- Army Tactical Missile System Block IA Unitary
- HELLFIRE II Missile
- High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
- Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)
- M299 Missile Launcher
- Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS M270A1)
- Multiple Launch Rocket System M270
- Naval Launchers and Munitions
- PAC-3 Missile
- Paveway II Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb (DMLGB)
- Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round (ELGTR)
- Paveway II Plus Laser Guided Bomb (LGB)
- Reduced-Range Practice Rocket (RRPR)
- Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS)
- Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM)
- Aculight Laser Solutions
- Airborne Multi-INT Laboratory (AML)
- Armed Aerial Scout (AAS)
- DRAGON Family of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance
- F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS)
- Gravity Gradiometry
- Gyrocam Systems
- IRST21 Sensor System
- International C4ISR
- LANTIRN ER
- LONGBOW FCR and LONGBOW HELLFIRE Missile
- LONGBOW UTA
- M-TADS/PNVS (Arrowhead)
- Missile Launch Detector (MLD)
- Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA)
- Persistent Threat Detection System
- Phoenix Eye AN/APY-12
- Q-39 (AN/AAQ-39)
- Self-Powered Ad-hoc Network (SPAN)
- Senior Scout
- Sniper Pod
- TADS Electronic Display and Control (TEDAC)
- ASW Training Targets
- Advanced Gunnery Training System
- After Market Enterprise (AME)
- Autonomic Logistics Information System
- C-130J Maintenance and Aircrew Training System
- F-35 Lightning II Training Systems
- Global Supply Chain Services
- Military Flying Training System
- Multi-Function Training Aid
- Seaport Enhanced
- Special Operations Forces Contractor Logistics Support Services (SOF CLSS)
- TTU594A/E Mission Readiness Test Set (MRTS)
- Urban Operations Training Systems
- Desert Hawk III
- Expeditionary Ground Control System
- Falcon HTV-2
- High Altitude Airship
- Hybrid Airship
- Indago VTOL
- Lighter-Than-Air Vehicles
- Persistent Threat Detection System
- Remote Minehunting System
- Stalker UAS
- Vehicle Control Station
- Air Defense Command and Control
- Antarctic Support Contract
- C4ISR Technologies
- Census Systems
- Chief Information Officers Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3)
- Contact Center Solutions
- Defense IT
- E-STARS - Electronic Suspense Tracking and Routing System
- Enterprise IT Solutions
- Flight Operations for Defense
- Full Motion Video
- GeoMeasure App
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- Integrated Strategic Planning and Analysis Network (ISPAN)
- Intranet Quorum
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- Mirror World
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- Professional Services
- Service-Oriented Architecture
- Spatial Awareness Fusion Environment (lmSAFE)
- Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF)
- Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
- Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS)
- Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Global Positioning System (GPS) Ground Control Segment Sustainment
- Mobile User Objective System (MUOS)
- Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS)
In 1998, a NATO Specialist Team comprising members of government and industry (including CDL Systems) began work on NATO Standardization Agreement 4586 (STANAG 4586), a document conceived to standardize UCS interfaces to help enable UAV systems interoperability. The document defines architectures, interfaces, communication protocols, data elements, and message formats. It also identifies related STANAGs that compliance with is required in order to operate and manage multiple legacy and future UAVs in a complex NATO Combined/Joint Services Operational Environment.
NATO identified the need for standardization to promote interoperability between tactical UAS systems amongst the allied forces. This would enable asset sharing by allied nations, allow for increasingly network-centric operations, and diversify UAS concept of operations (CONOPS). This standard also identifies five levels of interoperability (LOI) to accommodate operational requirements.The respective operational requirements and approved CONOPS will determine or drive the required LOI that the specific UAV System will achieve.
CDL Systems has been a leading participant and pioneering member of the development of STANAG 4586 since its inception. Our commitment to this and other NATO standards has allowed CDL Systems to lead the charge in unmanned vehicle interoperability with the U.S. Army's unmanned tactical assets.
STANAG 4586 is currently in its second edition, promulgated in November of 2007.
The Need for Interoperability
Traditionally, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have been developed as vehicle centric designs. System manufacturers have focused on airframe designs and have typically developed the ground control station (GCS) component as a tool for flight-testing the airframe. This has led to a lack of standardization between dissimilar systems and the use of proprietary telemetry and sensor data streams. Consequently, systems lack the ability to interoperate with each other.
The Benefits of Interoperability
Interoperability greatly increases the efficiency and capability of armed forces in a NATO Joint/Combined Service Environment, through sharing of assets and the use of common information generated by UAV systems. By enabling the interoperability of multiple vehicles from a common STANAG 4586 GCS, operators can operate multiple UAVs of various types with widely different performance characteristics and features.
Levels of Interoperability
The result of standardization creates different levels of interoperability (LOI). The levels are the degree of control that a user has over the air vehicle, payload or both. The document defines five LOI:
- Level 1: Indirect receipt/transmission of UAV related data and metadata.
- Level 2: Direct receipt/transmission of UAV related data and metadata.
- Level 3: Control and monitoring of the UAV payload, not the unit.*
- Level 4: Control and monitoring of the UAV without launch and recovery.*
- Level 5: Control and monitoring of the UAV including launch and recovery. *
*Unless specified control (C) or monitor (M) only.
A VSM is a software function that provides the unique/proprietary communication protocols and data formats that a specific UAV requires. The functions of a VSM include:
- To provide “translation” of standardized STANAG 4586 messages from the CUCS to the air vehicle and vice versa, via the DLI.
- Pack and unpack data to optimize transmission bandwidth.
- Acting as a database of vehicle specific data.
- Managing interfaces for control and monitoring of data link operations
- Managing interfaces for control of launch and recovery systems of its associated vehicle.
Since VSMs are vehicle specific, it is generally the vehicle manufacturer's duty to provide it. However, UCS developers or third party developers can also provide VSMs. If the data links used by the vehicle are STANAG 4586 compatible, a VSM is not necessary, as it will interface directly with a STANAG 4586 compatible UCS.
As a software function, VSM’s can be located either in the UCS or Air Vehicle mainframes. A VSM will allow the integration of older systems without great changes to air vehicle hardware. Also, VSMs will allow the integration of newer UAV systems into existing UCS with the provision of the VSM.
UCS Functional Architecture
STANAG 4586 specifies the functional architecture of a UAV Control System (UCS).This architecture establishes the following functional elements of the system and their companion interfaces:
- Core UCS (CUCS)
- Data Link Interface (DLI)
- Control Command Interface (CCI)
- Vehicle Specific Module (VSM)
- Command and Control Interface Specific Module (CCISM)
- Human Computer Interface (HCI)
UAS Architectural Overview
STANAG 4586 specifies the following structure for UAV systems. It is comprised of three components:
Component 1: UAV
- Air vehicle element: consists of avionics and propulsion systems required for flight management.
- Payload element: consists of payload packages either weapon load outs or sensor arrays.
Component 2: Surface Unit
- UCS element: can be located in any platform, has special elements to communicate with C4I systems.
- Launch/Recovery element: vehicle specific equipment for launch and/or recovery of the air vehicle.
Component 3: Data Link
- Air Data Terminal (ADT), module found on the air vehicle to process the DLI.
- Ground Data Terminal (GDT) located on the control station to process the DLI.
- Data Link Interface (DLI) Interface between air vehicle and control unit.
STANAG 4586 Compliance
There is not yet a governing body that certifies STANAG 4586 compliance for UAV systems.
- VCS-4586 brochure (pdf)