technology edge - DSO National Laboratories by wuyunyi


									1997 -


                     Adm (NS) Teo Chee Hean and Peter Ho were               largest and earliest R&D institute.

          R          senior naval officers before assuming positions
                     in MINDEF. Both agreed that the partnership
                     between the Navy and DSO was of great mutual
          benefit. DSO benefited by developing capabilities through
          Navy projects. And the Navy benefited by having, in DSO,
                                                                                It has a track record of successful research and
                                                                            development, and has built a base of capabilities and
                                                                            facilities over 30 years.
                                                                                Over the many years, DSO has “learnt by doing.”
                                                                            Through a hands-on approach to science, and the
          a dedicated, in-house R&D laboratory.                             amalgamation of many fields of science, it has generated
              The role of the Navy in boosting DSO’s growth was             innovative solutions to many defence and security problems.
          due to several factors.                                               It stands now on a new horizon, with its 1,000 strong
              Firstly, there was a natural affinity of Naval                community of scientists, researchers, engineers and support
          officers with technology and engineering. The Navy                personnel, experienced, capable and moving ahead.
CHAPTER   has very customised and specialised requirements.                     This history of DSO, according to the current Chairman

          The technology they required was not for sale, and                of DSO and Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Lui Pao
          required in-house development.                                    Chuen, is due to the early vision of Dr Goh Keng Swee.
              By the late 1990s, it was clear to Peter Ho that DSO              Its first Director, the late Dr Tay Eng Soon, established
          had been transformed into a credible and internationally          an ethos and atmosphere conducive to science, which is
          benchmarked defence science R&D organisation.                     still a hallmark and signature of the organisation.
              In 1998, with the opening of the redeveloped Marina               Philip Yeo lent DSO his unique management style,
          Hill complex, came a landmark announcement which                  funding and manpower resources, and sense of freedom.
          opened a public window on DSO, revealing a first                      These three pioneers, and many others, have made
          glimpse of its capabilities.                                      DSO National Laboratories a truly great place for science.
              And this new public profile paralleled the development,           In the three decades, DSO has developed unique
          in the 1990s, of a large scientific R&D community in              capabilities in defence science – capabilities that will allow
          Singapore. It became important for DSO to adopt a higher          DSO to create the technology edge in the 21st century.
          profile in order to attract the best and brightest researchers.       It may be said that Dr Goh’s vision has been fulfilled.
              In 1991, DSO took the first step towards autonomy,
          adopting the status of an Executive Agency. This gave it some
          autonomy, although the freedom to operate independently
          came only in 1997, when DSO was corporatised as DSO
          National Laboratories. Not until 2000, did DSO finally
          adopt an independent personnel scheme.
              In 2002, DSO National Laboratories is celebrating
          three decades of R&D for defence science and technology.
              It has been the pioneer of R&D in Singapore, as the
                                                                                                                      157: TAKING FLIGHT > 04: CHAPTER
        “I think DSO today,
      is really part of SAF’s
 competitive and strategic
advantage. Because if you
  think about it, more and
       more of our weapon
    systems today are not
  off-the-shelf. I would say
                                  PETER HO
     that the majority of our
       weapon systems are
                                  Peter Ho was born in Singapore in 1954, and obtained his Honours
      either customised or        in Engineering from the University of Cambridge as an SAF
                                  Overseas Scholar. He returned to Singapore and held command
   developed from scratch.        and staff appointments in the Republic of Singapore Navy, the
                                  Joint Operations and Planning Directorate, and in MINDEF.
     And DSO plays a very             In 1989, he transferred to the Administrative Service and
                                  was Deputy Secretary (Policy) in MINDEF. After serving in the
         critical role in this,   Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Secretary, he returned to
                                  MINDEF in 1995 as Permanent Secretary (Defence Development)
          although this role      and Permanent Secretary (Defence) in 2000. Peter Ho served
                                  as the first Chairman of DSO National Laboratories after its
        is not very visible.”     corporatisation in 1997.
                                 Tell us about your first encounter with DSO.
                                     It was when I was Head of Naval Plans. We were
                                 planning for a new ship for the Navy. It was a project,
                                                                                                What? You were not told what it was?
                                                                                                    Yes! It was on the ship but nobody was allowed
                                                                                                in. Now, it’s much better. But at that time, DSO and
                                                                                                                                                              “When I returned, in 1995, what was most striking to
                                 famously called Springboard, because it was supposed           what it did were hidden away from us.                         me was how much progress DSO had made in six years.
                                 to be the “springboard” to transform the Navy from                 But now we know that the real start of EW in
                                 a demoralised, down-and-out outfit into a modern and           DSO was in the Navy. Because this was the first time          It seemed that in the six years that I was away, DSO had
                                 capable Navy.                                                  they were getting real resources and real facilities to
                                     Springboard was a watershed for the Navy in                support the R&D into EW. And I guess, this was                taken off like a rocket!”
                                 two ways. It was a watershed in terms of the way we            where the Navy gave DSO a modest boost.
                                 planned for the project. And also, Springboard ushered in          It had a lot to do with a few people who
                                 a whole new strategy for the Navy. And a lot of the            were struggling at that time to shape the future of           Was DSO at that time appreciated – or even known         But perhaps, psychologically...
                                 things you see in the Navy today were derived from             the Navy.                                                     to the SAF?                                                  Yes, it gave an identity to the engineers.
                                 those days in Springboard.                                         The Navy thought very hard and deeply about                   It was not. I would say that one of the biggest          But I don’t think it made a great deal of difference
                                                                                                where it was going. And essentially, the Navy developed       problems with DSO in those days, was that it was         to DSO. Although DSO was now part of DTG, it
                                 This must be around the mid ’80s?                              very strong skills in terms of determining its requirements   essentially a close sensitive unit. It was referred to   was still separate because of the veil of secrecy that
                                       Yes, around there. Now, this was the first time the      and making very good long-term plans.                         with bated breath. If you had to deal with DSO,          surrounded DSO.
                                 Navy had really assessed what it needed for a fighting                                                                       you were like an intruder!
                                 ship. Before that, we just bought whatever people told         Adversity is the mother...                                                                                             When did you lift this veil of secrecy?
                                 us to buy. Essentially, we bought off-the-shelf.                   Adversity is the mother of invention! And so,             They were an ivory tower..                                    By the late 1980s, we felt that DSO had
                                       And this was the first time we really looked at the      when you look at the Navy plans in those days, you                Something like that. And it was very difficult to    matured to the point where we could discuss some
                                 environment. We looked at our operational requirements.        didn’t just see plans to acquire these things for so          deal with them. Because of DSO’s culture of secrecy,     of its activities. So in 1989, when we opened up
                                 And we determined what performance and weapon                  many hundred million dollars, but you also saw                you only met certain people, and you couldn’t meet       the first DSO building at Science Park, I remember
                                 systems the ship should have.                                  parallel supporting plans for manpower, training,             anybody else.                                            that Lee Hsien Loong, then Second Minister for
                                       There are two important things about the ship            doctrine development and R&D.                                     And the question was, how did you know               Defence, made some broad references to the
                                 which are germane to DSO.                                          So we allocated resources, meaning, funds and             what DSO was doing? Who to meet? That was                capabilities of DSO.
                                       One, was the conclusion that this ship should be         people, to support the R&D effort as well.                    the problem.                                                  This was followed by the opening of a
                                 equipped with electronic warfare (EW) systems.                     So, I would say that was something good for                                                                        second building at Marina Hill, I think it
                                 Because the conclusion was that, if you didn’t put on          DSO. Because certain areas like underwater warfare            The Defence Technology Group (DTG) was formed            was 1998.
                                 these systems, the ship would not have the capability          and electronic warfare – were to prove very critical.         in 1986. Did that change things?                              There was already very clear evidence, by
                                 to fight a modern naval battle.                                There was a sure base load for DSO, some years                     The formation of DTG shouldn’t be seen              1995, that DSO was a credible R&D organisation.
                                       The second very critical decision was that this new      down the line.                                                in isolation.                                            So this bit of publicity was not without basis.
                                 class of ships should have an underwater warfare capability.                                                                      What happened was in those days, a decision              And there was also another reason. Because
                                 This was the first time we went into underwater warfare        Did they deliver? Was your faith redeemed?                    was taken to rationalise the various technology and      we were at that point, in the mid ’90s, in steep
                                 systems. We had absolutely no experience in this field.            My own view is that EW is the kind of area                logistics groups in MINDEF. So they created DTG,         competition for good quality R&D manpower.
                                 This is the anti-submarine kind of thing.                      where you cannot buy the capability. It’s a black art,        which reported to the Deputy Secretary (Technology).     The other research organisations were growing,
                                       I think it was almost an act of faith that DSO was       very black. And just because companies sell you the                So it was already a clustering of the technology    and scientists and researchers were at a premium.
                                 able to deliver the goods! Because DSO did not have            system, doesn’t mean that they sell you the whole             departments into one group, and a re-ordering of              I was very concerned that, if DSO was so
                                 much experience in EW. And whatever work they                  system, or that you’ll be able to use it effectively.         the administration and policy departments                secret, so “black”, you were not going to get people
                                 were doing in EW, was highly classified.                       So you really have to develop your own indigenous             under another.                                           joining DSO, at least not in the numbers and
                                       In fact, DSO had installed one system on our             capability in EW.                                                  It was just a bit of housekeeping. I wouldn’t       quality needed.
                                 Missile Gun Boats (MGBs) but we were not informed                  I would say DSO is doing quite alright in EW              say that it was a huge and strategic organisational           Unless people are aware of DSO and know what
                                 what it was! In fact we were not allowed to enter the          today. Not only EW for the Navy, but EW for all               change. All it did was to formalise something that       it does, and feel that it is a premier organisation for
                                 little room where this system was located!                     the Services.                                                 already existed.                                         R&D, why should they apply to DSO for a job?

