Patrol Planning App, lets Marines visually map out their patrol routes, build their warning orders and search patrols from previous squads. They can display their actual patrol routes instead of trying to recall where they traveled using a two-dimensional map.
Marines on patrol can subscribe to critical information, pertinent to his location and have that information exchanged seamlessly across the enterprise to a future handheld device.
Marines are getting tactical open architecture command and control platform ready for combat. TSOA establishes a framework that enables seamless exchange of intelligence across multiple systems and networks that is being enhanced with the increased availability of data within the battlespace.
“Open architecture implies agility and flexibility” needed in combat today and in the future. “You can’t discover you’re not interoperable on game day. “Make sure it plugs and plays.”
The challenge is to provide the operator with the opportunity to be able to quickly obtain integration of his own weapons and sensor suites. This flexible plug-and-play capacity to perform missions with a wide variety of sensors will be a considerable step forward.
Modern autonomous vehicles will allow more modular sensors to be integrated according to customer needs. The ISR omni-role platform will be plug-and-play and “sensors agnostic.” As aircraft allow for constant monitoring of a target and its environment, it is necessary to capitalize on that through the modularity of sensors ideally without hampering endurance.
While the concept of operations for autonomous vehicles are still very much under development, the general idea is the vehicles could expand not only the fleet’s sensor reach by adding more nodes to provide data to commanders but also deepening the fleet’s magazines by fielding additional missile cells that could fire on remote at the direction of a manned vehicle.
Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, better known as DIUx, is pushing forward new technology that will give the service added capability by focusing on several technology areas including autonomy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, information technology and human systems.
The unit is meant to cut through the Pentagon’s red tape and make it easier for firms in tech hubs to do business with the Marines. Officials hope the outfit will speed the acquisition of cutting-edge warfighting tools.
The warfighting lab is currently looking into autonomous systems and robotics; artificial intelligence; counter-unmanned aerial system capabilities; lasers; electronic warfare; and systems coordination, among other technologies
The lab considers size, weight and power issues “in everything they do to support a mobile, agile Marine Corps.
“We’ve always recognized that autonomous systems, whether they are in the air, on the ground or at the surface, are going to play a role in the future landscape and future warfighting environment.
The big question is how best to incorporate the technology so that it becomes a force multiplier rather than a burden. Naturally, the service wants to avoid robotic technologies without the capabilities it needs to perform specific missions.
Unlike robotics and autonomous systems, AI is an area the lab is just starting to explore. We don’t fully understand yet what AI could mean or what it will mean in the future. We do have smart people looking into it, and we do recognize it as an emerging capability that we need to take advantage of it.”
Autonomous vehicles can be equipped with an airborne detect and avoid system that includes an air-air radar and a traffic collision and avoidance system that offers a significant alternative to the traditional rule of see and avoid
It is now possible to deploy a multi-sensor intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] capability thousands of miles from its home base. With the only requirement being a small team of technicians on the deployment field, there’s no longer a need to dismantle the aircraft and ship the entire system. This facilitates the availability and initial ISR capability in emergency missions.
The redundancy of the primary beyond line of sight BLOS link with a secondary satellite link operating in another frequency band ensures the continuation of the mission by permanently maintaining the piloting capabilities, even in the event of interference. Satellite data links are used to control the vehicle, operate on-board sensors, and disseminate the ISR data collected from the aircraft to the cockpit.
The disconnection of this link, although rare, reveals a true weakness, especially when the aircraft operate in a non-segregated environment or during bad weather. However, with a second satellite link, the aircraft will now remain in control of the remote pilot and will either continue its mission safely or land without issue.
Services have tested a robot kit that can turn virtually any plane into a self-piloting drone, through a program called ROBOpilot. Systems interacts with flight controls just like a human pilot, pushing all the correct buttons, flipping the switches, manipulating the yoke and throttle and watching the gages.
“At the same time, the system uses sensors, like GPS and an Inertial Measurement Unit [essentially a way for a machine to locate itself in space without GPS] for situational awareness and information gathering. A computer analyzes these details to make decisions on how to best control the flight. Once the flight is done, the kit can be pulled out and the plane reconverted to one requiring a human pilot.
TSOA strategy establishes services as the preferred means by which data producers and capability providers can make their data assets and capabilities available to ensure warfighters receive the right information, from trusted and accurate sources, when and where it is needed
“TSOA is a game changer for Marines on the tactical edge. “Our experience with Marine information warfare systems and our proven technical capabilities are enabling us to address our interoperability goals through our TSOA efforts.”
“The difficulty in describing TSOA is that is doesn’t create any information. It’s an enterprise service bus doing all the work in the background. “It is the back-end piece that connects many systems. It allows you to access all of this information; and you can get it all, or subscribe only to a subset or a single piece of information. It’s very customizable.”
