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09:15 AM, December 6, 2017
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Singapore DSTA's Command and Control System display

Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) has developed a command and control (C2) system which integrates video feeds from the Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) into an augmented reality display.

Acting as the nerve centre of the Command Post, the C2 system gives commanders an integrated battlefield picture, and enables the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to shorten the overall sensor-to-shooter cycle.

Prior to incorporating this system, information and operations were largely conducted using disparate sources, a Singapore MoD release said Tuesday.

Using advanced graphics rendering technology, static geographical data ( such as landmarks, road names, building types, vegetation) are overlaid on top of the real-time video captured by the UAV.

Previously, videos captured by the UAV had to be manually correlated and marked out on a separate static map display. The integrated display reduced the cognitive load of operators, and allowed them to quickly orientate to the latest ground situation picture to make timely decisions.

Video analytics technology is also applied to the UAV live feeds to automatically derive target locations onto the integrated display, further shortening the overall decision-making process and enabling operators to better keep track of multiple targets.

The DSTA leveraged on Exercise Forging Sabre (XFS) 2017 to experiment with new tools for the C2 system to enhance decision-making. Sense-making tools were introduced to help commanders in making mission-critical decisions. For example, a special dashboard was created to aggregate higher-level information, such as the number of available or functional assets and bases.

Commanders can make more accurate and rapid assessment of the extent of battle damage with the addition of new video analytics technology, a first at XFS.

DSTA engineers designed the C2 system such that C2 components supporting various exercise entities, like the sense-making tools for commanders, are reconfigurable. For example, simulation components that allow exercise personnel to validate their operational processes can be integrated to enable the SAF to undergo more complex exercise scenarios.

The set-up time for the C2 system was also reduced from weeks to just days with server virtualisation technology that replaces bulky physical servers with virtual ones that allow space and computing optimization.

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