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                                 And how can they have the confidence to forge their         manpower policies so that it could recruit the people              And one of the keys is this: we are too small to try
                                 careers with DSO?

                                 Why did you think of corporatisation?
                                                                                             it needed.
                                                                                                  I had concluded that we would have to separate
                                                                                             both DSO and DTG from MINDEF. But I didn’t want
                                                                                                                                                           to do everything ourselves.
                                                                                                                                                                So we try to do defence technology with partners,
                                                                                                                                                           both locally and overseas. And in fact, a lot of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “DSO today has
                                      I was away from MINDEF for six years.                  to take it in one big step. So, I decided to split it into    effort I personally put in, has been to develop these        reached the point in
                                      When I returned, in 1995, what was most striking       phases. The first phase was DSO, a smaller, in fact less      overseas links.
                                 to me was how much progress DSO had made in six             controversial part, moving out in 1997. DTG was to                 Of course, I’m only the door opener. But some           which they can deliver
                                 years. It seemed that in the six years when I was           move out later, as DSTA. But that was not until 2000.         of our key partners are really at the top of their fields.
                                 away, DSO had taken off like a rocket!                           So DSO was corporatised in April ’97.                    Once we create a critical mass, establish a reputation,      what they promised.”
                                      Not just in EW, but in many areas, and as an                In the end, DTG went a different route. It became        it becomes relatively easy to go to others. So we spent
                                 organisation. It now had a whole range of areas.            a Statutory Board on 15 March 2000.                           a lot of time with the United States and with France,
                                 I was very encouraged to see that.                               Thus, we were not thinking about the corporatisation     trying to push this relationship.                            certain things secret. But, I think that the shift had
                                      And one of my conclusions was this: DSO was            of DSO in isolation. There was a plan to do it in two              One of the important things I suggested to              taken place. Maybe part of it was deliberate, part of it
                                 really a major component of SAF’s strategic advantage.      steps. That is, DSO first, then the rest of DTG afterwards.   DSO, and I remember this was very soon after DSO             just happened. But today, DSO is very open, you
                                      That DSO was supplying SAF with a technology edge.                                                                   National Laboratories was set up in 1997, was that           know, remarkably open.
                                      Now, if you share my conclusion, then you have         Do you have any advice for DSO for the future?                they should establish a DSO Advisory Panel. An                    I would say without a doubt, that today, DSO is
                                 to decide how you are going to sustain that advantage           There’s one more thing I should say about                 international one.                                           world class in certain niche areas.
                                 and how you are going to grow that advantage.               DSO. This relates to how you sustain and build up                  So we had this DSO International Advisory Panel              We saw it pick up in the early ’90s. I think
                                      We concluded that the competition for such             your capability.                                              for two years and they were quite an interesting lot.        corporatisation has helped it a lot. So we really saw
                                 manpower was getting more severe and it would do                One, you must invest in people. That’s why in                  There was Peter Levene who was once Director            a pickup in the last few years.
                                 us no good if we continued to have DSO operating as         one of my remarks, I said the key to DSO is people,           of Defence Procurement in the UK. He is now Lord
                                 part of the Ministry of Defence, as a department of         people, people.                                               Peter Levene, Lord Mayor of the City of London               Can you tell us what you hope for the future?
                                 the Ministry.                                                   But the other thing that I thought was very important     from 1998-99.                                                    Well, I think the future direction is more in terms
                                      I came to the conclusion that the critical thing was   and critical, was to get DSO to do more work with                  And we had Roger Hagengruber from Sandia, and           of moving DSO onwards, and building up capabilities
                                 people. DSO used a completely different type of talent      reputable R&D institutions overseas. Because that is          Bo Rybeck who used to be with the Swedish R&D                in new areas. Because there are always new areas
                                 from MINDEF and the SAF, and so was competing for           the only way you will know how good you are.                  establishment. We had Henry D’Assumpcao, who was             which DSO can build capabilities in.
                                 a completely different pool of manpower.                        I think in the last five years, in DTG as well as         Chief Defence Scientist of Australia. We had Moti                Today, DSO has reached the point in which they
                                      It was restrictive to have R&D people within           DSO, we have been able to give an enormous push               Heiblum from the Weizmann Institute in Israel.               can deliver what they promised, and I think the SAF
                                 the same organisation and under the same managerial         towards world benchmarking.                                        These are all top names.                                knows it! The trouble is, this is not the kind of thing
                                 regime as MINDEF and the SAF which are essentially              And there was a seminal speech, given by DPM                   So we had them for two years. First, I wanted           that you can publicise too much.
                                 devoted to operations. So, the only way is to cut the       Tony Tan at the opening of Temasek Laboratories in            to get with the start of a new DSO National                      But I think DSO today, is really part of SAF’s
                                 Gordian knot.                                               NUS. Because that really spelt out how we see the             Laboratories, a group from outside to look at DSO.           competitive and strategic advantage.
                                      Basically we wanted to give DSO autonomy in its        basic, underlying approach to defence technology.             And to do a critique of DSO. I think they were quite             Because if you think about it, more and more
                                                                                                                                                           brutal in their assessments.                                 of our weapon systems today are not off-the-shelf.
                                                                                                                                                                And secondly, I wanted to get DSO used to                   I would say that the majority of our weapon

                                                                                                                                                           dealing with people at this level, psychologically.          systems are either customised or developed
                                                                                                                                                           This is very important.                                      from scratch.
                                                                      And one of my conclusions was this:                                                       So, you must get used to the idea that networking           And DSO plays a very critical role in this,
                                                                   DSO was really a major component of SAF’s                                               is a worthwhile activity. Collaborations don’t fall into     although this role is not very visible. A lot of
                                                                                                                                                           your lap, you can’t sit and wait, hoping that these          the enabling technologies and initial feasibility
                                                                   strategic advantage. That DSO was really                                                collaborations will come. You must actively go out           studies are done by DSO. Some of the things
                                                                   supplying SAF with a technology edge.”                                                  and create the network!                                      we do will be a revelation even to the more
                                                                                                                                                                Of course, it doesn’t mean that you cannot keep         sophisticated countries!

