The mission of the CapTech Communication Information Systems and Networks (CapTech Information in short) is to foster R&T innovations for military communication systems from devices to networks as well as information systems from processing to fusion, analysis, distribution and presentation.
The main objectives of the CapTech Information efforts are dedicated to technologies in support of enhancing military capabilities mainly, but not only, in the “Knowledge” domain Command and Inform. CapTech INFORMATION covers R&T needs in the areas of:
- Communication systems from devices to networks;
- Information systems from data acquisition and processing to fusion and presentation;
- Ubiquitous mobile, ad-hoc and networked computing;
- Semantic technologies;
- Smart and efficient communications;
- Management of information at large scale (e.g. for wireless sensor networks);
- User-friendly presentation of information and controls; and
- Common System Interoperability including multi-layer information gateways.
The work of Information CapTech is generally of TRL in the ranges of 2 to 6, although work in higher TRLs is not ruled out. Communication and Information systems (CIS) are a key enabler for any crisis management operation. Supporting technologies include deployable, mobile, secure and robust broadband communication (“smart” tactical radio), with an even more robust narrowband backup. By supporting military requirements in this area the CapTech activities contribute to the relevant priorities of the Capability Development Plan (CDP).
The technology vision includes ubiquitous mobile and networked computing, smart and efficient communications, management of information at large scale, user-friendly presentation and controls. In some of these areas the Information CapTech is interfacing closely with other CapTechs for comprehensive end-to-end implementation of the “information value chain”.
The Information CapTech meetings are held 3 times per year, with a maximum duration of 2 days. All the information is shared in its Workspace. Workshops or seminars might take place back to back with the CapTech meetings. The Workshops objectives are to achieve concrete outcomes, such as the preparation of a project or fulfilment of an extraordinary request (topics for calls for proposals, SRA development, technology assessment, etc.) The workshops are “hands-on” and participative. On the other hand, the seminars objective is to raise the awareness and knowledge about specific technologies identified in the CapTech, and gain insight on their potential for defence applications. Subject matter experts are invited as speakers.
To become an Information CapTech member (CapTech Governmental Expert CGE or CapTech non-Governmental Expert - CnGE), please follow the instructions included in the R&T General site, and be aware that your request will be forwarded to the relevant CapTech National Coordinator - CNC. The approval of the CNC will be needed to become a CGE or CnGE, and also for your participation in a CapTech event.
The activities of the CapTech Information are guided by the Information CapTech Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The CapTech started by identifying the main operational challenges relevant to is area of work, on the short, medium and long-term. A total of nine main R&T priorities have been identified in the SRA 2017 update process. According to the OSRA methodology, these priorities have been transferred into systematic Technology Building Block (TBB) descriptions, allowing for a more harmonised structuration and analysis of CapTech SRA documents and a systematic development of the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA). The SRA also presents technological relations (linkages & boundaries) and dependencies to other CapTechs.
Based on the SRA, any CapTech member can propose ideas for new activities (projects, workshops, seminars, etc) at any meeting. These ideas are collected and, if not immediately detailed with clear expression of interest, it is the role of the moderator to persist and revisit the topics to re-launch or definitively close the idea. The active involvement of non-governmental members in the proposal of solutions for governmental needs, with a consistent and systematic ground for dialogue is a contrasted mean to foster the cooperation between EDA pMS.
Information CapTech Strategic Research Agenda (SRA): The CapTech founds its cooperative work in the guidelines given by its Strategic Research Agenda, which in this case was built under the project FEDERATE. Its technical assessment was based on summarised strategic objectives derived from an analysis of the Capability Development Plan (CDP) in its version of 2014. Mainly they are devoted to the support of: military interventions involving multinational forces; a comprehensive approach to operations including multi-agency cooperation and expeditionary military forces; a wide mission spectrum including multi-instrument effects; conflict prevention by monitoring the environment and generation of early warnings; and finally to maximize Force Protection and Sustainability of the Armed Forces.
