Space


Space Based Radar (SBR)

Battle Management, Command, Control, and Communications [BMC3]

Battle Management, Command, Control, and Communications [BMC3] incorporates all command, control, communication, and computer functions to support decision makers' management of mission requirements and of the battle space. While SBR may act alone to satisfy selected mission requirements, it will also act in conjunction with other C2ISR assets to meet the needs of the theater combatant commanders and National intelligence customers across the full spectrum of conflict.

DOD has explored alternatives for SBR if the Transformational Communications Architecture (TCA) - the communications infrastructure that is expected to relay SBR data across a network of users - incurs schedule and performance shortfalls; and asking contractors to propose multiple operations concepts for SBR with or without TCA. Despite these accomplishments, one of TCA's primary components may not be ready in time to support SBR data. If TCA is delayed, DOD's alternatives may involve reducing SBR's capabilities or significantly increasing program cost.

The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Information and Intelligence Exploitation Division (AFRL/IFE) in cooperation with the Space Based Radar Joint Program Office (SBR JPO) is seeking innovative solutions for the reduction of risk associated with the development, deployment, and operation of the Battle Management Command Control and Communications (BMC3) segment of a Space-Based Radar (SBR) system. This effort is intended to directly support the activities of the Space-Based Radar program and compliment its ongoing system definition and risk reduction activities. Additionally, it is expected that significant insight to total system architecture and its performance will be gained through this activity by enhancing understanding of issues associated with reducing risk for as well as developing SBR BMC3 solutions. Due to the long lead-time to develop OBP and ESA, the SBR JPO is particularly interested in BMC3 design trade implications impacting these areas. This SBR System will consist of a satellite constellation with a multi-mode radar producing Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and High Resolution Terrain Information (HRTI) products.

The SBR BMC3 Risk Reduction Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) of July 2003 focused on the following technology areas: 1) Collection Management including dynamic tasking from CONUS and theater, 2) Information Management, and 3) Combat Operations Products including GMTI, SAR imagery, Combat Identification, and multi-intelligence products taking into consideration tasking, cueing and fusion with other sensor modalities such as SIGINT and air sensors.

In the area of Collection Management, developments allowing the dynamic retasking of a satellite sensor from theatre in a timely, assured, secure, and robust manner are required. This area will explore different conceptual architectures, and their associated technologies to satisfy national and tactical users needs for satellite sensor retasking and timely notification of status. Tasking functions must also provide the capability task data archives to retrieve the appropriate data to do machine-level change detection in support of theater situational awareness. Objectives include defining the technical requirements for mission management and defining notional mission management architectures. This includes a study of available applications for satellite retasking, SBR resource allocation techniques, and available applications suitable for use in satellite retasking, such as track waveform scheduling, track loss/stop verification, track restart with continuity of identification, interrupted imaging modes, etc. Offerors must consider satellite orbits, including orientations that provide repeated views from the same look angle to provide additional SAR change detection capability, handoffs, gap times, coverage areas, revisit times, resolution, sensor modes available, task prioritization, etc. and notification of reprioritized task list to all potential interested users. In addition, other advanced modes such as passive ESM, X-band communications, and low power ocean surveillance modes should be considered. Offerors must consider event detection, activity level measurements, correlated movement of units, and ship tracking in their proposals.

Ground processing must consider machine bulk filtering of data, SAR change detection and GMTI level of activity monitoring. In the area of Information Management (IM), support of BMC3 for SBR will be a critical factor for determining tactical Tasking, Posting, Processing, and Using (TPPU) alternatives, national Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (TCPED) alternatives, and CONOPS alternatives system design tradeoffs. This area will characterize IM technologies in terms of SBR BMC3 risk areas and summarize SBR requirements drivers for IM. In particular, after performing ground processing, the SBR system of systems must archive (post), catalog, and facilitate rapid database query, and dissemination of information to the user community. Development of an integrated and interoperable architecture for theater and national information management is the goal. This includes an assessment of technical requirements for this architecture, identification of technical deficiencies in data warehousing and data mining, and prototyping an implementation of national and tactical information management architectures and activities such as autonomous meta-data capture mechanisms, characterization of intelligent agents to process meta-data, and peer-to-peer mechanisms for information exchange. Some consideration should be given to appropriate meta-data descriptors, such as pedigree, and data-derived products.