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“It is the nature of scientific
   R&D. If you try to manage
it like a typical bureaucratic
     system, your people will
 be stifled. They never grow      LUI PAO CHUEN
  above ground. If you keep
   digging and digging, they      Professor Lui Pao Chuen was appointed Chief Defence Scientist,
     give up. The earth is too    Ministry of Defence in 1986. He graduated from the University
                                  of Singapore with a degree in Physics, and began his career as a
   hard. Something is wrong       Scientific Officer in the Radio & Space Research Station. In 1966,
                                  he joined MINDEF as a Logistics officer, and in 1970, established
       with this earth. So you    the Science & Management Group. After a Master’s Degree in
                                  Operations Research from the United States Naval Postgraduate
      have to be patient. And     School, he was appointed Special Projects Director, Director JOPD
                                  and Senior Director of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).
      give people permission      He holds an Adjunct Professorship in Industrial and Systems
                                  Engineering in the National University of Singapore, and has
                   to be free.”   been Chairman of DSO National Laboratories since 1998.
                                 You have referred to DSO as, “The silversmith,
                                 making silver bullets”?
                                    This term, “silver bullet” is perhaps too common.
                                                                                             to use technology to overcome our lack of human
                                                                                             numbers. And Singapore is a small area, physically.
                                                                                             So again, we need to use technology to overcome
                                                                                                                                                           “Our numbers will never be large, so we need to use
                                 Because it doesn’t convey the importance of DSO’s           our lack of land mass.                                        technology to overcome our lack of human numbers.
                                 work. I prefer, “black diamonds.” Because what DSO               So, we saw that technology would make a great
                                 produces is very rare, very precious.                       difference. It would be a force multiplier, it can create     We need to use technology to overcome our lack of land
                                                                                             a technology edge.
                                 Black diamonds?                                                                                                           mass. So, we saw that technology would make a great
                                      Yes. They create black diamonds of priceless value.    How long did it take you, Dr Goh, and the others to
                                 Priceless, because you can’t buy them. No amount of         reach these conclusions?                                      difference. It would be a force multiplier, it can create a
                                 money can buy them.                                             From day one.
                                      See, that’s why we invest the top scientific brains                                                                  technology edge.”
                                 in Singapore in DSO. Because these black diamonds           Day one?
                                 are things you can’t buy.                                      Because it was so obvious! These imperatives
                                      Now, there are a number of reasons why money           were very clear.                                              was going on in recent battles. The conclusion              we must send guys abroad on scholarships.” Then
                                 cannot buy them.                                                                                                          was very clear: in future wars, you don’t have to           he sent me to Monterey in California, to the Naval
                                      One reason is they are not in existence yet. These     How did you get your information? Your concepts?              see your enemy. It is a new type of battlefield, in         Postgraduate School. There were two scholarships;
                                 are concepts, they are just ideas and formulae. You         Dr Goh was no expert!                                         electromagnetic space.                                      one was the SAF scholarship and the other was the
                                 have to create them and make them real.                          Dr Goh was an avid reader, a historian.... He observed       In 1971, he explained this to me. I think it was        SAF Fellowship which is now called the Postgraduate
                                      Another reason is that, it’s there – but the country   the Vietnam War and the wars in the Middle East.              very profound. He could see well into the future.           Award. I was the first to go. I went in 1971.
                                 that developed this capability is not going to release it        The Vietnam War showed the potential of                  That’s actually what we are trying to do, to this day.          Before I left, he called me in to tell me about his
                                 to any others. These black diamonds give it a technology    guided systems. With Precision Guided Munitions                   It shows the genius of the man!                         vision for science and technology – what became DSO
                                 edge, a secret advantage, a gap. And it is not about to     (PGM) for instance, instead of dropping thousands                                                                         National Laboratories.
                                 let anybody else close the gap. So it’s a very closely      of bombs to hit a bridge, the Americans found that            Can you tell me how you first heard about DSO,
                                 guarded secret.                                             two PGMs could do the job. So it was very clear that          or ETC?                                                     That’s amazing – and in 1971, the SAF was
                                                                                             this was the way to increase efficiency by a big order            When ETC was formed, I was still here. Dr Goh           just beginning.
                                 Because it’s a winner. It’s the Ace.                        of magnitude.                                                 told me about it. So I knew. That time, we were still            That’s why I said, “the genius of the man.”
                                      Yes! These are the biggest challenges for a                 And the need for electronic warfare (EW) became          in Pearl’s Hill, Upper Barracks. You know the two           So I was there, in his office, for one hour, just
                                 scientist. Like the black diamond that has not been         clear during the 1967 war, when the Israeli destroyer,        barracks where we started MID?                              listening. It got me all fired up. Wow! – I was going to
                                 invented yet. It’s just a concept. You have to invent       Eilat, was hit by the Soviet missile, the Styx. And after                                                                 Monterey, I was going to learn and come back to do
                                 it. Can you develop it? If you can, you are way             the war, the Israelis realised that they would lose more      Ministry of Interior and Defence?                           all these things. I got really inspired. I was probably
                                 ahead of the others.                                        ships to these PGMs – and their conclusion was they                Yes. Ministry of Interior and Defence (MID). Now       launched that day!
                                                                                             must provide an electronic shield around their ships.         it is split into two – Home Affairs and Defence. But at          So ETC was formed, 1972. It was a small,
                                 It means we can use technology instead of soldiers’         Because their missile, Gabriel, had a much shorter            that time, it was one Ministry.                             “black” group sitting in SID. But it never grew. Then
                                 lives to win our battles...                                 range than the Styx.                                               In 1965, Dr Goh was Minister for two years, then       in 1977, Goh Keng Swee gave me a task, “Do a study
                                     It will save lives. It will also make a difference to        So in order to approach the enemy close enough,          he went to the Finance Ministry, and I think it was in      on how we can leverage on defence science.” So I
                                 the outcome.                                                they needed electronic counter-measures (ECM).                1969 that he came back to MID.                              studied what was happening in UK, Australia, India
                                     This was why we started DSO. We were looking at         And they spent the time – after the 1967 war to the                I still remember his office at one corner of Pearl’s   and other countries and wrote a paper.
                                 the technology areas that would make a major difference     early ’70s to develop the first ECMs. And the next            Hill, Upper Barracks. He had some problems with his              This paper was the birth certificate of DSO!
                                 in the way we fight. So we brainstormed this question.      time they fought in 1973, they could deflect the Styx         eyes, so his room was dimly lit. So when I went to see
                                 Dr Goh was closely involved.                                missiles through the use of ECM.                              him, it was so dark, I was already shivering like, “I’m     What did you propose?
                                     You know, our numbers will never be large. The               Dr Goh was very clear. Number one, he knew               going to see God.”                                              We needed to get the number of people up,
                                 SAF will always be a very small force. So we need           history. Number two, he was watching what                          It was 1970 or 1971 that he decided, “Look,            recruit more people straight away. Then we

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                                 needed to leverage on the staff who were already              the mistakes, you know. So we really needed                   He wasn’t a hierarchical type of person. Those
                                 developed in MINDEF, on the project side. Systems
                                 Integration and Management Team (SIMT) was an
                                 obvious group. So ETC combined with SIMT, and
                                                                                               engineers and specialists.

                                                                                               Whereas on the DSO side, I mean – R&D, what are
                                                                                                                                                         days, we had bosses whom you had to bow to.
                                                                                                                                                             Not Tay Eng Soon. He was one of the guys who
                                                                                                                                                         said, “Call me Bob.” So he had more of the American
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “This term, “silver bullet”
                                 became Defence Science Organisation.                          you doing?                                                style, as opposed to the more traditional, hierarchical   is perhaps too common.
                                     This was in 1977. So that was the start.                      So there was actually competition between             type of structure.
                                                                                               DSO and the other organisations for top brains.               So actually, Dr Tay was the spark that got all the    Because it doesn’t convey
                                 What was the problem – did you feel ETC was                   And all the top brains wanted to go to DSO! I mean,       young guys going and excited about DSO.
                                 not big enough?                                               engineers preferred to do R&D rather than                     He encouraged them. “Hey, got any new ideas?”         the importance of DSO’s
                                     Very honestly, there was great envy of DSO then.          project management.                                           And he was very supportive. He was open to new
                                                                                                   So you lost out to DSO in the competition for         ideas. He didn’t say, “You do it my way, you chase        work. I prefer, “black
                                 Why?                                                          engineers.                                                my idea.”
                                      Well, you have these DSO guys at the top of                  Project management is more mundane. You                   So that was his great ability. It was a loss to DSO   diamonds.” Because what
                                 Marina Hill, thinking profound thoughts, while we             are handling contractors, dealing with black boxes,       when he went into politics. But it was the gain of the
                                 were in MINDEF, on the ground, slogging, chasing              system integration, system design, that sort              nation. When was that? 1980?                              DSO produces is very rare,
                                 after contractors. We didn’t even know what they              of thing.
                                 were doing! It was still very black!                                                                                    Yes, in 1980. Then after that, there was a time when      very precious. Yes. They
                                      If DSO did not have a godfather in Dr Goh Keng           And DSO got the top brains?                               it was Philip Yeo. Can you tell me about Philip Yeo?
                                 Swee, they would have been eaten up. They would                  Yes! The top brains.                                   He seems to be quite hands-on.                            create black diamonds of
                                 have been today’s meal! Today’s hunger is more                                                                              Philip Yeo is a doer. I asked him, “Do you do
                                 important than worrying about tomorrow.                       Is it R&D that attracts the top brains?                   planning?” He replied, “I plan with my guts.”             priceless value. Priceless,
                                      But Dr Goh nurtured and protected them.                       For people who are academically good, yes!               So he saw DSO, he could see its mission and he
                                      So we learned an important lesson there. For this sort        Doing research is a natural progression, after       said “Do!”                                                because you can’t
                                 of long-term organisation, we need strong leadership          their studies. R&D appears more challenging, more
                                 on top to nurture them, to protect them from being            exciting to them. I mean, you are on the leading          Was this a successful management style?                   buy them.”
                                 attacked from outside.                                        edge. So for the bright guys, they want to be there!          Philip Yeo was a great supporter of DSO. I
                                      For R&D, you need someone with a long-term               So it’s a challenge.                                      suppose I would say, number one, he gave DSO the              You know, the tightest and scarcest resource was
                                 view, a godfather.                                                                                                      freedom to do what they wanted.                           bright people.
                                      Because in MINDEF, at Science and Management             What did you think about DSO’s management?                    Number two, he created opportunities for them.            So he created an environment in which these
                                 Group (SMG) and at Special Projects Office (SPO),                 Dr Tay had a very strong academic reputation in       Because he could see that, by working with other          bright people could flourish. He provided DSO
                                 I was looking for engineers. We were all doing major          the university. He had a great leadership style. He led   parties and other countries, DSO could move faster. So    with the environment, which allowed them to
                                 projects! Massive projects. And the consequences              by example. He was daring. He came up with new            he opened doors.                                          create science...
                                 of bad decisions were very obvious. You could see             ideas and he was very open.                                   And he provided resources. There was no
                                                                                                                                                         question of money! If you needed a budget, you            With his backing, DSO was the right environment
                                                                                                                                                         asked him! He would ask you, “Why do you need             for science....

