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Digital Topographic Support System - Base (DTSS-B)
Topographic Imagery Integration Prototype (TIIP)

The Digital Topographic Support System - Base (DTSS-B) (formerly known as the Topographic Imagery Integration Prototype (TIIP)) has the capability to generate digital terrain data using near real-time intelligence imagery, NIMA source imagery (e.g., PPDB) and organically collected stereo-imagery to produce products such as Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED), image map substitutes, 3D terrain visualization, operation and decision graphics, update and produce Topographic Line Maps (TLM's), and Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) products. DTSS-B takes advantage of three current technologies within USATEC; the Terrain Information Extraction System (TIES), the Modernized Imagery Exploitation System (MIES) and the Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS).

DTSS-B is the result of a USAREUR initiative to develop the capability to generate terrain information over sparsely mapped areas to support training and mission rehearsal/contingency operations. The need for this capability was highlighted by recent experiences in DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM and the former Yugoslavia.

DTSS-B is designed to augment DMA capabilities at the echelon above corps level by providing quick-response special purpose mapping, terrain analysis, and terrain related Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) in areas of obsolete/outdated information or data. Examples of such products are annotated photo maps at any scale, target and terrain perspective views, mission planning target fly-throughs, 3D engineer obstacle planning at any scale or slope, trafficability, fusion with intelligence templating based on the terrain data, visibility and mobility products to support combat decision making. Product response time varies from 10 minutes to 36 hours depending on the sophistication of the product ranging from a simple image map through a contoured orthophoto map to a terrain 3D visualization fly-through.

DTSS-B integrates commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware/software and laboratory developed software to form a package to quickly bring R&D programs to the operational users and maintain commercially supportable and sustainable technology. As a COTS-based system, DTSS-B bridges the technological gap between current TO&E Topographic systems and TO&E systems in the acquisition cycle that will provide these capabilities in the year 2000 timeframe. DTSS-B provides Topographic Engineers direct access to data acquired by National systems and delivered by TENCAP assets.

The DTSS-B system is configured in three segments.

  • The first is the Data Generation Segment co-located with the Echelon Above Corps (EAC) Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) assets. This segment imports imagery, such as Landsat and SPOT imagery, to create ortho-rectified image maps and 3-D terrain visualization data/scenes. Given stereo imagery, this segment provides the capability to generate Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) at posting intervals selected by the operator, contour and slope data, and detailed terrain and feature extraction data.
  • The Data Analysis Segment provides the capability to integrate imagery with map data and Standard DMA Digital Topographic Data to produce updated and topographically linked Topo-graphic Line Maps, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) tactical decision graphics, annotated image maps, 3-D terrain "fly-throughs," and digital color-separate mapping layers.
  • The final segment is the Data Output Segment, which prints any of the constructed products on a full-format ink jet printer, a Quick Response Multicolor Printer (QRMP) Block 0, or on an image setter/film processor. The image setter/film processor can generate a print-ready plate for mass reproduction (7,000 copies per hour). Using the unit's presses, troops can print map substitutes to "field the force." All of these data and products can be written to Compact Disc-Read Only Memory, or 8mm or 4mm digital audio tape (DAT).

The TIIP, an integrated mix of commercial off-the-shelf and government-owned hardware and software, also draws from a number of TEC "in-house" research and development, and system efforts, including:

  • The Modernized Imagery Exploitation System (MIES) for national imagery support.

  • The Terrain Information Extraction System (TIES) for the Data Generation segment.

  • The QRMP for hard-copy, full-color, map sheet-size output.

  • DrawLand, a TEC-developed terrain visualization software.

  • Digital Topographic Support System-Multi-Spectral Imagery Processor (DTSS-MSIP) for unclassified image processing.

With DTSS-B's quick development as a non-developmental item, TEC provides soldiers in the field the ability to use state-of-the-art technology. The TIIP enables terrain analysts to create and manipulate digital topographic data to produce and maintain data bases, decision aids, map substitutes (image maps) and maps for a largely unmapped theater area of responsibility. This garrison system initially satisfies topographic requirements for force projection anywhere in the commander in chief's area of responsibility, and conducts split-based operations by feeding data to deployed terrain units using the DTSS-MSIP in the crisis/combat area.

The TIIP was developed by U. S. Army Topographic Engineering Center as part of an 18-month program, 6 man-years of engineering and $1.5 million that achieved the fastest funding-to-delivery time of any major system developed by TEC. Currently, there are four validated DTSS-B Operational Need Statements (ONS) requiring that one system be provided to FORSCOM, USARPAC, USAREUR and EUSA.

  • DTSS-B #1 was delivered to the 30th Engineer Battalion (Topographic), Fort Bragg, North Carolina (FORSCOM). Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was achieved on 20 March 1995.
  • DTSS-B #2 was delivered to the 29th Engineer Battalion (Topographic), Fort Shafter, Hawaii (USARPAC). IOC for DTSS-B #2 was achieved on 24 July 1995.
  • DTSS-B #3 was delivered to the 60th Engineer Detachment (USAREUR). IOC for DTSS-B #3 was in March 1996.

The DTSS-B is currently in the requirements documentation phase of the TO&E process for inclusion at echelon Corps and above. The DTSS-B is included in a TEC-contracted Combat Terrain Information Systems (CTIS) hardware maintenance program with the software being maintained separately by the gaining unit. TEC Field Support Team is the sole proponent for DTSS-B configuration control for both hardware and software, and as such, will periodically conduct technology upgrades to the systems.



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