The area of Combat Operations Products has been identified as high risk and requires additional technical development. Current GMTI, SAR exploitation techniques are manual, operator intensive, based on single or multiple airborne sensor concepts, and very limited. In addition, utilizing a satellite constellation with rapidly changing viewing angles and varying sensor performance attributes has not been fully explored, and therefore, requires development, testing, and analysis. Furthermore, software must combine the data from these satellite sensors into meaningful products. This area will develop the necessary extensions to current ground tracking algorithms to support the expected characteristics of a space-based radar constellation. Items of interest include extensions to existing capabilities and development of new feature-based classification approaches for SBR to support classification and track maintenance. Particular attention will be focused on developing algorithms and analyses for the use of selected feature data such as High Range Resolution (HRR), Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), and Micro-Doppler techniques to perform long-term track maintenance. These tools must be integrated with the synoptic machine-level processes described previously. Efforts under the July 2003 BAA provide prototype algorithms to enable the fusion of resources for the timely detection, track, and identification of ground moving targets. These efforts will also leverage existing developments in the operational area such as Moving Target Information Exploitation (MTIX) and develop on those architectures making it easily adaptable to existing architectures for technology transition. SBR Measures of Performance (MOPs) and Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs) need to be developed and integrated into these new concepts. This will provide the methodology for consistent system evaluation.

In the area of Information Management (IM), support of BMC3 for SBR will be a critical factor for determining tactical Tasking, Posting, Processing, and Using (TPPU) alternatives, national Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (TCPED) alternatives, and CONOPS alternatives system design tradeoffs. This area will characterize IM technologies in terms of SBR BMC3 risk areas and summarize SBR requirements drivers for IM.

In particular, after performing ground processing, the SBR system of systems must archive (post), catalog, and facilitate rapid database query, and dissemination of information to the user community. Development of an integrated and interoperable architecture for theater and national information management is the goal.

This includes an assessment of technical requirements for this architecture, identification of technical deficiencies in data warehousing and data mining, and prototyping an implementation of national and tactical information management architectures and activities such as autonomous meta-data capture mechanisms, characterization of intelligent agents to process meta-data, and peer-to-peer mechanisms for information exchange.

Some consideration should be given to appropriate meta-data descriptors, such as pedigree, and data-derived products. Once the data reaches the ground, the data processing (Product) area has been identified as high risk and requires additional technical development. Current GMTI, SAR exploitation techniques are manual, operator intensive, based on single or multiple airborne sensor concepts, and very limited. In the area of GMTI Exploitation, utilizing a satellite constellation with rapidly changing viewing angles and varying sensor performance attributes has not been fully explored, and therefore, requires development, testing, and analysis. Furthermore, software must combine the data from these satellite sensors into meaningful products.

This area will develop the necessary extensions to current ground tracking algorithms to support the expected characteristics of a space-based radar constellation. Items of interest include extensions to existing capabilities and development of new feature-based classification approaches for SBR to support classification and track maintenance. Particular attention will be focused on developing algorithms and analyses for the use of selected feature data such as High Range Resolution (HRR), Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), and Micro-Doppler techniques to perform long-term track maintenance. The satellites will be tasked to collect GMTI, SAR, and DTED data, requiring additional development in exploitation tools for utilization. The large quantities of data sent to the exploitation center can potentially be overwhelming.

The combination of these technologies will provide a powerful tool set for operators to exploit SBR products and will enable the creation of a more comprehensive picture of the Battlespace. Space assets provide a new foundation in that they provide consistent coverage of hostile target areas over a continuous 24 hour cycle. This provides for normalization to be developed over the movement patterns associated with normal operations.

These areas encompass the entire cycle for tactical SBR tasking, posting, processing, using (TPPU) and national tasking, collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TCPED). Development in these areas will not only mature component technical capability, but will also evolve the community?s understanding of the entire, integrated, system-of-systems operation.

Efforts under this BAA will provide algorithms to enable the optimal fusion of resources for the timely detection, track, and identification of ground moving targets. There are currently more targets than resources in any Concept of Operation so that adequate optimization of resources (constellation, platforms, and sensors) is critical to engaging moving vehicles.

These efforts will also leverage existing developments in the operational area such as Moving Target Information Exploitation (MTIX) and develop on those architectures making it easily adaptable to existing architectures for technology transition. From all aspects of information fusion technology, SBR Measures of Performance (MOPs) and Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs) need to be developed and integrated into these new concepts.




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