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In joint doctrine, PED is a general concept that facilitates the allocation of assets to support intelligence operations. Under the PED concept, planners examine all collection assets and then determine if allocation of additional personnel and systems is required to support the exploitation of the collected information. Accounting for PED facilitates processing collected information into usable and relevant information for subsequent all-source production in a timely manner. Beyond doctrine, PED plays an important role within larger DOD intelligence programmatics.
There are many enablers that support PED activities. PED enablers are the specialized intelligence and communications systems, advanced technologies, and the associated personnel that conduct intelligence processing as well as single-source analysis within intelligence units. These enablers are distinct from intelligence collection systems and all-source analysis capabilities. PED activities are prioritized and focused on intelligence processing, analysis, and assessment to quickly support specific intelligence collection requirements and facilitate improved intelligence operations. PED began as a processing and analytical support structure for unique systems and capabilities like full-motion video from unmanned aircraft systems.