Situational Awareness

Building a broader and coherent intelligence picture

In the information age, it’s acknowledged that Situational Awareness (SA) cannot be achieved in isolation; a common and coherent intelligence picture needs to be maintained at both the strategic and tactical level. Modern conflict is now becoming a ‘3D’ problem with the challenge of the urban environment compounded with buildings, tunnel systems and the threat of degraded communications.

At the tactical level this is more complex than solving the problem with a single sensor. Shared SA is generated from an array of multifaceted sensors in order to maintain a fully fused and integrated intelligence picture. To operate effectively at the ‘Tactical Edge’, efforts are focused at an ‘on the soldier solution’ in the form of a Dismounted Situational Awareness (DSA) capability. Using a bearer of the customer’s choice, positional information of individuals and other force elements can be maintained to allow for better planning and co-ordination, as well as full motion video feeds and other mission specific applications.

SA within the battlespace

The need for situational awareness within the tactical deployed battlespace is deemed a key capability at all levels of command. It provides soldiers and commanders with enhanced information about threats from multiple sensor inputs, in order to support an effective and efficient decision making process.

Intrinsically linked to improving SA, other innovative areas of work such as artificial intelligence & machine learning (AI/ML) and inertial navigation can aid in tactical and strategic SA and provide an aggregated operational picture.

One such example is STARTLE® AI, a bio-inspired architecture which can use sensor data to detect and assess threats. STARTLE® has been used by the Royal Navy to recognise and provide SA on potential air and surface threats. The STARTLE® architecture has the potential to provide SA information from varying sensor outputs in all domains, including land, air and maritime. In a data rich environment, AL/ML not only speeds up decision making, the system also allows sensor operators to process multiple data feeds and share the relevant information with Commanders. 

Maintaining positional information

Maintaining positional information is key at all levels of command and the overall SA picture.  In an age where satellite denial is a real threat the ability to still geo-locate without GPS is paramount to secure the advantage against an adversary. Current research and development into inertial navigation system will give an operator the ability to maintain SA even without GPS data. Operating within a dense urban environment this technology is useful when moving between and within buildings, as well as underground systems that are likely to be complex with no chance of a GPS signal. 

Information is critical to the success of any military, yet this is still being dominated and better implemented by agile state and non-state actors. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is aware of its need to operate more effectively in this area and it’s a known fact that information is becoming a contested battlespace, one in which it is vital not to be outmanoeuvred. In order to achieve this, the MoD has to rapidly invest and develop new capability to ensure it can operate in a data-rich, complex and dynamic Information environment.

How innovation drives mission success

As technology innovators, our engineers are experts in intelligent sensors, communication protocols, computer vison, spectrum monitoring/surveillance and much more. We work closely with SMEs and end users in ensuring that a robust and comprehensive Situational Awareness picture can be achieved for the modern battlefield. We recognize the importance of delivering information and intelligence through the virtual, cognitive and physical space.

Our work in the Defence sector has Information Advantage at the heart of what does. Shaping its development in line with that of the MoD, the Information Advantage campaign seeks to compliment military thinking and related doctrine by concentrating on the three pillars of collect, communicate and understand. We thrive in developing secure cloud and secure mobility solutions that bring together the collect, communicate and understand aspects of information advantage to provide scalable and cohesive solutions across a theatre of operations.