C^sup 4^ Support to Intelligence Operations

Army, October 2004 | Go to article overview
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C^sup 4^ Support to Intelligence Operations


The Common Ground Station (CGS) is a rapidly deployable and mobile tactical data processing and evaluation center that integrates imagery and signals intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data products into a single visual presentation of the battlefield, providing commanders with near real-time situational awareness and enhanced battle management and targeting capabilities. CGS links multiple air and ground sensors, including the joint surveillance/target attack radar system (JSTARS) aircraft, to the Army battle command system at various nodes, such as echelons above corps, corps, division and brigade. JSTARS is a multiservice battle management and targeting system with an airborne multimodal radar incorporating an electronically scanned antenna. The radar combines moving-target indicator (MTI) and fixed-target indicator and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) functions and is carried aboard an E-8 (militarized Boeing 707) aircraft. Radar data are broadcast to the Army CGS through an omnidirectional data link and over ultra high-frequency (UHF) satellite communications, which can also be received from other air platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In addition to being the Army's premier radar MTI ground station, CGS has evolved into a multisensor ground station that receives, processes and displays sensor data from the Predator UAV, tactical UAV (TUAV), airborne reconnaissance low, U-2, Guardrail common sensor and the integrated broadcast service, while maintaining a small footprint. CGS capabilities are being channeled into a distributed common ground system-A (DCGS-A) through preplanned product improvements, which will be disseminated in a network-centric environment. CGS, with its JSTARS and other sensor feeds, fulfills an urgent AirLand battlefield requirement by providing an Army/Air Force sensor and attack control capability designed to locate, track, classify and assist in attacking moving and stationary targets beyond the forward line of troops. CGS is the only wide-area surveillance system that has the resolution and realtime capability to provide the commander the data necessary to be effective in the future sensor-oriented battle management process.

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