Lockheed Martin Wires Warfighters to the Web with Electronic Tactical Operations Center Initiative
GAITHERSBURG, MD, 10/16/2000 -- Lockheed Martin is working to put a dot.com face on the modern battlefield with its Electronic Tactical Operations Center (eTOC) research and development effort. The eTOC initiative aims to give the military a secure web-enabled command and control (C2) capability that can be accessed from both traditional operating systems as well as Windowsâ CE platforms anywhere on the battlefield. eTOC integrates data from several disparate Army C2 systems to deliver mission-critical information about the status, location and actions of friendly, enemy, and unknown forces throughout a given area. The eTOC web page displays an interactive graphical map of battlefield geography and forces, and provides easy access to a wide range of detailed referential information about terrain, elevations, and structures. In addition, an electronic reference interface allows users to look up further information about both friendly and enemy units to enhance weapons-target pairing. The system allows commanders to leverage information technology to carry out multiple, simultaneous operations on a three-dimensional battlefield.
Today's Army is committed to becoming more responsive, adaptable and mobile than ever. To accomplish that, they need a command and control system that puts vital information into the hands of everyone on the battlefield, wherever and whenever they need it, said Terry Drabant, president, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems. We've designed eTOC to do just that. It provides secure, dynamic information superiority that can enable a military force to react to critical battlefield developments more swiftly and effectively than an adversary.
The web-based nature of eTOC is key to the system's advanced adaptability, performance and ease of use:
Any authorized user-from infantry in the field to officers in command centers-can have instant access to the same common, near real-time information flow directly from their web browser or Windowsâ CE (hand-held) device.
That information is available on a multitude of platforms or operating systems, including wireless laptops, personal data assistants, or wearable computers for soldiers in the field.
Updates or new plug-ins to the system are instantly available to every user once they are installed on the web page. There is no need to upgrade individual systems' hardware or software; new features are installed within the web site itself.
The system can evolve with changing technologies, integrating easily into both legacy and future systems implementations.
State-of-the-art, 128-bit encryption combined with authentication of user data access rights provides premier web security.
eTOC's user-friendly interface facilitates quick and easy customization of the desired information, which provides each user with a data display optimized to individual needs. The system uses the latest extensible markup language (XML) technology to provide push and pull data capabilities. Users can refine the amount and the kind of information that is pushed to them from the server, or they can pull individual pieces of data at their discretion. Users could, for instance, narrow their view of the battlefield to only the friendly airborne units within a ten-mile radius (a push change), or they could pull more information about a given enemy unit, such as weapons specifications or even a live picture.
Push and pull capabilities have two key benefits for the warfighter. Unlike traditional web-based systems, eTOC allows the user to define the amount of data transferred over the network. This allows the user to save bandwidth and enhance the performance and speed of the network connection. In addition, eTOC's point-and-click interface for selecting information makes it easy for users to access quickly the most important, relevant information without having to search through a large, cumbersome database. Both of those benefits can greatly reduce decision cycle time, making the warfighter more responsive, efficient and effective.
While eTOC is designed specifically to meet the needs of the U.S. Army, the advanced web technology that makes up the heart of the product can have applications for a wide range of users, either in a military, civil or commercial domain.
A leader in mission critical systems integration and information operations, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems serves U.S. and international defense and civil government agencies. Mission Systems employs about 2,600 at major facilities in Gaithersburg, Md., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Santa Maria, Calif., and is a business unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation.