Joint Interoperable Operator Network (JION)
DoD is implementing the Joint Airborne Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Architecture (JASA) to ensure commonality and interoperability among SIGINT airborne surveillance and reconnaissance systems. The Joint Airborne SIGINT Architecture and its components, the Joint SIGINT Avionics Family (JSAF) and the Joint Interoperable Operator Network, provided a template to help build the network centric Unified Cryptologic Architecture. Joint Interoperable Operator Network (JION) is the SIGINT Working Integrated Product Team (WIPT) for the DASD/C3I Distributed Common Ground Systems (DCGS) effort.
The Joint Interoperable Operator Network is a subset of the global signals intelligence (SIGINT) enterprise. It concurrently serves warfighters, intelligence producers, and decision-makers at various echelons and locations. The goal of JION is to create a global airborne SIGINT network that includes all new generation and existing airborne SIGINT systems. It will enable connectivity and interoperability among all components of the airborne SIGINT reconnaissance system, and will exchange services with other tactical and national SIGINT networks, IMINT networks, and MASINT systems.
The JION effort was initiated in response to the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Steering Committee (DARSC) direction to the Services to modernize all airborne SIGINT systems, including ground stations and airborne operator positions, to make them compatible with the Joint Airborne SIGINT Architecture (JASA) and interoperable. JION will gradually replace legacy stand-alone capabilities with connected and interoperable capabilities. JION will network a mix of airborne reconnaissance SIGINT sensors, ground/surface stations, and associated collection communications to link local and distant SIGINT assets into a distributed SIGINT infrastructure. This enterprise will facilitate the system functions of collection tasking, collection management, collection, processing, exploitation, and timely SIGINT results dissemination.
JION will provide compatible SIGINT inputs to the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) for multi-intelligence (Multi-INT) production, and be able to receive cueing and tip-offs from IMINT and MASINT activities. JION will contribute to the fundamental foundation that enables the four key thrusts of Joint Vision 2010 and the Unified Cryptologic Architecture (UCA).
The JION network will be an integral part of the UCS and will consist of a backbone communications infrastructure with gateways in each theater, mobile communications that link deployed airborne SIGINT ground/surface stations to those theater gateways, and data links that connect airborne SIGINT platforms to their associated ground/surface stations. JION will migrate toward a Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). Common services such as special processors, planning tools, shared databases, and connectivity to intelligence reporting gateways will reside as nodes in the JION communications network and thus be available to any operator work station. Any operator workstation can obtain connectivity through this JION communications network to any airborne SIGINT sensor, whether to conduct collection operations or to access collected signals of interest for exploitation and reporting.
Since the Services have significant investments in their various current operator workstations (hardware and operating systems), JION intends to focus on fostering interoperability and modernization through standardized interfaces and processes rather than mandating hardware modifications. As JION integrates into the larger distributed common ground stations, bridges from the JION communications infrastructure will allow access to IMINT and MASINT communication infrastructures. This will provide access to a broader array of applications and databases.
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