here is much more than just the establishment of a high-altitude
communications relay," said Patrick Stokes, Boeing Phantom
Works manager of Network-Centric Operations-related programs.
"It's really all about effectively bringing the power of
real-time information to bear within a tactical theater, and
doing so without the need for an expensive, fixed infrastructure."
To bring this communication power to the troops, Project Marti
is leveraging the latest information management brokering techniques,
to provide advanced publish and subscribe capabilities across
a broad geographical region. In a recent risk reduction evaluation,
simulated UAV sensors delivered imagery and embedded data in
'near real-time' through an Internet Protocol network to an
airborne information broker placed in a high altitude balloon
acting as a surrogate for a near-space vehicle.
The sources transmitted the data simultaneously in a Cursor-on-Target
format that allows accurate tactical information to be passed
more efficiently among multiple systems. The information broker
then successfully distributed to ground stations only the data
that matched users' subscriptions. This concept enables multiple
sensors to be shared by many users, thus optimizing the utilization
and availability of sensors. "The subscribers need only
display the data that's relevant to their tactical missions,
much in the way that an Internet user would employ a search
engine to obtain relevant information." said Dr. Jim Paunicka,
Phantom Works principal investigator on Project Marti.
The tests will culminate next year (early 2008) in flight demonstration
involving multiple airborne and near-space assets operating
over an extended range to support a large number of ground units.
Live imagery and tactical data acquired by unmanned aerial systems'
sensors operating at medium and low altitudes will be published
through information broker to a balloon, acting as a network
node, deployed to near space elevation of 80,000 feet. Ground
units will be able to collaborate with each other by subscribing
to data relevant to their respective missions.