Battlefield Weather for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and
Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Battlefield Weather Research Program – Basic Research:
The Army’s Transformation Plan will require a greater degree of understanding of the atmospheric processes within the Army’s battlespace. This project provides that indepth understanding of the complex atmospheric boundary layer. The continued requirement for military operations in complex and urban terrains requires new approaches to measuring and modeling micro-scale atmospheric phenomena, particularly for fast response in near real time. This includes the detection and tracking of chemical and biological aerosols; the propagation of full-spectrum electro-magnetic signals and acoustic signatures; and the delivery of accurate and timely weather intelligence for battlefield commanders. This project is the research leader in boundary layer meteorology over land and urban terrain. It supports Army objectives through enhanced acoustic modeling techniques for improved target detection and acquisition; the development of objective analysis tools that can assimilate on-scene weather observations and fuse these data with forecasts to provide immediate nowcast products; and the research on novel imaging capabilities to enhance the detection and identification of biowarfare agents.
Battlefield Weather Research Program – Applied Research:
The Army’s Transformation Plan will require the capabilities for battlefield commanders to make decisions in near real time based on fusion of current tactical weather and forecast products provided from meteorological satellites and from the other services. Data must then be transformed into weather intelligence, including atmospheric effects and weather impacts on friendly and threat systems, and must be made accessible through effective planning tools and intuitive decision aids. These weather intelligence data will not only have to be timely and accurate, but also exchanged on various bandwidth channels between and across all echelons from the continental U.S. (CONUS) home station and strategic operations centers on down to the lowest levels of command in the field, to include the individual soldier. This project focuses on accomplishing this mission through the development and transition of technologies that collect, analyze, and integrate the weather data from a forecast/nowcast model with battlefield observations into a four-dimensional (4D) net centric, distributed meteorological information space. Technologies are developed to automate the knowledge management and optimize bandwidth to meet the goal of providing the best actionable weather intelligence, even while en route, and translate that intelligence into specific weather decision aids for the digital battlefield commander. It is accomplished by applying advanced computing techniques; by incorporating technology in meteorological sensor joint data distribution architectures; by developing data assimilation and information fusion techniques to horizontally integrate disparate sources; by integrating weather and its effects into planning tools; and by enhancing combat power and effectiveness through improved decision aid technologies.
Tactical Communications and Networks Signal Processing for Tactical Communications:
Signal Processing for Tactical Communications program, we are exploring fundamental aspects in the development of secure, jam-resistant, and adaptive mobile communications that will be effective in noisy, wireless, hostile battlefield environments. The goal of this basic research program is to investigate enhancements to current communications technologies in the areas of anti-jam and spectrally efficient modulation techniques; intelligent interference rejection; secure and jam-resistant multiple-access; robust wideband mobile receivers; adaptive spectrum reuse; laser communications technologies; channel propagation modeling; security and authentication; and jammer detection and mitigations. ARL’s Mobile Tactical and Sensor Networks program is focused on providing the Army’s fully mobile, fully communicating, agile, and situationally aware force with a highly dynamic, wireless, mobile networking environment for a force consisting of a heterogeneous mixture of individual soldiers, ground vehicles, airborne platforms, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), robotics, and unattended microsensor networks. This program is developing networking technologies that can operate with full mobility, self-configuration, robustness, survivability, and scalability in the complex and demanding mobile environment of the future battlefield. Mobile ad hoc networks, which can rapidly change with the tactical situation, form the basis of our tactical networking research.
Communications & Networks:
Collaborative Technology Alliance (C&N CTA) is a partnership between the Army Laboratories and Centers, private industry, and academia that is focused on rapid transition to the warfighter. These collaborative efforts seek to enable large, heterogeneous, wireless communications networks for the Future Force that can operate while on-the-move with a highly mobile network infrastructure; under severe bandwidth, energy, and processing constraints; and while providing secure, jam-resistant communications in noisy hostile battlefield environments. The research focuses on four technical thrusts: 1) survivable wireless mobile networks that ensure that tactical networks are self-configuring and self-maintaining, highly mobile, survivable, scaleable, energy-efficient, performance-optimized, and interoperable with joint and coalition forces; 2) signal processing to support efficient comms-on-the-move that is effective in a noisy, cluttered, and hostile wireless environment; 3) secure jam-resistant communications to ensure reliable communications in environments which include dense, multiple access interference that may be generated from within the network or from hostile interferers; and 4) tactical information protection that provides automated, scaleable, efficient, adaptive security for wireless, multi-hop, self-configuring networks.
Tactical Information Protection:
ARL’s Tactical Information Protection program is developing adaptive, scalable, efficient, and adaptive information protection in tactical wireless, multi-hop, self-configuring networks. This program includes automated intrusion detection and assessment for tactical networks, security infrastructure for sensor networks, and energy-efficient tamper detection for mobile code.
Tactical Battlespace Information Processing Battlefield Information Processing:
ARL is exploring fundamental aspects in the development of a real-time, service-based software infrastructure to facilitate communication and information sharing among ad hoc heterogeneous assets, to include developing the processing, sensor networking, and packaging infrastructure for agents to populate both manned and autonomous platforms. ARL efforts in this area will result in the ability to collaboratively aggregate, fuse, and abstract data to information and information to knowledge in such a way that the military decision maker can easily assimilate knowledge. Providing battlefield decision makers with information in a highly visual and easily assessed form (including multi-lingual computing products) will significantly improve the soldier’s ability to absorb information and make better decisions. This effort includes the evaluation of machine translation engines and approaches in order to develop and validate metrics in multi-lingual computing.
In ARL’s Intelligent Optics program, we are conducting research in the theoretical and experimental aspects of ground to ground imaging, intelligent, and adaptive optics and the development of algorithms, techniques, and devices for advanced military imaging and image processing systems. Adaptive image processing will provide images of outstanding clarity and unlimited depth of field. Intelligent optics methods and techniques will improve military devices and systems so that real-time images of targets can be obtained and presented to decision makers.
Command and Control (C2) in Complex and Urban Terrain:
The joint ARL/ Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC)/ Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) Command & Control in Complex & Urban Terrain (C2CUT) Army Technology Objective will develop a service-based software infrastructure to facilitate communication and information sharing among ad hoc heterogeneous assets and C2 decision aids for Future Force dismounted and mounted commanders, leaders, and soldiers to employ during close combat in complex and urban terrain. The decision aids will be used to integrate critical information day and night in any combat situation. This capability will enhance survivability and increase combat effectiveness by providing enhanced collaboration, information reach back, mixed asset management, and seamless situational understanding
Fusion Based Knowledge for the Future Force:
ARL is developing an advanced knowledge generation and explanation capability to answer the warfighting commanders’ Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIRs). This capability will enable the commander to see/understand at a rate supporting the tactical agility concepts of the Future Force Unit of Action (17,000-170,000 reports per hour), and provide the commander with automated enemy course of action and intent analysis with the minimal accuracy of a student analyst.
Advanced Decision Architectures:
The purpose of the Advanced Decision Architectures (ADA) Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) program is to develop, validate, and transition new knowledge management and decision support technologies to facilitate soldier awareness and understanding of the tactical situation, thereby resulting in more rapid decisions, creating a tempo with which the enemy cannot compete