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IAI launches StarLight AI for big data analysis

Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) product called Starlight that helps turn large quantities of unstructured data into actionable intelligence.

“The biggest problem in intelligence today is not how to collect data,” Uriel Lichtenstein, product manager at Elta's Intelligence, Communication, and EW Division, told Janes . “The problem is that we have a situation in which an analyst, soldier, or commander in the field are drowning in data but are starving for information, as an American general put it.”

StarLight is designed to resolve this problem by providing real-time insights in a combat environment filled with hidden, time-sensitive targets, he said. “The system is agnostic to the type of information that comes in. It can scan data from a range of platforms and produce target data on the other side,” he said.

The data can come from electro-optical, radar, communications intelligence (COMINT), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and other types of sensors.

Lichtenstein said the first challenge in developing StarLight was turning data from a “Babylon Tower of sensor languages” into a common format, the NATO STANAG 4676 standard, in seconds.

“The next stage was to build data that not only speaks in the same language but can be displayed on the same map at the same time. Geo-precision is critical,” he said. This is done by “smart AI engines, working automatically and very quickly”.

StarLight uses AI and data science techniques to automatically recognise structures and objects such as military bases and vehicles, sending alerts of any changes and anomalies requested by the operator. “I can set up a gatekeeper on hundreds of sites,” Lichtenstein said, referring to the system's autonomous monitoring mode. “As soon as something happens, the system gives an alert.”

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