USAF ISR systems leverages agile development methods in modernization effort

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin engineers teamed up to modernize the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), the Air Force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system, by using agile development methods.

The DCGS produces actionable intelligence from data collected by sensors on manned and unmanned ISR platforms. “To help our customers upgrade systems, Lockheed Martin is using modern agile methodologies, which unlike other software development approaches, welcome change,” said Dr. Rob Smith, Vice President of C4ISR and Unmanned Aerial Systems. “For DCGS, we worked with the Air Force to provide a spiral-based agile development and integration model leading to 'continuous integration - continuous delivery.'”

Using this agile approach, Lockheed Martin helped the Air Force transform DCGS to a modern architecture capable of rapidly integrating new capabilities as threats evolve. Partnering with the Air Force DCGS requirements, acquisition, and security communities, Lockheed Martin was able to migrate the majority of DCGS signals intelligence applications onto the open architecture infrastructure for testing 10 months after task order receipt.