Military Review

Military mapping


Saab's Rapid 3D Mapping is a powerful tool for quickly creating maps for an area of ​​any size.

Few areas of military art and science have changed so radically in recent years and continue to change as quickly as mapping technology.

How many people tried to understand the world around them, how much they created graphic representations in order to make the huge and complex small and simple enough to understand and use as the basis for the planned actions. In fact, everything on planet Earth has a geographical location and everything that happens happens somewhere. Today this means that every place and event in any way connected with any type of military operation can be represented on a digital map and is associated with a huge amount of built-in additional intelligence information. With appropriate network connections, this information can be updated almost in real time. Such network geospatial information systems GIS (Geospatial Information System) provide the military with digital maps, rich in information, through an expanded gamut of devices, from desktops and on-board computers to electronic boards, laptops, tablets and rugged smartphones, although, as before, if necessary, print paper maps . Compiled and maintained digital maps using GIS also form the basis of combat mission control systems aviation, aviation support, UAVs, warships and operational control applications of all types.

According to ESRI, the leading provider of GIS capabilities: “Most national security solutions include geography; Whether potential terrorist threats are assessed when planning a strike point on the battlefield, whether a decision is made to build a new building with minimal impact on the environment, geography is always included in the equation. GIS software is playing an increasingly important role in making this type of decision. ”

Feeling the world

Software (software) GIS provides tools to help reveal meaningful models in geospatial data and provide information support. ESRI states that GIS systems allow you to collect, manage, analyze, and show a complete view of the data and the complex relationships behind it.

The representation of physical geography has become more accurate and meaningful through the use of traditional cartographic techniques and a myriad of high-tech tools, including photographing and photogrammetry, thermal imaging, hyperspectral visualization, radars and lidars (laser locators), which are installed on all types of platforms, ranging from hiking people to satellites in space. Accurate navigation and timing, provided by GNSS technologies (global satellite navigation systems), promotes the use of these sensors and allows you to "stitch" the created images and information into a consistent and three-dimensional whole.

All cultural information associated with human activities, civil or military, normal or abnormal, legal and illegal, friendly, neutral or hostile, is superimposed on the representation of the physical world. Inevitably, this creates an almost unimaginably huge amount of data in which you can drown too easily. To help operators emerge and not sink, the GIS industry is constantly developing new tools designed to deliver accurate information to the right people at the right time.

More and more GIS functionality is embedded in C4ISR multifunctional information management systems (command, control, communications, computers, information gathering, observation and reconnaissance), while web publishing technologies on servers allow you to quickly distribute GIS capabilities across all areas of operations instead of providing only the highest echelons of command. By supporting network-centric operations, a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) provides data exchange and efficient interaction between (existing heterogeneous) application programs increasingly replacing old mutually incompatible "vertical" systems and allows for faster and less expensive analysis and make the right decisions based on better information.

The military and industry are also making efforts to “democratize” the GIS by creating systems that are understandable and friendly for non-specialists. In this regard, the American Army Geospatial Center (AGC) released in August a faster, more powerful version of the Common Map Background (CMB) On-line version, which allows users to find, download or order geospatial information through a simple e-commerce interface. But of course, after the user identifies himself with his standard access card issued by the US government.

“The latest version of CMB On-line runs faster than the previous one and offers several new elements for users, including additional easily changeable base of maps, showing scale and coordinates by means of decimal degrees of latitude / longitude and / or military coordinate system,” the information technology specialist at AGC said Bob Molnar. “CMB dramatically reduces time and costs for local users to acquire, manage, and load / import CD-ROMs with geospatial data corresponding to their areas of operation.”

When providing fighters with digital maps and graphical images in CMB software, a digital data library and a custom ArcGIS toolkit are used. ArcGIS is an ESRI GIS software platform designed to “create and manage solutions using geographic data”; It is available in versions for desktops, mobile devices, servers and online. This toolset allows the CMB to generate user data sets adapted to the user's needs. In addition to a wide range of mapping and imaging products, CMB also distributes other AGC software including Urban Tactical Planner UTP (Urban Tactical Planner), high-resolution BUCKEYE images, support for DAGR maps, support for GARMIN maps, study application routes, images from lidars and maps in GeoPDF format.

GeoPDF format

GeoPDF files are developed by TerraGo Technologies, they use Adobe's open geospatial standard PDF, which allows any Adobe reader user and the free TerraGo add-on module to use registered maps, images and other data through their web browser. The GeoPDF standard was created for non-GIS users; It is becoming an increasingly important interaction tool for fighters, planners and intelligence personnel who use it along with other applications.

