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Digital Topographic Support System-Deployable (DTSS-D)
Digital Topographic Support System-Multi-Spectral Image Processor (DTSS-MSIP)

Maps and map products are essential items to any operation. However, recent operations have shown that the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) does not have standard map product stock age for a very large portion of the earth's surface. These new missions have demonstrated a need to use Multi-Spectral Imagery as a means for quickly providing the commander with map products where no standard products exist or where the standard map products are outdated.

The Digital Topographic Support System-Deployable (DTSS-D) (formerly known as the DTSS-Multispectral Imagery Processor (DTSS-MSIP)) was initiated in response to a need for an interim capability to generate and print image maps from commercial and national imagery, and perform some terrain analysis based on attribute inspection of the imagery available. The purpose of this initiative was to place these capabilities in the hands of the terrain teams as quickly as possible to support mission planning and the commander's decision making. The DTSS-D capabilities were a previously identified element of the DTSS Pre-Planned Product Improvement (P3I) program

The DTSS-D is also one of the elements of the ARSPACE Commercial Space Package (CSP) which was demonstrated as part of the FY93 Louisiana Maneuvers (LAM), C4I/Exploitation of Space Issues. GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, the Chief of Staff, Army approved a TRADOC proposal to procure DTSS-Ds for fielding to Corps and Division terrain teams. Since the inception of the DTSS-D, it has evolved to include all the capabilities resident in the DTSS-L and DTSS-H. In addition to using raster imagery, the DTSS-D now has the capability to exploit vector topographic data using the same software suite as the DTSS-L or DTSS-H.

The DTSS-MSIP can provide a digital capability to quickly create map products today. The DTSS-MSIP provides an interim capability to generate and print image maps from commercial and national imagery, and perform some terrain analysis based on attribute inspection of the imagery available. The DTSS-MSIP capabilities were previously identified as an element of the DTSS Pre-Planned Product Improvement (P3I) program, and were designated an immediate need in FY94. GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, Army Chief of Staff approved a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) proposal to procure DTSS-MSIPs for fielding to Corps and Division terrain teams. The acquisition was executed by the Project Director, Combat Terrain Information Systems (PD CTIS) in FY94-FY95. Twenty-five DTSS-MSIPs were procured, integrated, tested and issued to terrain teams worldwide during FY95. An upgrade/enhancement to the DTSS-MSIP is scheduled for April-June 1996. Formal training for the enhancements, as well as a training update for operation and maintenance, will be provided by the PD CTIS.

The DTSS-MSIP hardware consists of the Common Hardware/Software I (CHS I) workstation, three Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 650C large-format plotters, and ERDAS Imagine image processing software. Workstation storage peripherals include: internal 3.5" 1.4MB floppy, removable hard-disk drives (up to 11 GB on-line), external CD-ROM reader, 4-mm DAT drive, magneto-optical drive, and 8-mm tape drive. The ERDAS Image software package has extensive applications to perform image processing of commercial and national digital imagery; imagery rectification; gridding of rectified imagery (image maps), thematic layers, intelligence overlays; graphic portrayals of environmental conditions; limited a digital data base creation and page layout functions. Imagine also has the capability to retrieve and use DMA standard digital databases. The upgrade components will consist of a large format, full color Altek Scanner; a STU III secure telephone; ARC/INFO GIS software; and an interim release of the DTSS-QRMP software.

The DTSS-D consists of:

  • Hewlett Packard (HP) 9000/735
    • HPUnix 10.20
    • 1GB Internal Drive
    • 20" Monitor w/Graphics Accelerator
    • 224 MB RAM
    • 125 MHz Processor
  • APC Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • Peripherals
    • 4mm Tape Drive
    • 8mm Tape Drive
    • CD-ROM Drive
    • Magneto-Optical Drive
    • CD-Rom Recorder
    • 2GB External Drive
  • Three HP 650C Color Printers
    • 68 MB RAM
  • Altek 36" Large-Format Scanner
    • 100dpi - 400dpi
  • Software
    • ARC/INFO 7.11
    • ARC View 3.0a
    • ERDAS Imagine 8.3
    • SoftComm
    • X-Window FTP
    • ACCS Message Handling
    • Windows Emulation (WABI) 2.1
    • Netscape 3.0
    • Advent Tru-Scan 2.0d
    • Gear - CD Recorder Software 3.24

The DTSS-D is a standard, automated, tactical combat support system capable of receiving, (re)formatting, creating, manipulating, merging, updating, storing, and retrieving digital topographic data, then reproducing this data into hardcopy topographic products. The DTSS-D can accept topographic and multispectral imagery data from National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) standard digital data bases and from other sources.

The DTSS-D can generate Tactical Decision Aids (TDAs) from input terrain data. The six different TDA product categories include: (1) Intervisibility, (2) Mobility, (3) Special Purpose Products, (4)TACDAM, (5) IMETS, and (6) Terrain Elevation. TDAs generated on the DTSS-D can be output as Map Products that include all applicable marginalia.

In addition to TDA generation, the DTSS-D provides the capability to generate and print image maps from commercial and national imagery, and perform terrain analyses based on attribute inspection of the imagery available. ERDAS Imagine image procesing software is being used to process commercial, NIMA standard and national digital imagery in order to perform imagery rectification, image map generation, thematic layer generation, limited digital database creation, and 3D terrain perspective viewing.

A relatively new data source being explored for use by the DTSS-D is Interferometric Synthethic Aperture Radar for Elevations (IFSARE). The elevations from these data are being used to create Intervisibility and Terrain Elevation products. The reflectance image generated from this data can be used as a product background or as an image map.

Thirty-five DTSS-MSIP systems were purchased with FY94-FY95 funds. The DTSS/QRMP contractor performed system integration and testing of all systems prior to issue to the units. Training was conducted using contractor and Government (Defense Mapping School, PM CTIS, and U.S. Army Engineer School) resources. DTSS-QRMP developed upgrades will be added to the DTSS-MSIPs over time.

Oversight is provided by the U.S. Army Program Executive Officer for Command, Control and Communication Systems (PEO C3S), with the project direction provided by the Project Director for Combat Terrain Information Systems (PD CTIS) at the U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center (USATEC). The Combat Developer/User Representative is the U.S. Army Engineer School. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command is the Materiel Readiness Support Command.


DTSS-MSIP Operational Needs Statement--May 1994
DTSS-MSIP MS-III Decision--July 1994
Issue of two systems to ARSPACE--September 1994
System configuration--December 1994
Training--May-June 1995
Systems issued to units--May-June 1995
Enhancement training--March-May 1996
Initial upgrades to DTSS-MSIP--April-June 1996

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:48:54 ZULU