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Coast Guard turns to AI center for data insights

To crack its trove of mission data and improve aircraft maintenance, the Coast Guard sent an employee to the Defense Department's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

"We're looking see how do a better job doing predictive maintenance for aircraft, helicopters in particular," Capt. Michael Dickey, commander of the Coast Guard's C4IT Service Center, said after an May 21 AFCEA Bethesda panel.

The Coast Guard also wants to find ways to leverage the ocean of data those aircraft and its ships generate in their multiple roles, he said.

"Right now, what we and DOD do is collect gigabytes of data on a mission. We just dump it when a mission is done. We haven't built out the systems to retain the data, and we don't have systems that are capable of using the data afterward. We're collecting all this awesome data. Let's keep it and do something useful with it."

Those missions include the Coast Guard's search and rescue operations and its marine environmental protection work. "There's so much that we are collecting," he said. "If only we had the means to analyze it, we could understand a lot more about our maritime domain awareness on our coasts."

JAIC launched at the end of 2018 to help the DOD and the armed forces use AI to go up against a growing host of data-dense issues, including helicopter maintenance programs.

DOD CIO Dana Deasy said in an April 23 speech that JAIC has two deliveries ongoing and plans for more.

So far, JAIC has released the first version of an algorithm to help with H60 Blackhawk maintenance to the Special Operations Command that will then head to the Army, Air Force and Navy. It is also working on solutions to help firefighters predict a fire's movements and intensity and aid humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, like California's wildfires.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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