DEVELOPMENTS IN AIR TARGETING: DATA HANDLING TECHNIQUES

Created: 4/1/1959

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STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

A collection ol Ofllcles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and ihcoroiical aspects ol intelligence.

1

All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence arc those of

the authors. They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual statements and interpretations.

Some problems common to the intelligence community and some particular to Air Targets find their not flawless solution in the use of machine methods.

DEVELOPMENTS IN AIR TARGETING: DATA HANDLING TECHNIQUES Outlet) J. Clinard

The production of any kind of finished intelligence rests upon processes which require the handling of data In large quantities. When the finished intelligence is global and en-cyclopedle, as in air targeting, these quantities assumeproportions, and their management requires substantial resources in time and people or machines. Since more than storage and recall of documents or even basic InteUigcnce information is involved In air targeting, data-handlinghave perforce developedomplex rather than straightforward pattern.

Responsibilities of Air Targets

Air Intelligence has tbe responsibility for providing defense Stan's and commanders the Intelligence necessary lo enable them to get the best possible results from the employment of airpower In the event of hostilities.art of thistbe Director of Targets is charged withfor the Department of Defense tbe common targetbase for joint staff and command plans and for the development of weapon systems. Specifically, tbe Director of Targets must determine enemy vulnerabilities to air attack, estimate weapon requirements and effects, plan andthe production and distribution of data on targetand produce estimates of best opportunities for VS. and allied offensive air action.

A fundamental difficulty In dealing with air weapons and tbe required operational and supporting systems la their dynamic development, theiransHns- capabilities. This la true both of our own weapons and their delivery vehi-

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ctes and of those of our potential enemy. Changes In the values of the great number of variables Involved could be largely Ignored when the United States had ansuperiority In atomic weapons, but Intelligence estimates must now take them minutely into account

With present-day weapon systems It Is no longer sufficient to focus on targetforsystems or to assume that our weapons are delivered to the bomb release line Targets must now be rated according U> the Immediacy of their potential threat to the United States and Its allies, and target systems may consistumber of different categories, depending on the situation and the objectives to be achieved. Forargetmay Include not only all long-range air bases In an area, but also missile launch sites, weapon storage, llquid fuels. transportation, and control centers. To measure the effects of an attack onarget system, moreover, we need to know how many weapons would be actually delivered to tbe target area and where they would fall. We also need measurements of enemy net capabilities at frequent Intervals to determine at what stage the attack would have achieved the desired objectives.

Targeting, like the development of weapon systems, haswift-moving, ever-changingampling of the types of questions asked of the Director of Targetsthe past year will illustrate Its complexity:

Whereest apply such and such forces available at present? Available tn the future?

Prom what pointseach the greatest number of.,

Bote much damage is necessary to eliminate airfields for

varying time periods?

What li (he operational effect of using such and suchdamage criteria in calculating the forces necessary to achieve certain ';,

iven-sited weapon at bomb release line, what art the probabilities of damage and of corUamtnation to the target?

If aw attacked this or that target category, turn muchwould tot effect tn other categories?

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Data Handling Technique!

What would be the effect of fallout tn the initial phase on

troop movements in certain areas? What capability would be left the enemy after this strike

for atomic weapon delivery, air defense, war production,

and general economic activity? Althoughot impossible to solve most of these problems by manual calculations, the time requirement and cost of manual solution would be prohibitive. Some sort of rnachlne methods have therefore become necessary.

Data handling In the Directorate of Targets may logically be broken down into three distinctor the extraction of individual data from source materials; data manipulation, or the consolidation andof data in various arrangements; and dataor the synthesis of data in application to operational problems.

Document Handling

Since research on source materials for the extraction of basic data Is an operation common to all intelligencea detailed presentation of the procedures used in the Directorate of Targets is not necessary here, but someof past difficulties and the still current effort to solve them may be useful. Most of these difficulties, as would be expected, are library-type problems. In the Directorate of Targets there Is no central repository whereoming materials may be found, nor iseference service where the existence and locationeeded document may beComprehensive documentation is thereforedifficult: an analyst can never be sure be has seen all of the available documents pertinent to his study. Not knowing what Is available and where makes difficult also any effective control of the collection effort. Other aspects of the same problem turn up In excessive document handling, effort devoted to management of files, and difficulty taavailable to all analysts tbe work of each.

Moat of these shortcomings lend themselves tocorrective measures. Tn Ah* Intelligence the curiecUve effort over the past five years has centered on tbe development of the Mlnicard System, primarily for documentThe tiny Mmlcarda of flan, onlymm, can record photo-

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graphically up toegal-sized pages, along with sufficient digital Information to Index the contents. They can beby machines In any desired order or selection by content and can be reproduced either as Aim miniatures or as paper prints enlarged to original size.