The FEDERATE SRA has been updated by the OSRA methodology identifying nine technical research areas considered as requiring specific defence research and technology investments which have been formulated as Technology Building Blocks. The nine TBBs should be based in the technologies enabling the development of:
Analysis of Heterogeneous Information Sources
- Coalition Network Security and Protection
- Cognitive Radio
- Common C4ISR System Interoperability
- Electronic Support Measures for Communications
- Easy Deployable Wireless Sensor Networks
- Long Range Communications
- Intel Process Enhancement by using AI for Big Data Processing
- Software Defined Networking Solutions
Currently the area of Cyberdefence is covered by an Ad-Hoc Working Group on Cyber and it is not under the coverage of the CapTech Information.
WOLF: Wireless rObust Link for urban Force operation (executive summary)
EDA JIP-ICET project from early 2009 to early 2011. The project was run by a consortium of 13 partners from 8 countries, that bring together major key European players in the domain of soldier radios, networking and software define radio technology. The WOLF project aimed to improve the “Wireless & robust communication” and “Information processing & situation awareness” capabilities, in order to increase survivability of force protection in urban operations.
The WOLF project presented a clear roadmap and objectives for a new system gap-filling the lacks of existing networks or products. One major goal of the WOLF project was to propose and evaluate solutions, which allow addressing the technical challenges for tactical communications in urban operations. Based on a detailed operational requirement analysis and a proposal for system decomposition, high level specifications have been proposed for the networking, the radio access layers and the situation awareness service).
NEC Implementation study
Future crisis management operations will be founded on a federation of multiple national and trans-national public and private enterprises in which effective teaming will be facilitated by network-enabled information flows based on World Wide Web, Social Networking and Service Oriented Architecture technologies. Trust, based on enhanced security, Information Assurance and Quality of Service, is an essential enabling quality and therefore the key to greater information sharing. The roadmap is a living document and requires active management through a spiral review process which is also described in it.The Vision for EU NEC is that through implementation of a concept encompassing people, information and technology (PIT), improved operational effectiveness will be achieved based on faster and better decisions as a result of more timely and trusted information being made available at all levels. Implementation is based on a number of principles, including:
- Ubiquity: one person, one information profile, wherever connected.
- Federated architecture: so that organisations and systems can be flexible and tailored to the needs of particular crises as they arise
- Re-use of existing investments: so that a realistic approach is taken to the continued use of legacy systems.
AHEAD: Advanced HElmet And Devices for individual protection (executive summary)
The objective of the Project was to forecast the evolution of the existing or new technologies which can improve the protection of the individual soldier. The main type of operations of today’s military engagement is mainly determined by asymmetric conflicts. Project stated clearly the equipment used by the Soldier and Warrior Programmes in different countries. The Consortium proposed an evolution of the “System Soldier” outlining the requirements from the above mentioned scenario, evaluated the existing and novel technologies and foreseeing their evolution in sensors, actuators and others devices with the possibility to integrate them in intelligent, modular and portable equipment. Ahead demonstrated the real consistency of the proposed solutions in different ways (Demo, Model, Data base, Workshop and Documentation) giving a more complete understanding based on real HW with live demo and SW modelling.
MUSAS: MUlti Sensor Anti Sniper System (executive summary)
The main objective was to research on different technologies like acoustic and radar sensors, image processing, enhancement of data fusion, inclusion of intelligence information and human machine interface in order to obtain a real-time reliable estimation of the sniper position before the first shot and disseminate this information in a proper manner optimising the resources for neutralisation. The project assessed different scenarios like military base, convoy and dismounted soldier together with platforms either fixed, wearable or vehicle mounted. A laboratory demonstrator showed the feasibility and the possibility of integration with future soldier programmes.
SUM: Surveillance in an Urban environment using Mobile sensors (executive summary)
Combat units operating in an urban environment are confronted with the so-called “3-block war” situation, in which they are providing humanitarian relief in one city block, are performing peacekeeping operations in the next, and are faced to a full-scale war in the third. This leads to the “strategic corporal” problem, where very low-level unit commanders are required to take potentially wide-ranging decisions. In an urban environment, where small units patrol the streets with armoured vehicles, team leader is faced with a difficult risk management exercise.