                                                                     “  In 1977, Goh Keng Swee gave me a task,
                                                                     “Do a study on how can we leverage on defence
                                                                                                                                                         this?” You gave a good answer, you got it. He never
                                                                                                                                                         counted pennies. You need men, you go to see him.
                                                                                                                                                         He’d get them for you. So he provided resources.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Yes. He created in DSO, the correct environment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   for science.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       If I look back and ask, “Who were the greatest
                                                                                                                                                             And he protected DSO from being attacked.             contributors to DSO?” They would be Dr Goh Keng
                                                                     science.” So I studied what was happening in UK,                                    Otherwise, the other branches or departments              Swee for being able to identify the vision. Then
                                                                                                                                                         would say, “DSO has got the men, let’s try and            Dr Tay Eng Soon for establishing the correct ethos,
                                                                     Australia, India and other countries and wrote a                                    grab them.” So there was this constant struggle           in daring to think and to do. And Philip Yeo for
                                                                     paper. This paper was the birth certificate of DSO!”                                for resources.                                            building a nurturing environment.

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                                                                                                                                                     and still – nothing. Then suddenly, “Boom!” Flowers!

                                 “If I look back and ask, “Who were the greatest                                                                     Harvest! Plant more!
                                                                                                                                                         So at a particular stage, you look at it, it’s nothing.
                                                                                                                                                     You see a lot of labour, but no result. Finally you see
                                 contributors to DSO?” They would be Dr Goh Keng                                                                     some little things growing up, you add in more
                                                                                                                                                     resources. Then harvest. After the first harvest,
                                 Swee for being able to identify the vision. Then Dr Tay                                                             plant more!

                                 Eng Soon for establishing the correct ethos, in daring                                                              Is this unique to managing science? You have to be
                                                                                                                                                     like this?
                                 to think and to do. And Philip Yeo for building a nurturing                                                             It is the nature of scientific R&D.
                                                                                                                                                         If you try to manage it like a typical bureaucratic
                                 environment. These are the three men whom I would                                                                   system, your people will be stifled.
                                                                                                                                                         They never grow above ground. If you keep
                                 say really built the organisation.”                                                                                 digging and digging, they give up. The earth is too
                                                                                                                                                     hard. Something is wrong with this earth.
                                                                                                                                                         So you have to be patient. And give people
                                     These are the three men whom I would say really      control your major resource which is your people.          permission to be free.
                                 built the organisation.                                      The other thing is money. DSO must be able
                                                                                          to move very quickly. To buy the technology that
                                 Will DSO grow more?                                      they need. And not be constrained by normal
                                     The numbers we have now in DSO is about the          government procedures which take time,
                                 maximum that our country can support.                    paperwork and so on.
                                     Because we need the balance between economic             So the EA was an organisational structure for
                                 growth and military capability development.              DSO to operate in the most efficient and effective
                                     We could hire more engineers and scientists by       manner, with flexibility of manpower and funds.
                                 paying more salary. But it will be at the expense of         But it seemed that EA was still not giving
                                 our country’s economic development. And therefore,       DSO the flexibility it required. So after careful
                                 the growth must henceforth be through leveraging         study, in 1997, we decided that DSO should
                                 of the brains in the universities and through            be corporatised.
                                 overseas collaboration.                                      So we are evolving, because the whole time
                                                                                          we are learning. If things don’t work, we change.
                                 Why did DSO become an Executive Agency (EA)
                                 and why was it corporatised later on?                    What are your thoughts about the management
                                     The idea is very clear. That DSO, when it was        of R&D?
                                 part of MINDEF, and part of the Government, was               If you look at everything that is neat and tidy,
                                 encumbered by many rules and regulations. This           it’s not science. If you look at boxes, as soon as you
                                 slowed them down.                                        start drawing boxes, you have hierarchy, you are
                                     So they needed to have flexibility. And in           “fossilising” the organisation!
                                 the main, flexibility is two things. One is manpower –        You have to “Let one thousand flowers bloom!”
                                 how to recruit manpower according to your needs.              At a certain stage you are still planting, you are
                                 And you must be able to fire them if they don’t do       ploughing, you are putting seeds in, and seeing nothing!
                                 a good job. So you must be able to manage and                 You pour water, put more seeds in, add fertiliser,

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 OUR CYBERSPACE                                                                                                                         be able not just to match, but to defeat the
                                                                                                                                        efforts of the most sophisticated hackers.
                                                                                                                                              Long before it became fashionable,
                                                                                                                                        DSO started its foray into cyberspace
                                                                                                                                                                                        of whom were from the banking sector,
                                                                                                                                                                                        requested assistance in assessing the security
                                                                                                                                                                                        of their critical systems and networks.
                                                                                                                                                                                              DSO’s widening exposure to different
                                                                                                                                        security in 1994 with just 2 engineers. These   user needs and systems over the years
                                                                                                                                        pioneering engineers studied the security       has helped build up extensive and in-depth
                                                                                                                                        of Unix systems and the susceptibility of       knowledge and understanding in a wide range
                                      Origins and History                              data legitimately, in order to capture this      computers to computer viruses which were        of systems and user needs. Combined
                                      From its origins in the Second World             data or to alter it to their advantage. We       then beginning to pose a serious problem        with its significant hands-on experience
                                      War when it was invented to help in              have seen that some qualifications have          to all computer users. The importance of        with actual mission-critical systems, and
                                      calculating missile trajectories and to          been offered for sale, not just with fake        cybersecurity was soon recognised and the       well-endowed internal resources in terms
                                      decipher enemy codes and ciphers, the            certificates, but with the subsequent            fledgling group expanded gradually. The         of people, systems, and equipment, DSO
                                      electronic digital computer has become           alteration of the database of the organisation   group expanded its expertise into many          is well-placed and hence frequently called
                                      an indispensable and ubiquitous adjunct          offering the qualifications, which could have    different operating systems, hardware           upon to tackle interesting and challenging
                                      to modern life, entering into almost every       meant that their sites had been broken into.     platforms, applications, and network            jobs from diverse users.
                                      aspect of our daily routines. From email               In addition, the increasing prevalence     protocols, and gained in-depth understanding          In 1997, DSO’s cyberspace security
                                      to telephone bills to income tax returns,        of financial crimes involving the illegal        of how networked and mission-critical systems   team won a Defence Technology Prize
                                      information and data touching every detail       altering of computer records has made            can fail.                                       (Team), a national level award and
                                      of our private and public lives are processed,   computer security an over-riding issue in                                                        numerous DSO Excellence Awards.
                                      stored and transmitted by computers and          every system in which the integrity of the       Broadening Perspectives                         DSO’s staff members serve on national
                                      the networks which connect them.                 system and its data is of paramount                   When DSO was corporatised as DSO           IT security fora to provide technical inputs
                                            The importance and ubiquity of             importance. The advent of the Internet           National Laboratories in 1997, the Computer     for policy formulation and have presented
                                      computer data has also increased our             and cyberspace, within which hackers             Security Laboratory (CSL), as it is now         their research results in overseas
                                      concerns over the security and privacy of        can launch attacks against any computer          known, started to take on additional            workshops. There are also several
                                      this data. The general public is increasingly    connected to the Internet, has further           assignments outside MINDEF/SAF. The             research collaborations with foreign R&D
                                      worried about what happens to their              heightened world-wide fears about computer       move exposed them to many other kinds           organisations on information assurance.
                                      personal details in computers, especially        vulnerability and security. The fact that the    of requirements in government systems
                                      when unscrupulous website operators              best computer hackers are at the leading         and commercial systems, significantly           Test Bed for Cybersecurity Studies
                                      may not hesitate to sell such personal           edge of computer security technology,            broadening their perspectives and their              Over the years, DSO has built up a
                                      data. Worse still, there may be hackers          makes the task of defending systems against      understanding of cybersecurity. In addition     substantial test bed for studying cyberspace
                                      lurking everywhere, waiting to enter             attacks by such hackers a very difficult one,    to various ministries and statutory boards      security. Like most test beds, DSO’s test
                                      our own personal computers or the                demanding that those responsible for             with regulatory interests in cybersecurity,     bed consists of PCs and server-class
                                      institutional computers which hold our           computer security (or cyber-security) must       a number of large corporate clients, some       machines running diverse operating systems