While TSOA is the “backbone” that gives Marines the ability to discover, subscribe, shape, filter, modify and visualize data, it is the specialized applications that give a more tangible illustration of how TSOA helps Marines make timely and accurate decisions in context.
TSOA system will allow Marines to get mission-critical information by linking independent, sometimes incompatible, tactical data systems by consolidating data and eliminate reliance on multiple incompatible independent systems, allowing Marines to subscribe to collective data, provided as a service via TSOA.
It is critical to be able to work through data to effectively fight addressed by a growing requirement for integration in working with manned-unmanned platforms that must be sensors-sharers-shooters.
Marines are achieving success in combat by providing a continuous stream of reliable, command and control (C2) information through the Tactical Service Oriented Architecture (TSOA).
MAGTF C2 services and applications integrated product team (IPT) spearheads the TSOA effort with integration and configuration management, network security, test and evaluation, and training and field exercise support.
Constant interaction with Marine C2 operators throughout the development process has given the feedback software developers need to adjust and sharpen the effectiveness of the software and the architecture.
TSOA will be installed in combat operation centers and network with other centers to provide a user-friendly, common operational picture that gives Marines the most secure, efficient and reliable information available to make accurate decisions “in context” during operational missions.
To date, the TSOA initiative has focused on implementation opportunities primarily in the Ground Combat Element (GCE) via the Combat Operations Center (COC). TSOA’s Service Oriented Infrastructure (SOI) is readily adaptable to the unique command and control requirements of the Logistics Combat Element (LCE) and the Aviation Combat Element (ACE).
To achieve operational outcomes, Marines will adopt “best practices” focused on data access and user-centered design, delivery, and modification. Authorized users must have the ability to discover, access, shape, filter, modify, collaborate and disseminate complete, relevant information across
Data source elements within Marine operations must be transformed and made components of services that are developed and defined by units of interest across the warfighting functions..
the current stove-piped approach to provide authorized users required data. All described effects will provide authorized users access to the full data source capability within operations and enable in context decisions.
TSOA will enhance the sharing, shaping, and visualization of data to authorized users among disparate data sources relevant to Marine operations that are inherently within a Joint
Environment and center on a MAGTF in support of a Joint Task Force. TSOA will complement the Joint Force by enabling authorized users complete information to make decisions in-context.
SSC Framework Gives Marines a Tactical Edge
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) is enabling Marines’ success in combat by providing a continuous stream of reliable, command and control (C2) information through the Tactical Service Oriented Architecture (TSOA).
Team from SSC expeditionary warfare department is leading the development, testing and fielding of TSOA for the Marine Corps. SSC MAGTF C2 services and applications integrated product team (IPT) spearheads the TSOA effort with integration and configuration management, network security and accreditations, test and evaluation, and training and field exercise support.
With new emphasis on TSOA, SSC was the logical place for further development and coordination given the center’s experience providing Marine Corps information warfare solutions through the Combat Operation Center (COC), Network-on-the-Move, Joint Tactical COP Workstation (JTCW) and other programs.
Marines have already demonstrated TSOA success in Agile Bloodhound and Island Marauder, annual Office of Naval Research events that highlight science and technology efforts supporting expeditionary warfighters.
With another Island Marauder exercise , and as more command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR) programs of record become TSOA-compliant, the SSC TSOA team expects to remain very busy.
We are already starting to ramp up our interface with users. We will be doing more training. This will be changing the culture for how Marines do their day-to-day jobs.”
“It was a big win for the command that the work was sent here. “As the overarching systems integration experts for TSOA, we have our hands in everything. We are working in each functional area and doing more interface with users
1. Concept details perform results of platform design to simulate Weapon Systems and test viability of using hardware to reach perform levels
2. Defined interfaces enable variety of material solutions be incorporated [plug’n protect] in Aircraft survive suites w/o modification.
3. Open Architecture represent confluence of tech practises yielding modular, interops systems and open standards w/ published interfaces
4. Use distributed open system design w/ distributed processing and modularity--Introduction to the fleet comes from a single source library
5. Virtual perform provides functional benefits like load-balancing, processor utilization, storage
6. Open Architecture hardware employs virtual tech w/ potential to provide cost savings in terms of procurement, daily ops & maintenance
7. Varied technique Open Architecture approach include life-cycle risk simulation, total ownership costs& knowledge value-added measures
8. Capability interface systems process limit cost growth and develop rapid costs insertion [ARCI] & advanced processing build process [APB]
9. Value-Added metrics applied through cost compare between test platforms
10. Results can be generalized to non-military applications.