Proc. SPIE. 5101, Battlespace Digitization and Network-Centric Systems III
KEYWORDS: Information fusion, Defense and security, Visualization, Data storage, Control systems, Document management, Knowledge management, Information visualization, Situational awareness sensors, Network centric warfare
Portals have become an effective means of enabling organizations to access, share and manage information and knowledge of pertinence to the organizations. Several military organizations are rapidly adopting the portal approach for information exchange and situational awareness in their command & control systems. The Canadian Common Operational Picture 21st Century Technology Demonstration (COP 21 TD) project is implementing a Situation Awareness Knowledge Portal to support the Joint Staff at the Strategic level. This portal will provide commanders and staff with an integrated access to heterogeneous sources of information, personalization capabilities in terms of information content and tools, collaboration services with other users and efficient presentation techniques to provide situation awareness.
The Electronic Battle Box is an integrated suite of planning and decision-aid tools specially designed to facilitate Canadian Armed Force Officers during their training and during their tasks of preparing and conducting military operations. It is the result of a collaborative effort between the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier, the Directorate of Army Doctrine (DAD), the Directorate of Land Requirements (DLR), the G4 staff of 1Cdn Div HQ and CGI Information and Management Consultants Inc. Distributed on CD-ROM, the Electronic Battle Box contains efficient and user-friendly tools that significantly reduce the planning time for military operations and ensure staff officers a better focus on significant tasks. Among the tools are an OrBat Browser and an Equipment Browser allowing to view and edit military organizations, a Task Browser providing facilities to prepare plans using Gantt charts, a Logistic Planner allowing to estimate supply requirements applying complex calculations, and Road, Air and Rail Movement Planners. EBB also provides staff officers with a large set of doctrinal documents in an electronic format. This paper provides an overview of the various tools of the Electronic Battle Box.
Canada has been, and remains, committed to participating in coalition operations to promote peace and stability in the post-Cold War world. However, coalition operations challenge traditional command and control concepts, from both the technological and the human perspectives. In the short term, Canada is working closely with traditional NATO and ABCA allies to ensure that the next generation of automated C2 information systems are able to exchange information effectively through structured messages, gateways and standardized data models. Canada is also conducting R&D, and participating in collaborative experiments, to evolve the next generation of systems to permit richer, more dynamic information sharing, along the lines of the Internet and World Wide Web. However, information technology alone will not solve the problems of coalition operations. Research needs to be undertaken to understand task assignment and information flow among coalition partners at the process or operational level. Research is also required at the human level, where differences between coalition partners in culture, personal values, military expectations, religions, and societal values are proving to be less tractable than differences in message formats and communication protocols.