Let me open by thanking Tim White, Andy Dunn, Mike Meyer and Jorge Petrovic for their time and generosity in taking me through the many systems Exelis is delivering today, all of which play significant roles in Battle Space Management.
The best way for me to describe the concept of Battle Space Management is to suggest a mechanism for total awareness. A more technical approach would be to call it a computer and network centric fabric integrating space, land, air, sea assets and all of their corresponding sensors. Companies investing and participating in what will soon be a $50 billion dollar business understand that for BSM to be successful, soldier worn sensors need to be developed beyond their current state, right along with vehicle mounted sensors, remote unattended sensors, airborne and satellite sensors. All of these will require incremental improvements over the years to come.
As important as sensor technologies are, communications systems and protocols, compression algorithms and encryption technologies must too be enhanced to meet the increasing demand and reliance on BSM, if critical infrastructure is to successfully carry the voluminous data that will provide planners, tacticians and commanders with the tools and controls needed to manage a successful operation or campaign. These are huge challenges and opportunities for companies like Exelis.
Earlier in my article, I spoke of sensors and the importance of continuously improving their performance and form factor. BSM’s Achilles heel, like all computer based technologies, is best described using the old established term, garbage in garbage out (GIGO). Sensors are at the lowest point in the architecture but they remain the most important component at the data collection point. So, their accuracy and sensitivity are important factors. Furthermore, when worn by the warfighter sensors should provide a bi-directional flow of data so that we can mitigate the need for additional equipment. Exelis, has addressed both of these priorities with some very leading edge technology that the company markets as ISS or Individual Soldier System.
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance have always be critical to a successful operation. George Washington used intelligence successfully against the British. However, with the global advances in communications it’s important that the collection and dissemination of ISR data be real-time. This is precisely what Exelis ISS accomplishes. Mike Meyer was kind enough to model the TMNCG, or Tactical Mobility Night Vision Goggle for me, and reduce some rather complex technology into a bite seized package.
ISS integrates a set of sensors with a communications system that allows the soldier / operator to collect battlefield intelligence real-time and communicate that data back to C2 via radio or 3G. It allows Command and Control to task, advise and direct the soldier / operator during an operation. The system offers several measurable advantages.
ISS makes it possible for soldiers to communicate in and through cluttered electronic environments.
The ISS data stream aggregates GPS, text messaging, target designation and information, UAV data feeds and C2 communications into a single operator display his or her goggles.
Allows command and control to receive live video feeds directly from the soldiers point of view.
Image intensification system with an integrated camera and display overlay.
With ISS, Integrated Protection and Transmission System or iProTxS, GNOMAD and Swith plus IP Excelis is delivering the technology needed to support the evolving Battle Space Management Systems with accuracy and reliability.