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Concept and Technology Development Phase

The FCS program has three integrated phases to achieve transformation this decade: Concept and Technology Development (CTD); System Design and Demonstration (SDD), and Production. The FCS LSI team will be partnering with industry and Government during each of these phases to provide the Army with the most effective / best value FCS solution for fielding in 2010.

On 08 March 2002 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Army announced the selection of the team of the Boeing Co. (Anaheim, Calif., and Seattle, Wash.) and Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), (McLean, Va., and San Diego, Calif.) as the Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) for the concept and technology development phase of the Future Combat Systems program. LSI selection follows the 21-month concept design phase during which four contractor teams (Boeing, Science Applications International Corp., Team FoCuS Vision Consortium, and Team Gladiator) developed innovative concepts for Future Combat Systems. DARPA and the Army analyzed the concepts and used them to refine the draft FCS requirements. Subject to negotiation, the Boeing-SAIC team received a $154 million award for this 16-month effort. The Boeing-SAIC LSI will support the Army's development of the concept design, organization and operational structure, and performance specifications for the FCS program. The LSI Team will develop the architecture for the system of systems envisioned for the FCS, and will identify and evaluate potential concepts and technologies, conduct demonstrations and select the most promising efforts for further definition. The work accomplished by the LSI allowed the FCS program to be ready to transition from the concept and technology development phase into the system development and demonstration phase during the third quarter of fiscal 2003. The LSI approach affords opportunities to insert "leap ahead" technology upgrades when they are mature, to incorporate best business practices and to ensure an integrated effort from all concerned.

The Concept and Technology Development Phase [CTD] was completed in May 2003. During this time three significant efforts were conducted.

1. Industry and Government Trade Studies (concluded in September 02): five-month period that brought together the breadth of industry capabilities for evaluating systems, sub-systems, and component level solutions needed for the FCS. The trades covered all aspects of the FCS program as defined in the Broad Industry Announcement. At the conclusion of this five-month period the LSI team began the down-selection process of applicable systems, sub-systems, and component level solution baselines for the FCS Block 1 program.

2. Architecture and Concept Refinement (concluded in January 03): four-month period that the FCS system, sub-system, and components were selected for inclusion into FCS Block 1. Concurrently, the LSI team began the development of specifications (with full industry participation), and the development for request for proposals for each of the FCS systems, sub-systems, and components. The LSI team requested selected subcontractors from the previous phase for subcontract extensions to actively participate in the "Architecture and Concept Refinement".

3. Request for Proposals (RFP): issued to industry in January 2003: RFP's are for System Design & Demonstration of the FCS elements as defined and developed in the previous two phases. Selection were announced in the June-July 2003 timeframe.


The Autonomous Navigation Subsystem (ANS) consists of sensors, software and interfaces that perform land navigation, perception, world modeling, behavior generation and command generation functions to provide a semi-autonomous mobility capability for the 6 ton Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), 16 ton Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV), and possibly a 1-2 ton Mule UGV. As a goal, the ANS will utilize common computing, communication and GPS/INS infrastructure defined by the LSI.

The ECS/TMS/NBC is a common subsystem for all FCS manned ground vehicles. The ECS/TMS/NBC subsystem provides for a conditioned cabin environment, cabin pressurization, vetronics temperature control, utility and engine equipment temperature control, mobility system temperature control, vehicle ventilation, survivability system temperature control, mission system temperature control, air supply filtration, and the air supply life support system that conditions the air that directly supports the crew during NBC events. The subsystem shall interface with NBC sensor suite and the vehicle prognostic and health management subsystem.

The FCS Survivability System will be comprised of several common Survivability Subsystems that are used across the FCS ground platforms. The Survivability Subsystems may be tailored for each vehicle type, and they may, or may not, be installed on each type. Submissions covering only some of the subsystems detailed below may be considered at a reduced subcontract value. Partial submissions must cover an entire subsystem area to receive consideration. All components will be based on an open system architecture and facilitate block upgrades spiral development throughout the life of the vehicle.

The following technology areas define the subsystems making up the platform survivability system:

  • Add-on or appliqu armor - This armor will provide additional protection over the inherent ballistic protection in the vehicle hull. It will be field-installable (e.g. tiles or panels) over the vehicle hull, and may include passive or active solutions.
  • Countermeasures and active protection - This subsystem includes active countermeasures that intercept incoming threat weapons (i.e. active protection systems), provide visible, NIR, IR, RF, or acoustic jamming of threat sensors, decoy incoming threat weapons (visible, NIR, IR, RF, or acoustic), or provide visible, NIR, IR, or RF obscuration either locally or at range from the target vehicle.
  • Sensors - These sensors will provide passive and active threat detection and environment sensing functions. Sensors capable of operating in the visible, NIR, IR, RF, acoustic, and magnetic bands are desired. Both single-use and multiple use sensors are sought, as are single-spectrum and multi-spectrum systems. Sensor fusion capabilities or systems otherwise capable of performing more than one function, or in more than one spectrum are desirable. Threat detection should include one or more of the following capabilities: detection of weapon firing or launch, in-flight weapons, mines, threat sensor systems, threat vehicles, etc. Environment sensors should provide data regarding the immediate vehicle environment, such as ground conditions, background or foreground clutter, ambient lighting, temperature, humidity, local surroundings, etc.
  • Signature management - This subsystem will provide detection avoidance capabilities within the visible, NIR, infrared, radar, acoustic, electronic, and magnetic signature bands.
  • Vulnerability reduction - The vulnerability reduction subsystem will include items such as vulnerability analysis, redundant capability specifications, fire suppression mechanism, critical item identification and protection, etc.
  • Survivability processor - The survivability processor will integrate, manage, deploy, or apply the other survivability subsystems and perform threat identification and characterization, saliency, immediacy, and response/consequence assessment calculations. It will coordinate and/or perform other survivability subsystem processing functions and derive local environment data from onboard or off-board sensors. It will provide an interface to the Integrated Vehicle Health Management System, which includes platform and crew condition and status sensing, and diagnostic/prognostic/anomaly sensing and reporting capabilities.