One such application is TerraGo Mobile's geospatial information gathering software from TerraGo Technologies, the latest version of which was released in September 2010 of the year and features improved markup capabilities. According to the company, the application allows mobile users to create points, lines and polygons binding to the terrain on GeoPDF along with associated tags, video and audio data. Users can also select different coordinate systems, measure length and area; see your position through built-in GPS, etc. TerraGo Mobile users can share the collected information with users using other applications, such as ArcGIS and Google Earth.

“We continue to improve mobile elements of TerraGo in collaboration with our customers in order to obtain opportunities for seamless interaction in a mobile application, and also improve Terra go Toolbar for desktop and server applications,” says Vice President of Marketing Chris Watson.

Maps and images of GeoPDF are now widely used by many organizations, including the national agency for the collection of geospatial information, AGC and the service of geology, geodesy and cartography, which reported that the number of downloads of its rectangular maps increased from the average 4000 per month after the implementation of the GeoPDF standard up almost 150000 per month.

GeoPDF capabilities also extend to related software. One of the latest is the new version of the EyeQ platform for online access to digital images from GeoEye, which will be the first application of its kind to assist in the “operational” creation of GeoPDF files. This combination (the result of a deal between GeoEye and TerraGo Technologies) will enable mobile users to create and share interactive georeferensnye (geocoded) of the image, compact, portable and reliable, said the two companies.

Having experience in the high-resolution satellite imagery, GeoEye company now provides software that allows users to collect, process and analyze "massive" amounts of geospatial data to quickly view the changes on the ground and anticipate future events.

Teachings Region 6 Best Warrior at Kemp Gilbert in June 2011. Private in the foreground is studying a map given to him by a sergeant.

Image raises value

Embedding images, including video, digital maps, is a key characteristic of modern products and GIS GEOspatial INTelligence (GEOINT), used by analysts to create maps for the military. In April, BAE Systems announced that the latest version of its SOCET GXP software (Geospatial eHploitation Products) can import high-resolution images from scanned film and on-board digital sensors. The company says that SOCET GXP v3.2 automates the process of creating images, making task managers more “responsive” in the combat space.

The new version has a step-by-step interface of the master program to simplify and speed up the import of frames and image processing. Key tasks, such as changing a tracking object and classifying images, are performed more efficiently by using advanced image processing algorithms that also help operators identify deviations and track activity traces over the entire observation period.

SOCET GXP v3.2 adds automated tools for viewing and editing live video streams and can also convert terrain analysis results from raster to vector format. BAE Systems has also improved software capabilities in the processing of hyperspectral and multispectral images, adding the ability to analyze additional volumes of graphical information and, thus, reduce dependence on more specialized software. These tools allow analysts to better identify elements on the ground by making a distinction, for example, between camouflage and trees. IN SOCET GXP v3.2 available for the operating systems Windows XP, Vista, 7 from Microsoft and 10 x 86 from Solaris.

Military standard graphics and symbols are also important elements in creating maps that are useful and understandable to operators at all combat and operational levels, and their quick addition is important for quick delivery of new maps in line with operational needs. The Polish company TatukGIS announced that the Swiss company gs-soft ag used its software kernel Tatuk to create its own MssStick USB software, which allows forming the layers and structure of subdivisions on the map.

MssStick is designed as a means of creating layers of military maps and coordinate grids with symbolism and subdivision structure, has a friendly user interface, is supplied on a USB flash drive and is launched with a mouse click without installation. Touch control is also supported on tablet computers.

MssStick based on software Military Symbol Service (MSS), ustanavlennm in a number of systems from Thales, Tadiran, ELTA, EADS, ELCA, gs-soft, which are used in the Swiss Army. In addition to the Swiss military symbolism, the MSS software also supports NATO APP-6A and the American standard Mil-Std-2525B.

MssStick includes a library of 2000 military symbols and tactical graphic symbols. Frequently used symbols are organized into a gallery for quick and easy access, while the built-in symbol editor allows the user to add information to selected symbols, such as status and color fill. "Pins" can be used to present textual information on a map.

Another feature is the lightweight deployment of combat units and resources along with the ability to distribute the created grids. Search functions provide a quick search for divisions and points within the grid.

MssStick’s export functions let you quickly create documents in Microsoft applications, including PowerPoint and Word, and export map layers directly to Google Earth. Documents can be printed on paper or transferred to PDF files.