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                                                                                                        .   Cybersecurity test bed.

                                                                                                                                       assistants (PDA) such as iPAQs and               which DSO staff enjoy a great deal, as every
                                                                                                                                       Palms (running Palm OS, Embedded                 task is new and challenging in its own way,
                                                                                                                                       Linux, Windows CE), interesting hand phones      and gives them an opportunity to apply their
                                                                                                                                       (WAP, GPRS, Bluetooth), Bluetooth                experience and knowledge in cyberspace
                                                                                                                                       development kits, 802.11 wireless LAN            security R&D, often in surprising and fun ways.
                                                                                                                                       cards and access points, and tiny Apache/              DSO has also developed an experimental
                                                                                                                                       Linux servers the size of a Rubik’s cube.        cyberspace intrusion detection system for
                                                                                                                                                                                        its users, the development of which helped
                                                                                                                                       Penetration Testing and Intrusion Detection      DSO to appreciate the users’ environment
                                                                                                                                             Many of DSO’s clients are concerned        and to understand the relative importance
                                                                                                                                       with the vulnerability of their computer         of diverse user requirements. The project
                                                                                                                                       systems to penetration and intrusion by          was very challenging and strengthened the
                                                                                                                                       hackers and other unwelcome visitors. One        capability of DSO staff, making them a
                                                                                                                                       of the most interesting and exciting services    more matured and focused group. Much
                                                                                                                                       offered by DSO to key users is penetration       inspiration and many insights for DSO’s
                                                                                                                                       testing of their computer systems. By            current and future work also came from
                                                                                                                                       demonstrating in a hands-on fashion how          their exposure to users’ systems.
                                                                                                                                       security weaknesses can lead to loss of
                                                                                                                                       revenue/reputation or mission failure, the       Forensic Analysis of Cyber-attacks
                                                                                                                                       client can be shown the possible impact                The technical knowledge gained by DSO
                                                                                                                                       which such weaknesses can have on                in cybersecurity has turned out to be useful
                                                                                                                                       his business.                                    on many fronts. With the increasing frequency
                                                                                                                                             The key steps in penetration testing       of intrusions into computer systems by
                                      and applications. However, unlike most test     examine not just the local security issues       are information gathering on the client’s        hackers, DSO’s cyberspace security team
                                      beds, this one includes a mini-Internet         in LAN environment, but also the global          system and the planning of the penetration       began to wonder if they could re-construct
                                      to mimic the actual network interaction         security issues such as routing protocols        test itself. After the planning, a hands-on      the actions of a cyber attacker in an intrusion
                                      between home users and the Internet, and        and the security impact of broadband             demonstration is conducted on the client’s       incident. It turns out that most such incidents
                                      between ISPs (Internet Service Providers).      technology that can go all the way to the        system. If this is successful, the next step     do leave trails which provide clues to what
                                      These facilities include high-end routers       end user at home.                                is the validation of the results and the final   was done. To extract such evidence from the
                                      and switches, a cable modem head end,                 Besides the more heavy-duty equipment      recommendations to be presented to the           hard disks of compromised computer systems
                                      an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber          not found in a typical office, DSO has an        client, which give details of the measures the   efficiently requires in-depth knowledge of
                                      Line) head end, as well as wired and wireless   increasingly large collection of technological   client should take to strengthen his system.     the systems, up-to-date technical knowledge,
                                      LAN environments. This enables DSO to           “toys” for evaluation: personal digital                Penetration testing is one of the tasks    a fertile (and patient) investigative mindset

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                                      and the relevant cyber tools.                   his tracks by deleting the trails and          The Future
                                            In the recent past, DSO has assisted      other incriminating data left behind by              DSO’s focus for the next few years is      in addition to its traditional focus on defence,
                                      various parties with forensic analysis and      the intrusion.                                 on the protection of critical infrastructure.    as almost every sector of our social and
                                      investigations of cyber intrusions. In some           In the process, DSO learned more         This work addresses the security issues          commercial life, including the financial,
                                      cases evidence was initially overlooked but     about how to configure and design computer     which will affect the day-to-day life of every   health and utility sectors, depends on the
                                      was uncovered by DSO staff when they took       systems and architectures which will make      Singaporean. The 11 September incidents          security of its computer systems which
                                      a second look at the data. With skill and       the forensic investigation of a cyberspace     in the US, and the high profile cyberspace       ensures their continued viability. We must
                                      patience, they were able to reconstruct the     attack more effective and efficient. This      hacker attacks, show that things cannot be       do all we can to ensure that Singapore can
                                      trails of some attacks even when the            might help to discourage hackers from          taken for granted. DSO expects its future        survive should her critical infrastructures
                                      perpetrator had made attempts to cover          selecting such systems for an attack.          work to take it to new and exciting domains,     ever come under cyber-attack.

                                        A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CYBER WARRIOR

                                        DSO’s Cyber Lifestyle
                                             CSL enjoys and thrives in the
                                        diverse views and strengths of its
                                        members who are drawn from different
                                        disciplines such as computer science,
                                        computer engineering, electronics
                                        engineering, mechanical engineering,
                                        among others. A good number of its
                                        members are trained in leading foreign
                                        universities. The script on the back of the
                                        CSL T-shirt sums up their work attitude
                                        informally: “I don’t work here. I am just
                                        doing my hobby.” The accompanying
                                        sequence of pictures gives some flavour
                                        of the life-style of CSL staff as they
                                        sweat through a challenging project,
                                        and the joy and camaraderie among
                                        them as they overcome these challenges              A day of a cyber warrior in CSL                However, success does not come                   Once a full understanding of a                     With the completion of each
                                        successfully.                                 always begins and ends in front of a           easily most of the time. In fact, to study       subject is obtained or a rare discovery is         assignment, the discovery of a cutting-edge

                                                                                      monitor. Armed with a passion for computer     a single vulnerability, rounds of testing        made, this knowledge will be transferred           solution, or the achievement of understanding
                                                                                      security, the warrior never works according    have to be conducted, topped off with            to their security assessment tool bag,             a particular problem, celebration often
                                                                                      to the hours of the day. Very often, work      whiteboard analyses, discussions,                which becomes the “secret edge” that               follows by means of a feast with the team.
                                                                                      carries on late into the night and even into   exchanges of ideas, in-depth research            distinguishes them from the rest of                True team spirit indeed.
                                                                                      the wee hours of the morning. As long as       and most importantly, teamwork.                  the market.
                                                                                      a problem exists, they rack their brains to
                                                                                      understand, examine, verify and eventually,
                                                                                      overcome it.

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                                      The Role of C3I Systems                            to their troops in the front lines, often two
                                      The history of warfare can be seen as a            at a time so that if one was killed the
                                      history of increasing complexity, from the         other would get through (perhaps an early
                                      relatively simple situation of cavemen             form of redundancy in communications!).

