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Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS)
Digital Topographic Support System-Heavy (DTSS-H)
Digital Topographic Support System-Light (DTSS-L)

The Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS) was developed to provide Engineer Terrain Teams at Division, Corps and Echelons Above Corps (EAC) automated assistance in performance of terrain analysis and in creation of topographic products within the time frames required by today's Army.

The DTSS receives, (re)formats, stores, retrieves, creates, updates and manipulates digital topographic data (DTD). These capabilities are used to provide DTD or topographic products to users in soft- or hard-copy form faster than the current manual process. Terrain analysis products that the DTSS generates include: on- and off-road mobility maps, line-of-sight intervisibility plots, concealment maps, on-road choke point maps and tactical fording/bridging maps. The DTSS is housed in an S-280 shelter mounted on a 5-ton truck with power provided by a standard 30 kW generator. DTSS supports the commander with on-screen and hard-copy terrain analysis products. Communications capabilities allow for textual message traffic over secure tactical communications.

The DTSS accepts topographic and multi- spectral imagery data from the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's standard digital databases, and from commercial sources. DTSS functional capabilities include the creation of intervisibility, mobility, environmental, 3- D terrain visualization, and special- purpose products; and the creation, augmentation, modification, and management of topographic data. The DTSS will provide updated map background and terrain intelligence information to all Army Battle Command System (ABCS) workstations on the battlefield, and accept terrain intelligence/ data updates from these systems. The DTSS uses the latest commercial- off- the- shelf (COTS) technology in printers, scanners, and computer workstations, combined with image processing and geographic information system software. It will be supported by standard Army inventory environmental control units, generators, and communication equipment.

The DTSS Acquisition Strategy was approved by the Department of the Army in Dec 85. The Required Operational Capability (ROC) received US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) approval in October 1986. In June 1987, the Milestone II In-Process Review recommended proceeding to Full-Scale Engineering Development (FSED). The FSED contract was awarded to Loral Defense Systems-Akron in July 1987, and the first prototype system was delivered in 1990. A Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract was awarded to Loral in May 92, and eight systems were produced through 1995. In May 1994, the U.S. Army Engineer School (USAES) issued a Combat Terrain Information Systems (CTIS) Modernization Plan that required the combining of DTSS and the Quick Response Multicolor Printer (QRMP) in a downsized configuration (i.e., High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle transportable). Plans for full-rate production of additional 5-ton DTSSs were terminated. The LRIP DTSS systems have been fielded and are currently in service.

The system will be produced in two variants: Heavy (DTSS- H) and Light (DTSS- L). The DTSS- H will be housed in a 20- foot ISO shelter and mounted on a standard 5- Ton truck. The DTSS- L will be housed in a pair of Lightweight Multipurpose Shelters mounted on High- Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles.


  • MS 11 (Full-Scale Dev)--June 1987
  • Dev Contract Award--June 1987
  • Dev Test and Evaluation--January 1991-April 1992
  • LRIP Approval--January 1992
  • Initial Operational Test and Evaluation--June-July 1992
  • MS III (Type Classification)--April 1993
  • FUE--May 1994
  • Final Fielding--November 1995
  • Upgrade to DTSS/QRMP--Late 1997
  • Participate in Corps Warfighter Exercise, 1QFY99.
  • Initiate procurement of the DTSS- L, 2QFY99.
  • Complete fielding of DTSS- H, 3QFY99.
  • Continue P3I Program for DTSS.

PRIME CONTRACTOR( S) Litton TASC, Inc. (Reston, VA); SYTEX Corp (McLean, VA); MITRE Corp (McLean, VA); MANTECH Corp (Copperas Cove, TX); ILEX Corp (Sierra Vista, AZ)

Deployed Units

After a favorable Milestone III decision and type classification "standard", the DTSS systems began fielding. Eight DTSS systems were produced and accepted by the government. First Unit Equipped (FUE) was achieved at the 123rd Engineer Det., 1st Cavalry Div., Fort Hood, Texas in May 1994. The eighth and final unit was fielded to V Corps Terrain Team, Heidelberg, Germany, in November 1995. Hardware and software maintenance is in place continued through 1997 when the systems was replaced by the DTSS/QRMP.

The Project Management Office for Combat Terrain Information Systems is currently fielding nine DTSS- H systems. Five have been fielded to U. S. Army engineer terrain teams at Ft. Hood, Ft. Bragg and Ft. Stewart. The remaining four systems will be fielded to units in Korea and Germany in FY99. A firm fixed price production contract was awarded in 2QFY99 for the DTSS- L. Ten DTSS- L systems were procured in FY99 and fielded in FY00, in accordance with HQDA- approved fielding requirements. A total of 60 DTSS- L systems will be procured (pending available funding) to support Force Package 1- 3 requirements. A preplanned product improvement (P3I) program will be conducted to address technology insertion (e. g. improved ABCS interoperability, terrain data base management), and the cyclic upgrade of commercial-off-the-shelf equipment (e. g. CHS2). Products developed as part of the P3I Program will be incorporated into all DTSS hardware and software architectures.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:48:55 ZULU