Format TatukGIS PixelStore (DB SQL) allows you to store and process raster map layers and coordinate digital terrain model in halyards up to 4 gigabytes.

Xport is a new window in SOCET GXP software used for thorough analysis and quick visualization. Multiple image processing algorithms are applied to individual panels in real time. Xport panels are connected to each other and to the main Multiport panel to dynamically update panels during operation in the main viewer. The goal is to simplify development by reducing the time it takes to identify and select the appropriate image analysis method.

Coastal GIS

Selex Galileo created the Australian coastline aerial monitoring system, and Finmeccanica used the Developer Kernel and Internet Server products from TatukGIS to develop a ground mission combat management application, which was announced recently.

Australian customs officers use a system based on ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance - Air Combat Surveillance and Intelligence) from Selex Galileo to plan, track, and evaluate surveillance tasks carried out by airplanes and helicopters. The system uses data from these platforms to develop and maintain a tactical information database on targets, tracking them and presenting the current image of coastal zones.

The ground system, which collects information from various platforms, consists of a network of workstations connected to a database running on a central server. ASP.NET web server application provides information from ground stations to remote operators and replicates most of the map data management interface on workstations. The web server part of the system uses the TatukGIS Internet server and its additional flash modules.

Map data are presented in raster and vector format; raster layers are stored in the TatukGIS PixelStore SQL database format in order to obtain maximum performance when working with very large data arrays. Selex Galileo used the TatukGIS Editor software for desktop applications in preparing a cartographic project.

Military aviation has used digital maps for decades, benefiting from the much better quality of situational awareness that they provide. Harris has announced that it has received about 30 million dollars in upcoming contracts from the US Navy to upgrade its TAMMAC (Tactical Airborne Moving Map Capability) digital mapping system used in many jet aircraft and helicopters of the United States and its allies. .

Updated TAMMAC

The main digital map computer TAMMAC Digital Map Computer (DMC) provides two independent map channels, 3,1 GB of internal mass storage, full-resolution graphics and a complete set of terrain data in real time. The DMC is designed to show vital, real-time cockpit information, especially terrain-related information, such as threats, targets, coordinates, and no-flight areas. Real-time computations and the mutual visibility of threats provide pilots with an unprecedented level of situational awareness, the company said.

TAMMAC DMC is also being upgraded to add efficient airborne ground prediction system (P-GPWS) algorithms for the US Navy.

As stated by Harris, TAMMAC system cards are used in US Navy F / A-18C / D, F / A-18E / F and EA-18G aircraft; US Marine F / A-18A / C / D, AV-8B, AH-1Z and UH-1Y; AW101 of Denmark and Italy; Canadian CF-18 A / B and Australian F / A-18A / B. They are also used by the armed forces of Switzerland, Finland and Spain.

In accordance with subsequent contracts, Harris will supply 14 test systems that will include new embedded graphics cards to create independent channels of high-resolution maps. The company also supplied 158 TAMMAC Digital Map Computer (DMC) and 132 TAMMAC Digital Video Map Computer (DVMC), including 17 DVMC for the Australian Air Force.

The newest advanced capabilities of DMC computers greatly increase the effectiveness of the task and ensure that the flight crew works with the most sophisticated view of the available battlefield. The new version of DVMC provides high resolution 1024x1280 digital mobile channel cartographic images.

"These contracts represent key stages of this very successful, long-term program of the US Navy and their international partners TAMMAC», - said the vice-president of avionics and electronics companies in the Harris Government Communications Systems Peter Simon. - Harris has delivered more than 1400 sets TAMMAC today and moving to new phases of graphics technology to produce a wide scope of this situational awareness system, widely used in military aircraft around the world. "

Traditionally, paper and digital maps were two-dimensional representations of the three-dimensional world and showed changes in relief using contour lines and various colors. At present, advanced sensors, such as lidar, radar and others provide images that can be used to generate very accurate three-dimensional digital elevation model DEM (Digital Elevation Model).

The Harris Company, creating DEM for GIS applications, say that the quality, resolution and accuracy of these products make it possible to more effectively identify and apply the elements and provide a well-proven basis for three-dimensional modeling of interest areas. High-resolution models have the level of detail required to identify roads, rivers, buildings, and other topographic features.