                                      engaging in battle with sticks and stones,               The telephone, with its ability to pass
                                      to today’s advanced battlefields with their        messages through wires, was quickly
                                      computerised and networked command and             adopted for battlefield communications,              Simulation-based test bed facility for experimentation.
                                      control systems. History has clearly shown         and World War I signallers would have to lay
                                      that the ability of an army’s commanders           telephone cables right up to the trenches
                                      to keep track of what is happening on the          in the front line, and re-lay them when         and continue to do so, most recently in US        to formulate sound decisions based on
                                      battlefield, and to transmit their commands        they were cut by shell fire. Radio further      operations in Afghanistan.                        such information, as well as to transmit
                                      to their forces quickly and accurately, is often   transformed the command and control                   Artificial satellites in earth orbit have   their commands and instructions efficiently
                                      more important than superiority in numbers         situation in the battlefield dramatically,      vastly expanded the scope of such operations,     to their forces. The ability to collect, collate,
                                      or firepower.                                      giving commanders the ability to instantly      with observational satellites such as SPOT 5      process and disseminate information
                                            In the days when battlefield information     gather information and intelligence, and        and IKONOS now able to offer images of any        efficiently and accurately in a military
                                      had to be transmitted without the aid of radio     to transmit instructions to their forces at     part of the earth’s surface to an astonishing     situation is now generally referred to as
                                      waves or electronics, commanders had to            a distance instantly.                           resolution of 1 metre.                            C3I (Command, Control, Communications
                                      rely on their own eyes and ears, calling on              The use of aircraft not only for combat         The march of technology has certainly       and Intelligence). C3I brings together
                                      the aid of messengers relying on their own         but also for intelligence gathering presented   played a key role in the escalation of the        real-time and non real-time capabilities
                                      feet or on horses, and signallers using flags      commanders with opportunities to gather         pace and complexity of warfare, to the point      in the convergent technologies of
                                      and flares to send a message to their              information about enemy strength,               when the winning of a war is now critically       computers, networking, multi-media and
                                      forces who were beyond earshot. Eventually,        disposition, and movements which would          dependent on the ability to gather tactical       telecommunications, in order to achieve
                                      flags became too dangerous and exposed for         have been almost impossible to obtain by        and strategic information accurately and          decision superiority for the side that can
                                      signallers to use them for communications.         other means. Spy planes, both manned            quickly. Throughout the history of warfare,       exploit these technologies more effectively.
                                      In World War I, commanders would use their         and unmanned, have made significant             as we have seen, commanders have had                    The difference such a capability can
                                      signallers as “runners” to bring messages          contributions to intelligence gathering,        to increasingly rely on technology in order       make to modern warfare is vividly illustrated

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                                     by an incident which took place during the    develop our C3I capabilities becomes            starting with interfaces among C2 systems,     on the more complex and challenging
                                     US counter-terrorism war in Afghanistan       more and more critical.                         leading eventually to the development of       development of a Command Post C2 system.
                                     recently. An US Marine spotter on horseback                                                   a complete platform-based C2 system.           This system extracts essential information
                                     on top of a ridge was being hotly pursued     Building up of C3I Systems Capability           A generic illustration is provided in the      from other platform-based C2 systems,
                                     by Taliban forces. He estimated that it             The building up of a C3I capability in    accompanying diagram. The C2 system takes      providing a more complete picture of the
                                     would take his pursuers ten minutes to        DSO may be traced back to the setting up        in onboard sensor data such as platform        larger battlefield under the command of
                                     reach his position. He therefore called       of the Defence Software Department (DSD)        position and speed, and information through    higher level force commanders. DSO also
                                     for an air strike on his position before      in DSO in 1984, which was a MINDEF effort       other interfaces. Through the man-machine      started using ruggedised commercial
                                     he rode away. Ten minutes later, the          to centralise all software expertise in DSO.    interface, the commander can select            off-the-shelf (COTS) items and has retained
                                     strike arrived and swiftly took out the       DSD was able to capitalise on the accumulated   different modes and priorities as the          this approach as far as is practicable. The
                                     enemy pursuing him. Such precise              experience of previous software systems         battle develops, to perform data fusion,       adoption of open architecture, Ethernet
                                     engagement was possible only because          acquired by MINDEF. They were generally         identification, and tracking of various        protocol and object-oriented methodology
                                     of enhanced battlefield awareness             hard to maintain and poorly documented. To      platforms involved in the battle. The system   greatly facilitated integration with COTS.
                                     and decision making brought about             build up a pool of young software engineers,    also presents the commander with the                 Over the years, DSO has scored several
                                     by superior C3I.                              DSD used the numerous software acquisition      overall battlefield situation through the      successes in building up its capability in
                                           The fundamental C3I functions are:      projects to create software engineering         man-machine interface.                         the fusion of data and information from
                                     . The collection, collation, processing       On-the-Job-Training (OJT) opportunities
                                       and display of information on the           with MINDEF’s C3I contractors.
                                       status of the theatre of operations and           This enabled DSO to build up domain
                                       of the friendly and hostile forces.         knowledge in command and control (C2)
                                     . The support of operational planning         systems and to learn best practice skills in
                                       and decision-making.                        software engineering from the contractors.
                                     . The communication of information            DSO engineers learnt that software
                                       between commanders and their forces.        engineering is not just programming but
                                           C3I systems may include sensors,        should also cover systems analysis, design,
                                     computers and networks, graphical             coding and testing. These pioneering software
                                     displays and data communications links.       engineers played an important role in
                                     They are in effect specialised defence        supporting subsequent software engineering
                                     software systems.                             efforts in DSO, and in establishing various
                                           As the trend towards technologically-   important standards for software acquisition,
                                     based warfare dependent on information        development and support.                        Platform Based C2 System Architecture          different sources, with potentially important
                                     and communications systems becomes                  Capabilities in platform based C2               The successful completion of these       applications for a new generation of
                                     increasingly evident, the need to further     systems development were built up,              earlier projects encouraged DSO to take        C3I systems.

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                                                                                                                                                NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING

                                                                                                                                                            nother capability that has been built up is Natural Language Processing

                                                                                                                                                A           (NLP). NLP is an important branch of artificial intelligence (AI) which seeks
                                                                                                                                                            to build software systems capable of understanding natural human language.
                                                                                                                                                            This may appear to be a trivial task, as it seems that humans do not have
                                                                                                                                                            much difficulty understanding the speech or text of other humans
                                                                                                                                                expressed in a language which they know, such as English or Chinese. In actual fact,
                                                                                                                                                the task of making a computer understand text as naturally expressed in a human
                                                                                                                                                language is extremely difficult, as natural human languages are full of logical
                                                                                                                                                inconsistencies which we as humans are able to decipher because we have had years
   TARGET IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM                                                                                                                 of experience in dealing with these inconsistencies and other subtleties of natural
                                                                                                                                                speech and text.
                                                                                                                                                      If NLP can be made to function as intended, many advantages would accrue,
                uring a military operation, information and data        in the diagram), each acting as an “identification expert” such         such as our being able to communicate with computers using natural human language

   D            may be coming in from a wide variety of sources.
                If all this information and data are input into a C3I
                system, there is the problem of combining and
                fusing the data together so that all the different
   information sources can be made to reinforce each other
   meaningfully in order to build up a picture which is useful. Data
   fusion is the technology of combining such disparate data into
                                                                        that each module provides an independent assessment of
                                                                        (or belief in) the possible identity (hostile, friend or civilian) of
                                                                        the detected target. These independent assessments (which
                                                                        are the outputs labelled “bel” for “belief”) are then combined
                                                                        through a “belief combination module” (the module labelled
                                                                        “evidence combination”). This combination module incorporates
                                                                        algorithms first developed for MYCIN, the first Medical Expert
                                                                                                                                                and not some strictly structured computer language difficult for the layman to master.
                                                                                                                                                In reviewing the various existing approaches to NLP, it was determined that the
                                                                                                                                                so-called corpus-based approach to NLP has the most potential to scale up to handle
                                                                                                                                                real-world human text, even though such an approach is still relatively new. Traditional
                                                                                                                                                NLP techniques involving the manual crafting of rules and knowledge bases designed
                                                                                                                                                to understand simple text, are difficult to scale up to handle real-world human text
                                                                                                                                                and speech.
   a coherent and meaningful whole.                                     System, which made medical decisions based on various                         Using the corpus-based approach, the NLP tasks of parsing and word sense

