Rapid Pro VIRT

In need of ever-improving systems to find, fix, and target enemies, the Marines adopted a rapid prototyping approach with five key elements:

  1. an architecture for composing capabilities;
  2. a set of evolving components;
  3. an environment for testing and employing candidate systems;
  4. a fitness function to assess candidate performance and guide feedback; and
  5. a feedback function that directs investment into successful components and promising candidates.

The fitness function must shape successive systems to utilize high-value data and reduce low-productivity activities that involve low-value bits.

These problems fall within the scope of VIRT (Valued Information at the Right Time) research. VIRT provides a framework and methodology for focusing on events that significantly affect mission performance. VIRT mechanisms filter out trivia and alert personnel to significant factors, thereby assuring that valuable information reaches decision-makers who still have the time and resources to act. VIRT is a key aspect of the fitness function that will make the evolutionary approach converge on superior systems. This project aims to help Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) Intelligence Systems implement these key objectives and attain a best-of-breed solution to an elusive intelligence problem. Although originally planned for 3 years, the project was unexpectedly redirected after just one year to focus on a single sensor deemed very high priority by the USMC. This page now describes the planned 3-year effort and the significant results accomplished in just 12 months.

The first paper below presents the product line architecture for Persistent ISR. The second paper presents an innovative way to get the maximum bang for the buck from PISR resources by configuring them to deliver the highest valued information products.

Read more about Rapid Pro VIRT here:

A Product Line Approach to Persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (PISR), Overview of 2010 Results (February 2011)

Valuing Persistent ISR Resources by Tod Levitt et al., (May 2011)

NPS News Article by Amanda Stein (July 2010)

NPS Research Article  (February 2010)

USMC Rapid Prototyping program brief (January 2010).