An important element for the fielding of a viable, effective NATO Response Force (NRF) is access to meteorological, oceanographic, geospatial data (GEOMETOC) and imagery. Currently, the available GEOMETOC information suffers from being very fragmented. NATO defines the Recognised Environmental Picture as controlled information base for GEOMETOC data. The NATO REP proposes an architecture that is both flexible and open. The focus lies on enabling a network-centric approach. The key into achieving this is relying on using open, well recognized standards that apply to both the data exchange protocols and the data formats. Communication and information exchange based on open standards enables system interoperability. Diverse systems, each with unique, specialized contributions to an increased understanding of the battlespace, can now cooperate to a manageable information sphere. By clearly defining responsibilities in the generation of information, a reduction in data transfer overhead is achieved . REP identifies three main stages in the dissemination of GEOMETOC data. These are Collection, Fusion (and Analysis) and Publication. A REP architecture has been successfully deployed during the NATO Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) in Lillehammer, Norway during June 2005. CWID is an annual event to validate and improve the interoperability of NATO and national Consultation and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. With a test case success rate of 84%, it was able to provide relevant GEOMETOC support to the main NRF component headquarters. In 2006, the REP architecture will be deployed and validated during the NATO NRF Steadfast live exercises.
In order to enhance operational planning capabilities of the NATO Force Headquarters (KFOR, SFOR, ISAF), the NC3A Geo Team has developed a web-based interim geospatial intelligence support tool (IGEOSIT). The NC3A IGEOSIT displays geospatial data, such as digital topographic maps and satellite/air photo imagery, together with selectable overlay objects retrieved from distributed operational databases (DBs), for example minefields, bridges, culverts and military units. The NC3A IGEOSIT is a state-of-the-art web-based and Java-based multi-tier solution consisting of applications distributed over multiple servers within each Force HQ. The IGEOSIT provides advanced GIS terrain analysis capabilities based on the available Geo-data, including line-of-sight, 3-D perspective views, terrain profiles, and the definition of go/no-go areas. The system also performs vector-based route analysis and enhances the real-time tracking capabilities of mobile vehicles and troops. The IGEOSIT analyzes overlay data sets according to their attributes and dependencies in order to highlight otherwise hidden spatial relations that may be critical for mission planning. After performing geospatial analysis, the system compiles maps automatically to provide the user with immediate hard copy results, according to NATO standards, if necessary. The successful implementation of the IGEOSIT currently provides all NATO FORCE HQ staff members with a common operational picture of the theatre. This ensures that a common set of recently-updated information overlays forms the basis for all operational decisions. This paper describes the architecture, technology, performance tests (including test environment, analysis and measurement tools, hardware, selected test scenarios and results) and the lessons learned implementing advanced network and Java-based multi-tier solutions within the NATO Force Headquarters.
The Western European Union Satellite Center coordinates the development of an operational end-to-end production, management and delivery chain for highly complex and sensitive Digital Geographic Information (DGI). The chain permits converting satellite imagery, cartography, collateral data and imagery analysis results into user- friendly raster and vector DGI products suitable to assist civilian and military decision making process.