June 2, 2015, Stafford, Va. – Marines from the Marine Corps Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Enterprise Accelerator team, or MCISREA, introduced a new program dubbed “Tellus” to the director of Marine Corps Intelligence at the Mantech Spaces in Stafford, May 29, 2015.
The team aimed to gain approval and funding from the director for future development of their software program.
“Tellus is a data collection software that uses Wi-Fi to transfer real-time reports such as improvised explosive device attacks or enemy ambushes,” said Jennifer Edgin, chief technician officer, Headquarters Marine Corps Intelligence. “Instead of using a radio to report your location while being shot at, all the information you need to send would be a click away.”
The team, consisting of intelligence Marines, designers and developers, showcased the capabilities and effectiveness of Tellus by creating an interactive map of a battlefield in real time.
“Right now we are overwhelmed with data and it can be hard to search through it all. With this program, everything we need to know is quickly and easily accessible,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Groen, director of Marine Corps Intelligence. “This was something that was made by the Marines and it has an endless amount of applications.”
Alert, inform, and react are the basis of the Tellus program. It allows users to quickly and easily report essential enemy elements by using an intuitive, icon-based application that requires almost no data entry, but contains enough information to allow recipients to make informed decisions.
“Tellus will allow higher and lower commands to see, change, and update missions as they happen,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Metzger, an image analyst from 2nd Intelligence Battalion.
“For example, imagine a convoy is headed out on a patrol and they run into an IED a few miles out. They can place a marker on their map and instantly tell oncoming patrols about the danger area, inform higher commands, and call for support if needed,” added Metzger.
The Marine Corps has several methods of reporting enemy activities, allowing each unit in the Marine Corps to have their own way of reporting. Though these methods may be effective for individual units, the process can leave room for human error.
“Tellus will provide all the units with the same information and we will no longer need to worry about the systems not working together,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Davila an accelerator team member with the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity. “With this information, logistics can re-route convoys, send quicker medical evacuation, allow for faster response and give headquarters the ability to warn patrols about new information on the enemy.”
According to Metzger, there are 150 upgrades that can be added to the Tellus program as mission requirements and capabilities change in the future.