The aim of SUM was to develop a low-cost multi-sensor vehicle protection system using a data fusion engine in order to enhance situational awareness and aid command and control for a moving vehicle in an urban environment, as well as to protect critical static points such as road blocks or outposts, taking into account the operational needs defined by end-users.
CORASMA: Cognitive Radio for dynamic Spectrum Management(executive summary)
The CORASMA project was dedicated to the rationale and needs for using Cognitive Radio (CR) as an efficient way to optimize spectral resources. It derived the system management solutions and strategies to enable the dynamic frequency management. It built cognitive manager as the new functionality that is induced by the CR concept and the waveform from the physical layer to the networking layer. The new functionalities reflected the operation concept (CONOPS) and military requirements of military forces of each NATO nations.
The project proposed a dynamic spectrum management solution at a system level, including changing in spectrum policies, etiquettes and concept of operations. An analysis of the state of the art was done with investigation of solutions relevant to the CORASMA objectives and implemented in the simulation platform that demonstrated, by means of SW simulation the suitability of new approaches for spectrum management based on cognitive radio.
ICAR: Intelligent Control of Adversary Radio-communication
The ICAR project addressed the capability shortfall related to the reliable selective prevention, control, capture and blocking of adversary mobile communications, with reduced collateral effects, in multi-path environments as urban or mountain areas. It studied and defined an affordable, complete and integrated response to the needs of intercepting, localizing, monitoring and selectively blocking the threats at the radio interface. This was done in operational and realistic theatres, facing current and new mobile radio-communication technologies.
ICAR studied and validated experimentally the performance of the control system at the radio interface, targeting radio cellular, professional mobile radio and SATCOM mobile phones, in an optimised and realistic approach dedicated to urban or similar multi path zones. The ICAR project provided as well added value radio interface measurement capabilities to help the spectrum planning and the deployment of robust tactical wireless networks in urban zone relevant to the “Secured tactical wireless communication systems in urban environment”.
MIDNET: Military Disruption Tolerant Networks
The MIDNet project aimed at studying and demonstrating the benefits of the approaches introduced in the field of Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) to design technical solutions for military tactical networks in order to cope with such dynamic behaviour of the radio network and still support the required communications. The project defined an appropriate DTN architecture and demonstrated and studied the benefits provided by in-theatre networks. Improvements were shown in terms of increased end-to-end throughput/delay performances, increased data rate, connectivity extension, new services to end-users, better robust communications in hostile environments and secure interconnection with existing networks.
After reviewing the state of the art and defining suitable operational reference scenarios, the project defined a model for a global DTN architecture and identified the services that can be offered. Functional requirements specified the services given by the wireless mobile ad-hoc network in situation of disruption. The architecture model for DTN was integrated in a global architecture for theatre networks focusing on inter-networking and on users connected to the networks like C2 systems, combat systems and voice terminals.
IN4STARS2.0: Information Interoperability & Intelligence Interoperability by Statistics, Agents, Reasoning and Semantics
The main goal of the IN4STARS2.0 project was to develop and demonstrate technology that enables situational awareness based on the fusion of large amounts of complex and heterogeneous information obtained from diverse sources while maintaining the security of the exchanged data.
IN4STARS2.0 solutions have a significant potential in different military applications, such as advanced data analysis, improved sensing, ISR in Federated Mission Networks (FMN) and coalition operations.
TACTICal Service Oriented Architecture (TACTICS)
Due to the increasing complexity and heterogeneity of contemporary C2 and C4I systems at all levels within military organisations, the adoption of the concept of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) is becoming essential. However, nowadays information exchange and integration with C4I Systems is feasible only where the available communication infrastructure physically permits message transfer.
This project aimed for the definition and experimental demonstration of a Tactical Services Infrastructure (TSI) enabling tactical radio networks to participate in SOA infrastructures and provide, as well as consume services to and from the strategic domain independent of the user’s location, applying appropriate security mechanisms, and develop robust disruption- together with delay-tolerant schemes. An explicit goal of the project is to provide an experimental setup to demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in a real-life military scenario.