The MLnicard System has recentlyay test in Air Intelligence and has proved Itself mechanically satisfactory. The official report on this test, noting that the systemew more personnel slots, emphasizes that Its justification lies Inast and accurate system of document retrieval and an automatic means for consistent and accurate dissemination of Airinformation reports.

A solution to the documcnt-handhng problem thusto be in sight, even though this particular equipment is still in the experimental stage and may eventually beby an entirely different system. If recent plans areew Air Force Intelligence Data Handling System will include an Air Targeting sub-systemuch broader capability both for document retrieval and for other kinds of data handling.

Data Manipulation

Meanwhile, the closely related problem of datahas been receiving attention. In the early days of air targetlng, most of the evaluated Intelligence on individual targets was maintained inhese were simply lists of targets In each category and country arrangedor by Importance. Although they were kept current by analysts as new Information was received, formal revisions were published onlyomplete up-to-date set of these lists was seldom available.

The chief defect of theist system, however, was that the data could not be manipulated easily. This defect has been accentuated by tbe growth of the target lists. Tbe increase In the destructive potential of weapon systems has made It necessary to extend the range of targeting Into areas and Installations not previously Included The Bombinga listing of all Identified targets, has grown fromntries8 to0 at present Tha Target Dataompilation usedasis for war

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plans, now has0 entries. Includingopulated places. Air Targetollection of maps, charts, and mosaics produced foruse, now cover0 targets, asew years ago.

Although presented in different forms, essentially the same Information is used In all these publications; at least. It all comes outommon fund of target information. So also does the information required to answer numerous Individual questions and to solve the equally numerous targetingposed to Air Intelligence. This common fund of target Information is In short the primary working base for all air target intelligence production. To be effective for theseIt requires careful management In all phases oforganization, control and use.

The targets publications, for all they may seem overlapping and duplicative, arc required in their various tailorings to meet the needs of particular customers orarticular mix of information. Consolidation of some publications with others would have alleviated the data manipulation problem somewhat but would not have solved it, and would have created new problems for the consumer. For what might appear toarge amount of duplication was actually not so much duplication of product as ituplication ofrequired toariant product- This was where too much valuable analyst time was being expended Inclerical activities like checking, tabulating, arranging, and verifying lists.

Aside from the waste of personnel time in the tediousof dataariety of products, manualprovided no effective means for controlling the quality of information In the fund, for preventing losses through change In emphasis, functions, or personnel, for providing otherwith oirrent information, for supplying quickto spot questions of an urgent nature, or for extracting masses ofreparation for the data Integrationiscussed later.

. ^assumed more formidable proportions earhVhen the Joint Chiefs of Staff designated the Tar get Data inventory as the basis for atomic annexes toPlans. AH codes, reference numbers, and other tar-

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get identification elements Id the Inventory now had to agree with those In other targets publications. It seemed desirable and feasible to standardize the format of publics-Hons and information files at the same time, and thewas the development of what is now known as theTarget Intelligence File (CTTF).

The CTIF Solution

The primary element of the CTIF is the standard form herewith Illustrated, which Is filled in for each target listed tn the Bombing Encyclopedia. The form's fire parts,by the heavy horizontal lines, respectivelyI. Codes for machine processing and hand processing, n. Information identifying and locating the target. UJ. Information on the category of the target and its individual characteristics within the category.

to graphic coverage on the target

Much of the information is entered on the form uncoded and may be read directly, for example the target'slevation in tens ofoof cover Inof squarend output in thousands of' Some of it is enteredimple code for which thes keyed. On the form shown, in the country) "UK" represents tbe USSR; under commend) thenlock Indicates that the target has been nominated by the US. European Command; andcategory) thendicate that addition si information is needed on capacity /output and labor force, respectively.

Two subsidiary forms are also used to feed Information Into the CTTF. One ofraphic Materials Data Sheet, car-rice the Information given In section IV of the major form plus additional detailed data describing the maps, charts, and photo mosaics which cover the target Tbe other, called Category Data File Corrections, Is usedorrectiveto capacity and output figures on target categories where these data element* apply. It Isto give the figures on capacity and output, over and above thoseto known plants and trurtallatinns, required to arrive at a. total national estimate. Such estimates are necessary for

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calculating percentages and for evaluating the relativeof Individual Installations In each category.

The Consolidated Target Intelligence File Ishree sets. Working copies of the CTTF form are held by each category analyst In the appropriate target Jackets of his own files.omplete and up-to-date collection of CTTF forms Is maintained centrallyandy tool fornumerous questions of some urgency and of limited scope. This collection must be manipulated by hand. If the CTTF stopped here. It would still be very much worth while; for even here It saves much valuable analyst time formerly spent In digging out tbe same information over and over for different purposes. The CTTF contributes much more,Its third set is on magnetic tapes and is susceptible of rapid and complex manipulation In electronic data-processing machineside variety of purposes.