Harris uses proprietary tools to record, edit, and merge terrain data into large, seamless patterns. Sophisticated algorithms provide quality control and can interpolate and fill voids caused by lack of data or interference between sensors and ground. Modern technologies for filling geospatial voids create precise bookmarks that are also visually attractive. The automated DEM acquisition process creates digital DSM (Digital Surface Model) surface and digital Terrain Model (DTM) digital elevation models. The DSM is an elevation model that accurately describes the surface of the earth, including vegetation, buildings, and man-made objects. DTM is a terrain model of the earth’s surface only, sometimes referred to as the “bare” land model. In order to form a texture, the image can be folded over any of these types of models.

Soldiers of the Afghan army are studying cartographic data during operations in eastern Afghanistan. The US Special Forces Command monitors the operation, which requires the commander to perform reconnaissance and assault maneuvers

The arrival of geovizualization

With the arrival of accurate three-dimensional digital maps and productive displays, it became possible to obtain a kind of virtual reality image that can be used to achieve a deeper understanding of the environment and even to rehearse tasks in a complex urban battlefield. in real-time such tactical "geovizualizatsiyu" offered by Elbit Systems, for example, in the form of the complete set of programs for developers MAPCORE Software Development Kit (SDK).

According to the company, MAPCORE is designed for the needs of field commanders for quick access to "high-quality, relevant visual information based on geospatial data, images and video from remote repositories or from land or air real-time sensors." MAPCORE provides fast, seamless tools for software developers who create and integrate geospatial visualization capabilities into existing and new applications that the company reported have been deployed in "dozens" of applications around the world.

Elbit Systems says that MAPCORE-based applications are quickly being deployed into the installed client, the installed thin client or the web service without degrading or visual quality. MAPCORE can work directly with most common GIS data formats or automatically convert data into its own optimized format.

MAPCORE is used to create mobile maps for navigation systems, as well as when planning tasks, in creating reports and terrain analysis applications. It is also used in C4ISR applications and air control systems, as well as simulators and other training devices.

Maps in the form of an advanced GIS system could also be an important factor in multi-organizational approaches to complex operations, such as the task of neutralizing improvised explosive devices. In January, the Conference Defence Geospatial Intelligence 2011 in London, led by ESRI team, organized a demonstration of the possibilities of interaction in the fight against IEDs, in which the ArcGIS system brings together multiple information streams. This made it possible for various participants to conduct a comprehensive analysis, and the results superimposed on the maps and images were then distributed at different levels.

ESRI's Geospatial ArcGIS information system brings together various applications, including BAE Systems' SOCET GXP, ITT Envi image processing, CLARITY i2 information data integration platform, Cobham MMI communication applications, Systematic command and control application, and digital images from Digitalglobe . The demonstration included making decisions at all stages of the operation, from orientation and analysis to planning, action and operational analysis. Tasks such as information gathering, threat assessment, task scheduling and repetition, operational task distribution, and network damage assessment after completion were checked.

As a military tool, a simple map has come a long way, and its journey is far from over.

3D mapping

The 3D projection is any method of displaying the 3D coordinates on a two-dimensional plane. Since most of the current methods of displaying graphic data are based on flat 2D media, the use of this type of projection is widespread, especially in computer graphics, designing and drawing maps.

Detailed knowledge of geographic information is a major factor in planning and successfully completing a task. Saab's Rapid 3D Mapping solution provides tactical advantages, allowing you to quickly create highly detailed 3D maps of actual terrain. The system captures relief images from manned aircraft and / or UAVs. Within a few hours, the Rapid 3D Mapping program generates detailed 3D maps of any terrain.

With the help of the Saab Rapid 3D Mapping program, a three-dimensional map of the territory being flown is automatically created by the system during a flight in several hours. It is possible to create 3D cards over large areas, since this process is fast and fully automated. Data logging is achieved either through the use of specialized equipment registration or available sensors on board the aircraft, helicopter and / or UAV, for example SKELDAB or SKYLARK.

Accuracy of results depends on cash sensors. For an airplane, typical coverage is 100 km2 per hour with a resolution of 0,1 meters at ground level. In a fully automated mode, the processing time of an 3D card is five times the flight time. Depending on the required resolution, as well as the size of the covered area, the 3D card will be ready from several minutes to several hours. If necessary, the 3D model can be created on the battlefield.