The Vehicle Electronics (Vetronics) system is a common subsystem for all FCS manned ground vehicles. The Vetronics comprise vehicle health monitoring sensors, computational elements, databuses, backplanes, chassis, data distribution networks, network interfaces, storage devices and related software products, and driving/navigation sensors. Note: controls , displays, autonomous navigation, and other human-computer interfaces are covered by a separate BIA. Consideration should be given to the following standards: VRA, JTA-A, and other open systems standards.

The Warfighter Machine Interface (WMI) consists of two major components, a Common Crew Station and the WMI Layer of the software architecture. The WMI Software Layer is an integral part of the FCS Software Architecture that integrates the FCS warfighter's visualization and interaction needs for data and services across all manned ground vehicles and associated off-vehicle equipment. The Common Crew Station is a common subsystem for all manned ground vehicles. The WMI concept must also be extended to control unmanned vehicles and non-developmental vehicles. The Common Crew Station comprises hardware and software for speech I/O, helmet-mounted displays, multifunction head-down displays, multiple control options, seating, workspace and accommodations, storage, and human-computer interface equipment associated with the crew and dismounts as well as both embedded or off vehicle interfaces for Dismounted Soldiers, C4ISR, Training, and Supportability. All components will be based on an open system architecture and facilitate block upgrades and spiral development throughout the life of the system and associated FCS platforms and equipment. A key characteristic will be the ability to separate the WMI Software Layer provided to the FCS warfighter from the generation of data and services within the underlying applications.

The principal elements of the mobility demonstrations are: active and semi- active suspensions, hybrid- electric drive, and lightweight track. Because commercial engines lack the necessary power density for the power, space and weight constraints of FCS, and fuel cells are not expected to be sufficiently mature for FCS fielding, the Army demonstrated high power density engines starting in FY02. This competative program seeks to double the power density (horsepower per cubic foot) of a comperable, state- of- the- art, commercial engine. Military requirements for vehicle mobility are unique because of: (1) the need for a stable ride at high speeds (above 20 miles per hour) over cross country terrain for weapon targeting on the move, crew comfort and endurance and accomplish the maneuver- dominant warfare, (2) the need for compact and light vehicle systems to reduce vulnerability of detection, acquisition and attack by enemy weapons, enhanced deployability and reduced logistics burden (e. g., fuel), (3) the need to protect vehicle subsystems under armor (e. g., complicates design of air intake and exhaust systems). The hybrid- Electric drive offers unique capabilities, such as improved performance, silent operation and vehicle design flexibility; however, it presents new challenges, especially in power electronics thermal management. Army efforts in hybrid electric drive have leveraged two joint Army/ DARPA programs, Combat Hybrid Power System (CHPS) and the Electric Drive Vehicle Demonstration Program. CHPS successfully transitioned to the Army in FY 2000 with the objective of designing, maturing and testing a robust ground vehicle electrical power architecture in a systems integration laboratory that will support the FCS program. Government partners include: Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS; Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD. Major contractors include: General Dynamics Land Systems Muskegon Operations, Muskegon, MI; Pentastar, Huntsville, AL; SAIC, San Diego, CA; United Defense Limited Partnership, San Jose, CA; Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI; General Electric, Schenectady, NY; and Cadillac Gage Textron, New Orleans, LA.

Intra- vehicle electronics hardware and software technologies will yield increased crew efficiencies and performance or reduced crew size, and advances open systems architectures for ground vehicle weapon systems. Current efforts leverage semi- autonomous robotics technologies (e. g., automated driving) for application to manned systems to reduce crew work load. Efforts will culminated in an FY 2004 vehicle demonstration of the ability to perform crew functions associated with fighting, performing reconnaissance and carrying troops for a two- man crew vehicle. Goals include a 30% reduction in software cost, a 10 times increase in architecture throughput, and full mission rehearsal via embedded simulation that will be relevant to the FCS. Major contract efforts will include: DCS Corp, Alexandria, VA; Oasis, Troy, MI; and RST, Westminster, MD.

Another project is specifically focused at providing a near- term unmanned system technology to the FCS program. The project funds technological maturation and demonstration of unmanned follower technologies required for multiple, potential tactical and logistics applications. Near- term efforts are oriented toward: (1) demonstrating technologies required for systems to move autonomously over terrain at militarily significant speeds, (2) maturing the technologies for transition to FCS and (3) conducting system of systems field experimentation to allow Warfighter and FCS contractor evaluation of the technologies. The Army's approach builds upon previous and ongoing investments, such as the Demo III program being conducted under the Joint Robotics Program Office with the ARL. The main effort funded in the project is the Robotic Follower Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD). Additionally, the Army is investing on improving the flexibility and utility of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) by applying advanced technologies and algorithms to decrease the frequency of human intervention and direct control and implementing a robotic leader initiative for scout/ reconnaissance missions. Technologies proven in robotic demonstrations are expected to be transferable to other unmanned platforms as well as manned platforms to reduce operator workload. This project was established by the Army in recognition of the increasing maturity of robotics technology, growing user interest in unmanned platforms, and an urgent need to make the force lighter, more agile strategically and tactically and more survivable.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:43:08 ZULU