         Data fusion as a technology area covers many different         data inputs. The application of various artificial intelligence (AI)    disambiguation were tackled. In parsing, the objective is to break up or classify the
   levels. At the lowest level, it encompasses the synchronisation      algorithms into a fusion engine for object identification               words of a sentence into its constituent parts like noun phrase and verb phrase. Word
   in time and space of the incoming data and the extraction            has been a very good learning experience for the AI                     sense disambiguation, on the other hand, deals with identifying the “meaning” of a
   of structured information from unstructured data like text           engineers involved.                                                     word in a given sentence, especially when that word may have two or more completely
   and imagery. Other levels of data fusion deal with issues like                                                                               different meanings. For instance, the word “interest” in “The bank pays a high interest
   tracking, classification and identification of data from                                                                                     for your savings.” has a different meaning from the word “interest” in “John has an interest
   multiple sensors. The highest level deals with intent assessment                                                                             in many subjects”.
   from data processed and analysed at the lower levels.                                                                                              In parsing, we utilise a statistical method known as the Hidden Markov Method (HMM)
   Data fusion thus helps the commander to deal with the vast                                                                                   to learn the “rules” of grammatical structure, given a corpus or body of existing real-world
   amount of data flowing into a C3I system and to make sense of                                                                                texts. The words in the real-world texts are tagged to reflect their grammatical function.
   this information.                                                                                                                            The HMM method is then used to learn the “grammatical rules” from the statistics of
         One application of data fusion technology was in                                                                                       the tagged words in the real-world corpus. For example, from the corpus, the learning
   target identification, as illustrated in the accompanying diagram.                                                                           method can gather the statistics of how articles such as “a”, “an”, “the” precede nouns
   This involves the collection and processing of the information                                                                               like “cat” and “dog”, and hence better understand the function of these articles. This
   from several different sources. The key idea was to have                                                                                     method is also language independent and has been successfully tested on English
   a number of software modules (evidence sources 1, 2, 3 and 4                                                                                 and another language. A US Patent for the HMM approach to Parsing has been granted.
                                                                                                                                                      Word sense disambiguation (WSD) is a difficult problem given the many words
                                                                                                                                                with multiple meanings or senses and the vast corpus of real-world text from which

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                                                                                                                                            Future C3I Applications
                                             these senses may need to be drawn. The first step was to learn from a sense-tagged                   It is virtually certain that warfare in         The key technology components for
                                             corpus of sufficient but manageable size. Such a sense-tagged corpus is not easily             the future will be information-centric and      the realisation of such an autonomous
                                             available, but one was built up using NUS student manpower. With this sense-tagged             networked-based. One key enabler which          co-operative system include decentralised
                                             corpus, the approach to WSD was formulated as a classification problem, i.e. given a           can bring this about is autonomous              data fusion across a network of sensors,
                                             particular word ,the possible senses that word could take were retrieved from the corpus.      co-operative system technology. An              agent negotiation, and co-operative
                                             The results achieved by this approach were impressive compared to other non-corpus             autonomous co-operative system utilises         autonomous robots for mobile platforms.
                                             based approaches and resulted in a DSO staff member being invited as a keynote                 advanced algorithms to coordinate the           These concepts will be validated utilising
                                             speaker in a prestigious international workshop: SIGLEX 97 (Special Interest Group             problem-solving behaviour of many different     modelling and simulation technology. A
                                             under the Association of Computational Linguistics). A key paper on the                        software agents representing various entities   major simulation test bed will be set up

                                             corpus-based approach to semantic interpretation published in the Artificial                   connected to the network.                       in 2002, based on high level architecture
                                             Intelligence Magazine was also co-authored. Given the many requests for access to                    For example, in a search and rescue       (HLA), a high level protocol for linking
       An integrated suite of NLP software   DSO’s sense-tagged corpus from other researchers, it has decided to contribute the             operation, the utilisation and coordination     different simulators.
       developed by DSO.                     corpus to the US-based Linguistic Data Consortium.                                             of multiple robots through a communications           The coming decades of this new century
                                                   This successful research result was used in other applications, such as an application   network will result in searches which are       will definitely bring many more new challenges
                                             to automatically categorise an incoming document based on its content in which the             shorter yet more extensive. In another          for DSO. Overcoming these challenges and
                                             corpus-based approach was utilised, to learn the rules for categorising incoming               scenario, a number of autonomous sensors        creating the C3I systems of the next generation,
                                             documents. This categorisation engine is called “CLASSI” and a paper describing it             with different capabilities, which are          such as the network-enabled knowledge-
                                             received a prize for the “best non-student paper” in the SIGIR (Special Interest Group         coordinated by being networked together,        based infrastructure, will be an exciting
                                             on Information Retrieval) 97 Conference. CLASSI was also benchmarked on the                    will be able to perform better and              and daunting task which will demand all
                                             Information Routing Sub-task at TREC-8 in 1999 sponsored partly by DARPA, obtaining            more efficiently.                               of DSO’s creativity, innovation and daring.
                                             the top two scores in this sub-task. The CLASSI engine was also licensed to a local
                                             company for commercial exploitation.
                                                   Another interesting application was the use of NLP for question answering (QA).
                                             In a traditional search engine (similar to engines such as Google on the Internet), the
                                             user types in a keyword and the engine retrieves a set of documents which contains
                                             the keyword. For QA, NLP techniques were employed to handle questions like “Who is
                                             the President of Singapore?”. The NLP module analyses the words in the question to
                                             provide another level of information besides these words. For example, DSO’s QA

                                             module would know that the question, “Who is the President of Singapore“, is asking
                                             for a person (from the word “who”), and would also know that “President” is a title and
                                             “Singapore” is a country. The QA engine will attempt to return the sentence within the
                                             target document that contains the answer to the question. This is more precise than
                                             what current search engines provide i.e. just the document itself.

                                                                                                                                             .   Experimenting with autonomous
                                                                                                                                                 co-operative robots.

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 WARFARE                                                                                                                                ways. Universal computer connectivity and
                                                                                                                                        widespread Internet access have indeed
                                                                                                                                        made the network central to computing,
                                                                                                                                        such that it may be said that the network
                                                                                                                                                                                        the Ethernet, one of the key enabling
                                                                                                                                                                                        technologies of local area networking,
                                                                                                                                                                                        has pointed out that the usefulness of
                                                                                                                                                                                        a network is proportional to the square
                                                                                                                                        (not the computer), is the system itself.       of the number of nodes in the network,
                                                                                                                                              With wireless devices adding              which also explains why the Internet’s
                                                                                                                                        mobility to connectivity, we are now an         power has increased so dramatically
                                      The modern electronic digital computer,           in splendid isolation from each other,          integral part of the network at all times,      as the number of nodes world-
                                      so much a part of contemporary life, was          no matter how powerful they may be,             and “network centric computing” has now         wide escalated.
                                      born in the midst of the greatest armed           cannot derive the kind of synergistic           irrevocably replaced the “platform-centric            By allowing military information
                                      conflict mankind has ever seen (and               capabilities they gain when they can            computing” of an earlier age.                   systems and their combat unit
                                      hopefully will never see).                        communicate with each other, or as                    This networking revolution is also        counterparts to link up with each other
                                           While the exact origins of the electronic    we prefer to say nowadays, when they            causing a paradigm shift in the way military    and share data to form an intelligent
                                      digital computer are unclear, it is clear         are networked.                                  planners think about the conduct of future      network, with operational and logistic
                                      that the first such machines or their inventors         The mother of all computer                operations. The essence of this on-going        data being exchanged in real time, it is
                                      were very closely associated with military        networks today, the ubiquitous Internet,        Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is about   entirely possible that a similar network
                                      applications. This is perhaps inevitable as       was born in the late 1960s as a result of       the intelligent exploitation of the relevant    multiplier effect can be effectively
                                      all these machines were born just before          collaboration between civilian computer         technologies towards, not just making           unleashed and harnessed.
                                      or during the Second World War.                   scientists and the then ARPA or Advanced        weapon systems smarter, smaller and faster,           The implementation of a network
                                           Konrad Zuse’s Z3 was funded by the           Research Projects Agency, formed by             but leveraging on the power of networking       centric architecture will enable integrated
                                      Third Reich and was used for airframe             the US Department of Defense (DOD) in           to multiply their effectiveness many-fold.      warfare by incorporating three essential
                                      stress analysis. John Atanasoff and his           response to the then USSR’s launching                 The Internet derives its power from       and critical elements of war fighting:
                                      graduate student Clive Berry had barely           of its Sputnik earth satellite. This fledging   being a “network of networks”; likewise, a      . An Information Grid or network
                                      completed the ABC (the Atanasoff–Berry            network, or ARPANET, which was                  “system of systems” based on a hierarchy          providing a command, control,
                                      Computer) when Atanasoff abandoned                originally intended to link up scientists       of networks could enable a military force         communication and decision
                                      his machine to work on physics research           working in academia and research                to achieve dominance in “battlespace              support backbone.
                                      for the US Navy. John Mauchly and Presper         institutes with DOD researchers, has            awareness”, giving it supremacy in the          . Sensor Grids which interconnect
                                      Eckert built their legendary ENIAC to             now vastly expanded into today’s                control of the theatre of operations.             far-flung sensors designed to
                                      calculate ballistic missile trajectories,         Internet with its millions of websites.               “The Network is the Computer”,              pin-point the enemy.
                                      while Alan Turing designed Colossus                     Networking and the Internet in            so runs the slogan of Sun Microsystems.         . Engagement Grids which direct
                                      to crack a German cipher tougher than             particular, have made connectivity an           The Internet appears to reinforce                 a variety of weapons systems or
                                      the famous Enigma code.                           integral and essential part of computing,       this concept.                                     shooters towards their targets.
                                            However, computers working                  and influenced our lives in countless                 Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of                   A networked force will thus have

