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Activity title

Interoperability & Networking of Disparate Sensors and Platforms for ISR Applications

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Sensors & Electronics Technology

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Interoperability, ISR, STANAG, UGS


NATO forces currently cannot effectively take advantage of available disparate mobile and fixed ISR assets (e.g., sensors, cameras, unattended ground sensors, etc.) from coalition partners during coalition ground operations. Coalition partners must provide all of the ISR assets they need respectively which creates significantly increased costs in logistics and sustainment and required personnel. NATO SET-218 explored the state of the art for ongoing individual efforts on interoperability. While there are numerous NATO STANAGS that provide standards for data to enable interoperability, there isn’t an agreed upon method to match/integrate disparate sensors with native formats into a common environment.


The proposed task group seeks to achieve coalition interoperability of widely disparate ISR sensors from different nations, developing interoperability standards and demonstrate middleware for ease of integration and interoperability of the ISR assets to increase military effectiveness. Expected achievements will include: • Identification of coalition ISR assets to be made interoperable and the development of software and hardware plug-ins • Identification of relevant existing STANAGS and mapping middleware capabilities to STANAG requirements • Development of mission programming capabilities for C2 of ISR assets • Development of methodology for policy implementation for sensor access and controls, data sharing and enterprise access • Identification of appropriate exercise/experimental venues • Participation in appropriate exercise/experimental event


The major scientific topics to be covered will be development and implementation of middleware solutions that will map to appropriate STANAG requirements and make common data schema available for data ingest. Currently material developers build sensor solutions that are stovepiped and the data format is proprietary. Implementing middleware protocols that can be adopted without having to reengineer system formats will enable plug and play interoperability. Much like a printer driver enables printer access for disparate computers, and middleware data normalization driver can do the same for coalition sensors. The breakthrough is way business model for interoperability that does not require a new STANAG but rather lays a path forward for STANAG implementation.

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