due to additional customs screening or COVID/medical issues, the automated grouping enabled families to be reunited by allowing DoD personnel to quickly identify where an individual's family was currently located.
“In a matter of days, and in some cases hours, using UDL and Warp Core, we were able to ingest, expose and then display key information in a usable manner to enable data driven decisions and more efficient operations,” said Major Daniel Kimmich, Materiel Leader of the Cross-Mission Data Branch.
Warp Core is based on the Palantir Data platform, a configurable enterprise data management and operations software solution that integrates and manages data from various disparate data sources to support application delivery, in-depth analysis, and data-driven decision-making across echelons and communities. SSC recently awarded firm-fixed definitization modification contract to Palantir USG for $48.5 million on August 30, 2021. 
“We’re very proud of our partnership with SSC, and their efforts in this important mission. Having a strong partnership allowed us to adapt quickly with a rapidly changing environment and mission set,” said Doug Philippone, Palantir’s Global Defense Lead.

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