October 28, 2011

Advances in Ground Vehicle Protection and Situational Awareness

News Report

As reported by SpaceWar and other news sources, Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated advanced technologies for ground vehicle protection and situational awareness at the Camp Roberts range. In one of the test scenarios, Northrop Grumman simulated a typical convoy mission leaving a Forward Operating Base. By using the company's Smart Integrated Vehicle Area Network (SiVAN) and vehicle-mounted sensors, crews in multiple vehicles maintained situational awareness with each other and the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) under all weather conditions.

Connected to a wireless mesh network, the systems shared target information with other networked sensors and with the TOC. Operators were able to view imagery from several sensors, Northrop said.

The Technology

SiVAN is a highly survivable information network that ties current disparate technologies together into one integrated infrastructure. An infrastructure that ultimately serves as the foundation for adding all future capabilities. SiVAN operates as an open systems architecture that integrates zero configuration standards to create true plug-and-play capability.

SiVAN provides a self-forming information link between devices, local area dismounts, UAVs, and any other platform allowing them all to seamlessly interoperate.

SiVAN consists of a Smart display, an Ethernet cable, and device interfaces. Scalable and modular, SiVAN is compliant with the VICTORY architecture (Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/Electronic Warfare Interoperability), i.e. the US Army effort to develop, validate, demonstrate and maintain a set of open standards for the integration of C4ISR and related items of equipments on Army platforms.

The goals of VICTORY are to facilitate a decrease in Size, Weight, and Power requirements (SWaP) , improve technology transition and provide evolutionary growth in capabilities. VICTORY standards are developed in cooperation with industry and are open to support multi-vendor implementation. It is the intent for these standards to be used in a large number of future acquisition programs.

The Context

Other systems integrated and tested during the Camp Roberts' exercise included fire control systems, targeting systems, radar, unattended ground sensors, acoustic sensors and survivability equipment. Northrop Grumman's Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Laboratory performed the rapid integrations.


"Military convoys are vital for resupply and force mobility in theater, but they face a number of significant threats. Improving their safety was one of the goals of our testing at Camp Roberts," said Kay Burch, vice president of communications, intelligence and networking solutions for Northrop Grumman's Land and Self Protection Systems Division. "The digital interoperability we demonstrated here will improve warfighters' situational awareness by giving them greater access to the information they need, when they need it."

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References: SpaceWar (1)

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