The flexibility of the machine-manipulated CTTF isin the programs now carried out. for example: Floor space/capacity printouts for specialized installations by type. These lists are required for effects analysis and for input data for military resourcesisting of significant installations in any category along specified transportation routes. These lists are used for travel briefs and other collection purposes. Listings and plotting* of airfields situated within range of specified types of aircraft. These lists are required for the air battle model' and other types of effects analysis. Lists of major components plantspecificfor example airframe, engine, electronics, and other components plants In the aircraft Industry. of such lists is useful In showing the dependence of certain plants upon the products of others and forup methods of disrupting production. Numerous routine listings by category, function, capacity, location, priority, BoraWnp Bncyclcrpedia number, or far-pet Data Inventory reference number. Three are useful for coordinating target lists, locating toterdlcuon lines,

Bern Sntdae* t* nUtflfevaet,o. ii.caeriptfcn of UkMc model*.

' Bee sriuuet. Vol. p. ii. for an account of tha air batUa model

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ana analyzing needs lor such utilities as transportaUon. electric pW, water, and fuels. Probably their most to-portant use. however, is the production of the printer's copy of the Bombing Encyclopedia, the Target Dataand other targets publications. Against the evident advantages of the CTIF, certain dlfn-cultieTmust be ranged. The preparation of the CTD?^forms entails coding much of the information and Mandating it tato the precise language required for machine handling. Training analysts in these new techniquesonttrufing reouirement. To promote umformity in reporting andof data between Air Force Headquarters and the major field commands, there Is beingpecial reporting rorm keyed to the CTIF but allowing for variations fromto command. Analysts will integrate informationon these forms with other available data and enter it Jnto the CTIF. In performing these more or lessfunctions, they will have to guardechanical approach to the Information and keep alert not only to the facts they are recording but also to their meaningwith other facts known to them. Otherwise they wffi be in danger of losing the feel for the intelligence on which so many of their judgments must be based.

In machine ioanlpulation of data, programing is required lor even the smallest requests. Programers trained intarget data into machine language must be available, and time must be allowed for designing, testing, and ifcorrecting the program. In due course,ibrary of stock programs will be built upshould alleviate the programing problem. Another problem ia the availability of machine time. The larger, high-speedsuch as theust serve manyAlr Stafl offices, and time on them Is not always available when needed This situation wfll in large measure be remedied when Targets acquires an expected magnetic tape facility and can process many of the less complex reonirenieats on Its own

these ahortcornings, the CTIF still marks aadvance in daU-handllng techniques. It provides an up-todate. comprehensive file of targetlon^ facilitates the manipulation of great volumes of data. It pro-

Data Handling Techniques

duces answers to complex problems quickly; and it makescontrol ot target data possible. An electromechanical plotter, soon to be added to the data-processing equipment, will allow rapid recording or plotting oi informationide variety ot formats and should greatly increase the scope and utility of target compilations. The CTTF will assumeimportanceajor input source for the new Air Force Intelligence Data Handling System when it becomes operational.

Data Integration

The third data-handling process is data Integration, in which the data are applied to an operational problem and are altered in form or lose their Identity completely in tbeConsider, for example, the Damage and Contamination Modelhe8 issue of Studies* Thisarge and complex program,0 targets and geographic "cells"omputations. With requisite Inputsar plan, thatattern of ground zeros, weapon types,his program is capable ofthe probabilities of blast damage toargets, the radiation dose and contamination pattern from thewhich were ground burst, and the fatalities and other casualties0 geographict will also giveand casualty summaries by categories and by regions. The Air Battle Model and the Military Resources Modelin previous articles* are programs of similarand complexity.

In addition to these major programs, tbe day-to-dayof the Directorate of Targets have led to numeroustechniques for the solution of data integrationumber of manuals and memorandums present In graphic or tabular form the results of complex and extensiveIn one of these, forrobability chart was developed for calculating contamination effectsround zero is offset from' the center of the target area.ther examplelide calculator which permits rapidof damage probabilities for various yields, heights of bursts, distances from aiming point, etc. Another Is an aimi-

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ysU ol the effects of topography upon atomic blast waves, showing the enhancement or attenuation of blast pleasures oa hills, ridges, slopes, and valleys.

A Look Ahead

Although significant progress bas thus been made In data-handling techniques, the development effort is continuing. This effort is directed at the areas of greatest potentialnamely those where large amounts of technical andmanpower are required to do basically clerical tasks, where many manhours are required to redo things previously done, where human ability to assimilate, Integrate,and remember Is swamped by the volume or complexity of data, and where hand methods are too slow to be effective.

Improvement in these areas Is essential if the targetingIs to keep abreast of developments in weapons andsystems- The requirement win be accentuated with the introduction of new reconnaissance systems whosein volume and types of additional data cannot now be predicted. If the Director of Targets is to continue tohis responsibility to provide defense staffs andwith timely and accurate target intelligence, he must be prepared to meet the problems of the future. The development of these data-handling techniques Is apart of the effort to meet that challenge.

Original document.

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