Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Northrop Grumman Team Demonstrates Distributed Common Ground System Technologies for Maritime Intercept At Empire Challenge 2009

Northrop Grumman Team Demonstrates Distributed Common Ground System Technologies for Maritime Intercept At Empire Challenge 2009
September 16, 2009

LEXINGTON PARK, Md., -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) successfully demonstrated the capability of the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) to interact with Navy P-3 aircraft and U.S. Coast Guard vessels for maritime terrorist intercept as part of Empire Challenge 2009 (EC09).

Known as the Maritime Thread, the exercise involved the Navy's DCGS Experimentation & Analysis Laboratory (DEAL) and the Surface/Aviation Interoperability Laboratory (SAIL), both located at Patuxent River Naval Air Station (NAS). The demonstration included Northrop Grumman's implemented service-oriented architecture using the U.S Department of Defense's DCGS Integrated Backbone (DIB), the
Navy-owned SureTrak system provided by CSC, and Ericsson Federal's QuickLINK 3G cellular technology for high-speed communications.
Together, these systems were seamlessly integrated to demonstrate a significant leap ahead in capability to provide short-term solutions in improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), maritime domain awareness and homeland security.

Empire Challenge, hosted by Joint Forces Command at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, is the premier event for validating
ISR systems with objectives focused on joint and coalition warfighter requirements.

"The performance of this system at Empire Challenge demonstrates our continued commitment to the DCGS community," said Joseph J. Ensor, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Space and ISR Systems Division. "Interoperability at the interface, data, and services levels is a critical part of our vision and strategy in providing seamless ISR capabilities to our warfighters and analysts."

The EC09 Maritime Thread was conducted on the Chesapeake Bay using a target vessel from the Advanced Maritime Technology Center. Key real and simulated data was obtained by the DEAL's DCGS to allow initial cueing of simulated P-3 operations. When the P-3 imagery was received by the DCGS, imagery of the target vessel was made available to the DIB for access by other DCGS systems.

During the exercise, as the vessel moved up the bay toward Patuxent River NAS, SureTrak sensors further tracked the target vessel and provided the data to the DEAL. QuickLINK cellular communications provided P-3 imagery, SureTrak data and JPEG images of the "terrorist
suspect" in real time to the U.S. Coast Guard intercept vessel. After rapidly locating and boarding the target vessel, the Coast Guard apprehended the simulated suspect and a large weapons cache.

Video and photos of the boarding and apprehension procedures were then provided in real time back to the DEAL and SAIL and published to the DIB for use by other DCGS systems. SureTrak and QuickLINK data were uploaded into the DCGS portal, making all of this data available to other DCGS nodes throughout the enterprise using the Distributed Development & Test Environment network.

"All parts of the demonstration worked seamlessly," said Ensor. "The DEAL's DCGS successfully interacted with the dozen other DDT&E
nodes, allowing access, visibility, and the capability to retrieve all data available from the DIB and the other nodes. This set a new standard for rapid, interactive, multi-unit operation against maritime threats through use of DCGS technology."


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