Boeing researchers added another dimension to the maps, which can be obtained by “firing” terrain from the air using laser beams. The imaging system initially weighed 80 pounds, and now with a weight of no more than 20 pounds has a knapsack size. Boeing's Directed Energy Systems Division recently tested this 3D camera aboard a balloon in New Mexico, where a landscape was scanned and maps of the Rio Grande River were created. In October, 2010, the engineers installed it in a helicopter to see if it was possible to see through obstacles like foliage and trees. This mapping device could find a man with a dummy of a hand grenade launcher on a tree. The data can also be converted into a hologram to help observers determine when something or someone came to a certain place and then left. The system is very sensitive and can even detect individual photons. It can be used to detect caves and tunnels, as well as to display the relief. Boeing is currently working on real-time broadcasting so that images can be transferred from the aircraft to a computer screen on the ground.

3D Mapping Solutions from Germany is one of the leading experts in the kinematic survey of road and rail networks. The company offers services, hardware and software, as well as consulting services in the field of kinematic shooting. Using a multi-touch system consisting of an inertial measuring unit, a differential global positioning system (radio) (DGPS) and a linear odometer, its 3D position and orientation are determined for the entire module path.

The British company 3D Laser Mapping is the world leader in the development of laser scanning solutions for mapping, mining and industry. The company specializes in integrating laser scanning hardware with their own software and peripherals to create advanced solutions, including one of the most accurate mobile mapping systems STREETMAPPER and one of the leading SITEMONITOR monitoring systems.

KVH has recently published a practical example of how Paravion and Churchill Navigation companies are using their KVH CNS-5000 continuous-action navigation system for dynamic mapping in a sophisticated, enhanced, realistic environment. As described in the example, mapping technology is used by law enforcement agencies that coordinate personnel in the air and on the ground, tracking and detaining suspects. This is an ideal example of the required standards (and almost infinite possibilities) of next-generation mapping technology.

Combined Air Force Headquarters. In the background are screens with cartographic information.

Materials used:
Military Technology 12 / 2012
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  1. lukke
    lukke April 28 2014 11: 04
    and what about us? And in St. Petersburg we had the Leningrad Higher Military Command Topographic School with a group of cartographers on the same course, ONE for the entire USSR, then it was made under Mozhaikov’s faculty under Serdyukov. Specialists can comment on how effective (professional) is the top-service and cartography in the troops now?
    1. Boot under the carpet
      Boot under the carpet April 28 2014 12: 01
      Quote: lukke
      and what about us? And in St. Petersburg we had the Leningrad Higher Military Command Topographic School with a group of cartographers on the same course, ONE for the entire USSR, then it was made under Mozhaikov’s faculty under Serdyukov. Specialists can comment on how effective (professional) is the top-service and cartography in the troops now?

      I'm also very interested!
      1. 17085
        17085 April 28 2014 18: 30
        I think that not everything is so bad with us ... I only crossed paths with Petersburg from Transas. Ten years ago, they proposed their standards for marine cartography, but lobbyists from Western firms crushed them. No matter what, now this office is a recognized world leader. Well, you need to take into account that a run-in and reasonably castrated product goes into civilian sale. Who cares:
  2. Slavs69
    Slavs69 April 28 2014 13: 16
    We have a pitiable.
  3. fvandaku
    fvandaku April 28 2014 16: 45
    A modern satellite already 10-15 years ago could read a newspaper from outer space laid out on the ground.
    Let's hope that we are still a Great Cosmic Power. I'm sure.
  4. BOB48
    BOB48 April 28 2014 18: 10
    Slavs 69 -We are deplorable - well, why so, if you don’t know or guess, better say nothing!
  5. Msta-s
    Msta-s April 28 2014 20: 03
    Gentlemen, you all feel here not by hearsay, but if the satellites die, who can read the paper map and orient the gun, self-propelled guns, battery on it? PUO, range finder and meteorological to help!
    1. Angro Magno
      Angro Magno April 28 2014 20: 28
      And who is able to draw a simple detail on the culmination?
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. neri73-r
      neri73-r April 28 2014 23: 48
      They can still! angry
  6. ando_bor
    ando_bor April 28 2014 23: 56
    Yes, I’m in the 85th (tearing a shirt on my chest) the Corps of Islamic Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Dagestan, and the 5th Turkish Field Army according to Bradis counted from zone to zone.
    Now all this is of course on a different level, but no one has canceled paper cards, and will not be canceled for a long time.
  7. denis02135
    denis02135 April 29 2014 00: 37
    Gentlemen, about 10 years ago, the US Navy wanted to abandon the old methods of determining coordinates, but after one or two navigation satellites and a GPS signal became poorly caught, they continued to train navigators in using Sextan and Quadrant.