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Activity title

Federated Interoperability of Military C2 and IoT Systems

Activity Reference

IST-176 (COM)


Information Systems Technology

Security Classification




Activity type


Start date


End date



C2, Federation, HADR, Interoperability, IoT, Security, Smart City


The IST-147 Research Task Group (RTG) on Military Applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) explored the applicability and utility of IoT to the military domain. During the course of the last two and a half years, the activities of this group, which included experiments, demonstrations, and workshops, have demonstrated that IoT has a significant role to play in future Military Operations and Collaborative Resilience, including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), counterterrorism, smart physiological monitoring of soldiers, and logistics and supply chain management.Exploiting IoT capabilities and technologies has the potential to significantly increase the speed and breadth of obtaining Situation Awareness (SA) for military operations. For example, in the event of a natural disaster in a future smart city environment, being able to tap into the plethora of sensors and intelligent services within the city could enable the Military to gather SA much faster than relying solely on custom deployed sensing and information gathering. IoT is being deployed to monitor everything from weather to power grids, traffic flow, public transportation, water quality, air quality, noise pollution, medical services, and many other aspects. Being able to tap into and leverage such an information rich environment could be invaluable for future military operations.The next challenge that naturally arises is to investigate different approaches to integrate these vast and disparate IoT systems and capabilities into existing Military Command and Control (C2) systems. Without systematic approaches to integrate these capabilities, it would be very difficult to leverage IoT capabilities in support of military operations.


1. To examine existing IoT standards, as well as existing STANAGs, architectures, and best practices to better understand how to integrate commercial and civilian IoT technologies and capabilities into Military C2 and Logistics systems, and in particular NATO’s Federated Mission Networking (FMN) architecture. 2. To further define the use-cases/scenarios, interfaces, and practical usability of IoT based solutions for HADR operations in future Smart City environments and to assist in realizing Collaborative Resilience. 3. To explore the challenges of discovery of commercial IoT capabilities and services, given the relative lack of standardization. 4. To identify security challenges and develop mitigation strategies for those challenges when interfacing military C2 and civilian IoT infrastructures and when performing fusion with or otherwise relying on data coming from various sources of information. 5. To experiment and demonstrate, through proof-of-concept trials, the benefits and ability to integrate civilian IoT and military C2 systems, especially in the context of providing Collaborative Resilience. 6. To potentially engage in standardization activities in the civilian space, for example the IEEE Smart Cities initiatives. 7. To organize workshops at conferences to engage with commercial IoT activities.


1. Scenarios that will serve as the basis for exploration and experimentation. 2. Existing standardization efforts and participation in future standardization efforts within the commercial and civilian IoT domain. 3. Examination of low-cost and COTS IoT devices for both civilian as well as military use. 4. Mechanisms necessary to interface commercial and civilian IoT with military C2 and logistics systems. 5. Federated discovery mechanisms. 6. Federated Mission Networks (FMN) and necessary interfaces / extensions to support integration of IoT with FMN. 7. Security challenges including potential threats and vulnerabilities that could be exploited by adversaries. 8. Communications challenges – both in terms of connectivity (e.g., interfacing military networks with commercial networks via gateways) and resource constraints (e.g., with tactical edge networks)

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