Command, Control, & Communications (C3) Center
Case Study: Mobile Automated Instrumentation Suite (MAIS)
Riptide currently has over a decade of successful deployments of C3 software components to nearly every army test and training range in the United States. This experience, on-going contractual support for the army through PEO-STRI (formerly STRI-COM) and new awards every year have positioned Riptide as a key provider to the Army throughout the C3 software community.
The U.S. ARMY PEO STRI (PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICE for SIMULATION, TRAINING, INSTRUMENTATION) required next generation technology supports for operational and force development testing of current and future weapon systems through the use of a Mobile Automated Instrumentation Suite (MAIS). The Army needed an enhanced simulation capability that could be scaled to support an ever-increasing number of war fighters participating in simulated exercises in order to assess the effectiveness of next generation weapons systems. MAIS was developed for the U.S. Army's Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) and is currently operational at the Operational Test Command (OTC) at Fort Hood, Texas. The MAIS needed to support Real Time Casualy Assessment (RTCA) and provide After Action Review (AAR) capabilities for a number of U.S. Army operational tests including M1A2 (Abrams) SEP, FBCB2 Limited User Test (LUT), and M2A3 (Bradley) IOT&E.
Comprised of a mobile Command, Control, and Communications Center (C3 Center) and five categories of Player Units (PU) as shown on the right, MAIS is capable of supporting combined arms testing or training exercises of up to 2000 participants in real-time. MAIS provides the following core capabilities for up to 9 concurrent operators required to run an engagement scenario.
- "Riptide currently has over a decade of successful deployments of C3 software components."
- "MAIS software records approximately one gigabyte of data per hour."
- "Our strength is the quality of our senior software development staff."
MAIS needed to support tests of realistic force development in a combined arms environment. The instrumentation suite is capable of data collection, test/exercise control, and combat simulation for RTCA during force-on-force engagements. Typical training/testing will consist of a combined arms exercise including armor, mechanized infantry, logistics, engineers, field artillery, air defense artillery, minefields, aviation, and chemical weapons. MAIS has the capability to emulate threat weapons as well as friendly forces.
The key opportunity for the US Army was the ability to create very realistic battlefield engagement with up to 2000 live units and 20,000 virtual units and then monitor, control, and analyze the simulated battle in real-time. The key opportunity for Riptide was to utilize our experience in developing enterprise level software to create a scaleable multi-tier architecture using next generation Java and J2EE techniques in order to provide significant cost savings to the military over a 15-year operational software lifecycle.
The Development Process
Riptide used its enhanced Spiral Development Model to add functionality in manageable phases rather than a large single phase.This model fits well with rapid application development (RAD) projects.Riptide developed a cohesive, seamless product by combining its custom software with third party tactical display software from Solipsys and database software from Oracle.The tight integration of these components required a close relationship between Riptide and its third-party component software vendors.
The Tailored Solution
A multi-tier architecture consisting of Java, J2EE and XML components provide the scalability.The use of XML for device configuration provided a very flexible and scalable solution.The plug-in architecture and custom Graphical User Interface (GUI) screens allow operators to define weapon configurations.The system generates an XML configuration file that is downloaded into the player units (monitoring hardware).The support of remote load and boot provide great flexibility to the operators.Player configuration, range asset setup and player force structure definition comprise a significant portion of the exercise setup for a force-on-force engagement using the MAIS software.
After all player units have been programmed, the MAIS software records approximately one gigabyte of data per hour.The data is extracted from over 240 messages per second delivered via Radio Frequency (RF) from units active in the field. A full exercise can require up to eight individual operators with different roles to monitor and orchestrate up to 2000 moving components on the battlefield.Operator duties include monitoring system alarms, controlling exercise state, creating reports, monitoring the player network, recovering missed player events, and defining and executing CAS, minefield, indirect, and NBC missions. The definitions of these duties are tightly integrated to the main application window to provide interaction for all appropriate users of the system.
The system utilizes an intuitive workflow that guides the operators through the process of configuring the application, configuring the hardware (player units and communication devices), defining the vulnerabilities of the weapon systems, defining a force structure definition (selecting the participating units), defining an exercise definition, defining the battlefield boundaries, recording the exercise, and playback of a completed exercise for review. When practical, graphical interfaces are used to support data entry. For example, the system allows range data to be entered graphically by selecting coordinates on a map or directly entering coordinate data.The result is an accurate definition of the range with visual confirmation using a tactical display.The system collects volumes of data and stores it in an Oracle database for post processing which can then be transferred via automated means to Microsoft Office, SAS, and other third party analysis tools.
Riptide specializes in the development of small, medium and large commercial applications. Our strength is the quality of our senior software development staff, our industry best practice development processes and our custom development tools that make us competitive with all IT outsource vendors.
Choose an Experienced Partner
Riptide Software provides software development services to reduce the risk and time associated with developing software products.Riptide has applied its development methodology and utilized its Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools to develop small- to large-scale military, government and commercial applications.
Contact Riptide Software for more information about our custom software development services.
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