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                                      the capability to dynamically interconnect     microwaves, sound waves both in the            heterogeneous physical networks.               altered by their software, which leverage
                                      sensors, shooters and decision-makers          audible and inaudible regions, magnetic              DSO has been conducting research         on recent advances in field programmable
                                      and enable them to collaborate and share       fields, and chemical and biological agents.    into wireless communications systems for       electronics and digital signal processors.
                                      information, knowledge and resources.                 By networking many sensors together,    the battlefield environment since the                This ability to change function
                                      A conventional force which becomes             the following advantages can be gained:        early 1990s.                                   through software or programmability,
                                      networked-enabled and knowledge-based          . The real time combination of exchange              Starting at the physical layer, work     will facilitate faster and lower cost
                                      can greatly increase its combat power             data from different sensors which can       has been progressing on wireless network       adaptations of programmable
                                      through increased system awareness,               improve the overall reliability and         system architecture, communications            communications systems. This will
                                      interoperability and synchronisation              accuracy of the signals.                    protocols, and waveform and algorithm          enable them to serve the wide variety of
                                      among its elements, giving improved            . The ability to activate and control          designs which can provide:                     system platforms one can expect to be
                                      lethality and survivability as well as            remote sensors.                             . High data throughput rates with good         utilised in an IKC2 infrastructure.
                                      increased operational speed.                   . Enhancing the resistance of the                spectral and power efficiency.                     DSO has also configured and tested
                                            DSO has been working on the                 sensors to interference from deliberately   . Efficient multiple-access schemes            datalink systems (systems which transmit
                                      enabling technologies which are critical          transmitted signals (i.e. jamming).           which can support a multi-user and           data to and fro) in field experiments. More
                                      to integrated warfare since its early days.    . Decreasing the probability of                  multi-data-rate environment.                 advanced versions of these systems with
                                      Various system concepts are also being            interception of sensor information by       . Robust protection against the                higher processing power and the flexibility
                                      actively studied in the areas of distributed      an enemy.                                     degradation of signal channels               to enable higher data rates, as well as
                                      sensors, automation of information                                                              for highly dynamic platforms                 superior performance against channel
                                      processing, correlation and fusion with        Communications Networks                          like aircraft.                               degradation due to interference, are
                                      distributed signal sources and dynamic               A common network architecture            . Good electronic-counter-counter-             being developed.
                                      management and dissemination of                which meshes dispersed sensors,                  measure (ECCM) performance which                   DSO is also working on the
                                      information. The next step is to combine       decision support nodes and weapons               includes a robust defence against            challenging area of ad hoc networks.
                                      and integrate all of these technologies –      systems, is the key to achieving an              intentional and unintentional interference   Such networks have self-organising
                                      sensors, shooters and computer systems         effective IKC2 framework. DSO has the            (anti-jamming) and low probability of        architectures (i.e. systems which can
                                      – to enable the SAF to work in an integrated   vision of developing a secure, highly            signal intercept (LPI).                      evolve their configurations by themselves
                                      knowledge-based command and control            reliable and tightly integrated common               DSO’s hardware research effort           as and when necessary) which are rapidly
                                      (IKC2) framework.                              data communications system with the            has been focused on the design of              deployable and adaptable to the traffic
                                                                                     capability to seamlessly combine voice,        technological building blocks which can        and mobility patterns encountered by
                                      Sensors                                        data and video information. This               be used in a variety of applications and       the network nodes.
                                            DSO has also been working on             connectivity should be able to link            communications systems. Towards this end,            Ad hoc networks do not need a
                                      advanced sensors which are sensitive to        various communications systems                 DSO has been working on programmable           fixed infrastructure or centralised control.
                                      light in the visible as well as infrared and   operating at different frequencies and         modems (MOdulator-DEModulator) and             Nodes in ad-hoc networks are highly
                                      ultraviolet regions, radio waves,              across different transmission media in         radios whose characteristics can be            mobile and the topology (i.e. the way the

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                                      nodes interconnect with each other)               Through various field experiments
                                      changes rapidly. Other important            and close partnership with their users,       DYNAMIC RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
                                      characteristics of such networks include    DSO has gained a great deal of experience
                                      peer to peer mode of operation (each        in designing wireless ad hoc networks which
                                      node communicating with the other           can achieve high efficiency in channel             n a battlefield situation, we may have many resources,           capabilities, for example on the basis of target position relative
                                      nodes on an equal basis, without any
                                      node dominating), multi-hop routing,
                                      and adapting to changes in the
                                                                                  utilisation, adaptability to fast changing
                                                                                  conditions, reliability and timeliness in
                                                                                  data delivery, and high survivability.        I    including sensors and weapons, providing real-time services
                                                                                                                                     to the commanders. Sensors provide real-time services to
                                                                                                                                     sense and detect the environment, while weapons provide
                                                                                                                                                                                                      to weapon, target range etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           The optimisation and allocation of the resources to the targets
                                                                                                                                                                                                      are determined in accordance with an algorithm which will

                                      propagation environment.                          Such a capability in the design of      real-time services to engage incoming targets. The concept of         search among all the possible combinations of resource to target
                                           DSO has performed many studies         communications networks is vital to           dynamic resource management is the provision of a means of            allocations, for the optimum allocation in accordance with the
                                      including the modelling and simulation      providing support to DSO’s users as           mediating between all these resources so as to match them more        given conditions. In a real situation, this should result in each
                                      of suitable communications protocols (the   they undergo the transition to a              efficiently to one another.                                           weapon being allocated to the target which is most suited to its
                                      manner in which communications systems      network-enabled infrastructure.                      Borrowing an idea from the Internet boom era,          range and firepower.
                                      acknowledge each other) which can be                                                      some companies were set up to provide a kind of
                                      readily configured for different                                                          “matchmaking” service among service providers and service
                                      operational scenarios.                                                                    demanders. Typically, the model used was a kind of bidding
                                                                                                                                concept, with the service providers bidding to provide a service to
                                                                                                                                the service demanders in the most cost-effective manner.
                                                                                                                                       Using the dynamic resource management concept, the
                                                                                                                                targets detected by sensors and confirmed by data fusion
                                                                                                                                methods may be seen as service demanders, while the
                                                                                                                                resources such as the weapons are service providers. The
                                                                                                                                targets and the resources are modelled in the system as
                                                                                                                                software agents, i.e. as entities which can act independently. The
                                                                                                                                software agent for a target monitors its own need to use the
                                                                                                                                resources and submits a “request for bid” for a resource if
                                                                                                                                it decides that it needs to do so. The software agent for
                                                                                                                                a resource, such as a weapon, contains knowledge of its
                                                                                                                                capabilities and is able to assess bids based on these

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                             The future
                                   Integrated warfare derives its power
                             from the networking of dispersed forces
                             through an enabling information backbone
                             which gives full access to smart sensors,
                             and enhances the precision and speed of
                             response of shooters. DSO is continuing its
                             drive towards the mastery of the critical
                             enabling technologies necessary for the
                             realisation of a nimble, knowledge-based,
                             network-enabled and integrated fighting
                             force operating in air, land and sea, which
                             is capable of dynamic engagement in all
                             directions and at all times.

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