Lockheed Martin UK Leads Research Into Delivering Improved Interoperability

(Farnborough, England, October 19, 2010) An industry team led by Lockheed Martin UK is close to completing ground-breaking research that will enable military, blue light services and other public sector bodies to co-operate more effectively in times of emergency.

Team SPARTA was awarded a 29-month contract in 2008 by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to look at ways of delivering a coherent geospatial enabling capability and thus improve interoperability between defence, security and emergency services by enabling them to create and share geospatially referenced information across a range of platforms and networks, removing the need for data silos. The aim is to provide technical evidence and de-risk activity to support possible future possible future developments in this area.

The Common Geospatial Tool Set (CGTS) research project has been carried out at Lockheed Martin’s Swift Laboratory in Farnborough and, through a coherent set of standardised and common geospatial services and COTS based functionality, provides users with the ability to find, create, exploit, view and share geospatially referenced information consistently and securely on platforms and applications across all defence communications infrastructures and stand-alone.

The operational benefits delivered through the implementation of an open-standards based approach include:

• Increased operational effectiveness through information sharing.
• Enhanced shared situational awareness through the delivery of tailored but consistent views.
• Integration of multiple data sources, applications (and vendors) across low and high bandwidth networks.
• Improved analysis of location based information through the use of wizards and services.

John Tate, Team SPARTA Lead, explained: “Decision making in critical situations is currently constrained by an inability to effectively share situational awareness (SA) horizontally and vertically across command and control systems. This is particularly acute when UK Forces look to share SA with coalition partners or other Government departments.”

To demonstrate the “art of the possible” a UK Operations/Homeland Security scenario based in the 2012 timeframe has been developed. Operating across multiple levels of command between connected and disconnected users, the demonstration of the CGTS capability seeks to establish the concepts, viability and benefits of using geospatial web services.

The end-to-end (E2E) demonstration examines the integration of key components It will focus on the non-specialist (geospatial) users and will address the issue of managing access control to services (and data) as well as how to present spatial uncertainty. Establishing a representative Command and Control co-ordination group and deployed assets, controlled user access to source and derived data will be achieved through a range of applications, e.g. browser, deployed and desktop. The research demonstrates that open-standards web services are a viable solution across the whole network, including disadvantaged and mobile users. It is being conducted under the technical governance of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Dstl have provided the technical oversight throughout the study to ensure that the research is coherent with other MoD programmes and have worked closely with industry to enable future exploitation of the research across Defence.

Under the Team SPARTA banner, Lockheed Martin UK - Integrated Systems & Solutions has assembled a team of expert consultancy companies and leading suppliers to deliver this project and provide overarching programme management, geospatial intelligence and systems integration expertise.

ESRI (UK) and Envitia, who are both Geographical Information System (GIS) vendors, are providing subject matter expertise on next-generation capabilities, standards and the coupling of geospatial applications.

Actica Consulting Ltd has inherent knowledge of the MoD’s defence infrastructure and Helyx SIS Ltd provides specialist GIS consultancy. Pitney Bowes Business Insight, ERDAS and Luciad are GIS software vendors and supported early elements of the CGTS Research.

Photo shows a demonstration of one of the Common Geospatial Tool Set (CGTS )work stations at Lockheed Martin UK’s Swift Laboratory, Farnborough

Notes to Editors

Lockheed Martin UK, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, is a leader in systems integration working on major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. Lockheed Martin works with more than 100 business partners and employs over 1700 people at sites across the UK.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.5 billion.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) leads the defence science and technology sector’s response to the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) current operations and future defence strategy. Dstl’s work saves lives in the UK, overseas and on the frontline.

Dstl maximises the impact of science and technology (S&T) for defence and security requirements, working with industry and academia to deliver battle-winning technologies. It identifies real S&T advances and works to pull ideas rapidly in to service.