System simulation architecture and design for maritime surveillance with unmanned assets
In multinational defence operations, either EU or NATO driven, the exchange of surveillance and reconnaissance data and information is an essential aspect to provide the commander with the needed situational awareness. This improvement of situational awareness, especially in a maritime environment, may be achieved amongst others by extending the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) performance through using unmanned systems (UxS) and integrating them into the combat management system (CMS), ensuring interoperability between the deployed forces and building the overall system based on a solid architecture. Within this frame, the OCEAN2020 (Open Cooperation for European mAritime awareNess) project, funded by the European Union's Preparatory Action on Defence Research and implemented by the European Defence Agency, saw 43 partners from 15 EU countries working together to build future maritime surveillance by integrating drones, unmanned vessels and unmanned submarines into fleet operations. Data and information have been integrated in a comprehensive (maritime) picture of developing situations, enhancing the situational awareness, and thus supporting military commanders on different unit levels in their decision making. An integrated system of systems has been developed and demonstrated in both simulated and live trials. The aim of the trials has been to showcase the enhanced maritime situational awareness achievable by employing different types of unmanned systems. The live trials have been maritime demonstrations involving command, control and communication assets, ships, communication centres, space centres and unmanned vehicles operating in the air, on the surface and in the underwater domain. For de-risking the live trials and for demonstrating advanced technologies, which cannot be demonstrated in the live trials, OCEAN2020 performed a series of simulated trials. This paper focuses on the development of the system simulation architecture and design for the simulated trials. The simulation components, their relationships and the used communication infrastructure will be presented.