Under a newly established Independent Research and Development (IR&D) program, Riverside Research invested resources to develop a prototype intelligence product that would set the standard for intelligence-related littoral zone analysis. This 2011 IR&D effort known as Littoral Lab was undertaken by the company’s full spectrum GEOINT (FSG) subject matter experts who specialize in data discovery, project design, amphibious collaboration, and analysis leading to recommendations for coastal landing beaches.
Current production, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) methods and practices limit comprehensive littoral analysis, exploitation, and dissemination. The lack of an effective use of current or over-the-horizon PED methodologies limit the capability to provide decision makers and commanders with an on-demand, wide-ranging, and scalable littoral characterization. Current littoral analysis is limited to a degree of general beach characterization supplemented sparsely by Riverside Research FSG experts who have created a limited number of products and methods to generate an expanded analytical description. Mission planning, operational execution, humanitarian relief, disaster assistance, and other components of the DOD expeditionary mission rely on an effective, user-friendly, demand-driven littoral characterization.
The Littoral Lab project was a unique opportunity for Riverside Research to integrate commonly associated capabilities within a new analytical area of interest, resulting in both tangible and intangible assumptions. Driven by advancements in technology, intelligence analysis, and dynamic global changes regarding conflicts and humanitarian assistance, Littoral Lab proposed to aid the appropriate US Marine Corps offices in researching, developing, and supporting the production of a USMC Littoral Digest concept. This pioneering proposal relied upon expert analysis of scientific and technological disciplines, proper manipulation of exploitative software applications (both GOTS and COTS), and fostering a collaborative production relationship between government organizations, industry, and academia. Ultimately, Littoral Lab sought to accurately reflect a littoral ground truth for planning purposes, to create a foundation for trend and analysis study, and to create a tool for lessons learned in a post operative environment.
In the end, Littoral Lab provided clear evidence that an enhanced methodology for littoral analysis is realistic, feasible, and efficient. It also paved the way for a development model that could easily transcend current analytical models. This IR&D effort enhanced Riverside Research’s capability to facilitate, educate, and support USMC amphibious intelligence operations; assist the USMC in the development of a robust littoral analysis capability; and leverage collaborative opportunities with other littoral producers in the Intelligence Community.