Aerospace & Defense

Information Technology


Emerging Capabilities

Interactive Map


Situational awareness is key in ensuring mission effectiveness and operational safety. VCS-4586’s interactive map provides operators with insight from real-time geo-referenced positioning and directional information of all operational components including vehicles, sensors, payloads, data links, and other vehicle systems. VCS-4586 allows for a high level of interaction with the objects appearing on the map by clicking directly on the map.


The map display is the primary interface for VCS-4586. It displays the following: 

  • Map backgrounds in Tiled Database Image (TDI) format
  • Vehicles, Ground Data Terminals (GDT), marked targets, waypoints, zones, and patterns
  • Vehicle coordinates
  • Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED)
  • Location bubbles on the edge of the map if the vehicle or GDT icons are not visible
  • Distance that the vehicle must travel to reach its commanded altitude based on its currently reported climb rate
  • Vehicle history trails



VCS-4586 provides a high level of interaction with the objects appearing on the map. By clicking on the map or on the built-in features, operators can:

  • Assume system-wide control of a vehicle/sensor in multiple vehicle/sensor operations
  • Specify a vehicle’s heading or loiter point
  • Command the active vehicle to fly on a heading
  • Select different maps on an internal or external network drive
  • Select different entities on the map
  • Quickly re-center the map to a selected location
  • Scroll the map
  • Measure the distance and bearing from one point to another
  • Adjust map zoom
  • Take a snapshot of the map
  • Give focus on a selected sensor entity by activating EO/IR
  • Command the active sensor payload to a stare-point
  • Mark and add targets
  • Add and modify mission waypoints, keep in and keep out zones, and pattern points
  • Change a viewpoint center by entering new latitudes and longitudes
  • Control the drawing order of shape objects on the map, layouts include:
    • Mission Planner (MP)
    • Aircraft Operator (AO)
    • Payload Operator (PO)
    • Both AO and PO (AO/PO)
  • Configure the connections menu to:
    • Configure vehicle, payload, and communications relay entities, details, and control
    • Control the connection to the vehicle and payloads
    • Configure the data links (GDT and Aerial Data Terminal (ADT))
    • Configure the IP addresses and ports in the network that VCS-4586 uses to communicate with Vehicle Specific Modules (VSMs), AVs, GDTs, and ADTs
    • Control handoff of a vehicle from one CUCS to another as either the giving CUCS or gaining CUCS
    • Control the sensor authorization schedule when other CUCSs on the same network are allowed to assume control of sensors controlled by VCS-4586
    • Use Class C handoff to handoff sensor control from one CUCS to another
  • Use the two dimensional terrain display to see a vertical cross-section view of the terrain reflecting the mean sea level (MSL) altitude between two or more points (500km maximum distance to be measured)
  • Use the recorder to extract uplinked or downlinked vehicle data during operational sessions
  • Use the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) to playback a recording with the following features:
    • ASCII export of selected parameters to a text file
    • Specify the start and end times of records from a data file in binary format
    • Retrieve the audio track with time code Video Interval Time Code (VITC) or Linear Time Code (LTC)
  • Add and change map grid lines, screen brightness, history trails to indicate where the vehicle has been and the formats of map snapshots (PNG, XPM, JPG, BMP, NITF2.1 with metadata)
  • Choose the displayed units used in VCS-4586 dialogs
  • Choose between the VCS Video Screener or third party video applications
  • Use the vehicle menu to:
    • Manually start or cut the vehicle engine
    • Turn the vehicle’s lights and night vision on or off, specific lights include:
      • Navigation lights 
      • Strobe lights 
      • Landing lights 
      • Navigation Infrared lights 
      • Strobe Infrared lights
      • Landing Infrared lights 
  • Configure Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) codes, send/query IFF codes to vehicle, and stop indent codes from being transmitted. Modes include 1, 2, 3/A, 4, 5, C, and S
  • Customize a vehicle specific dialog to include displays and command options for parameters not available elsewhere in the software
  • Configure, command, and report the status of individual waypoints through a VSM to a vehicle
  • Define the emergency recovery coordinates in the event of a loss of link emergency
  • Define crash coordinates where the site can be safely terminated
  • Display the mission downloaded from the vehicle in relief against a profile of the terrain beneath the mission
  • Display the current operating state of the vehicle
  • Display the status of a mission uploaded to a vehicle when a vehicle is reporting that it is in Mission Flight mode
  • Enter the amount of fuel initially loaded into the vehicle
  • Configure the loitering characteristics to be undertaken by the vehicle when it is commanded to loiter at a certain point
  • Configure the characteristics and specify the loiter location the vehicle enters when it is in Points Navigation flight mode
  • Specify an offset distance and direction for the vehicle to maintain and view the slant range calculated from the vehicle to the location pointed to at the offset distance and direction specified
  • Configure the altitude and speed of the vehicle
  • Set the minimum altitude value available on the altitude slider
  • Set a wind table to keep track of the wind speeds and directions at various altitudes as given by the local national weather service
  • Set a limit on the maximum rate at which the vehicle can ascend or descend
  • Set a limit on the maximum rate at which the vehicle can turn (adjust its heading)
  • Set a limit on the maximum rate at which the vehicle can roll while turning

Supported Map Features

  • Latitude and longitude (DMS, DMM), MGRS and UTM coordinate systems
  • Map Series Generator, converts National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) raster formats (ADRG, CADRG, CIB) to TDI seamless map series 
  • Scanned maps, digital maps, satellite imagery, and other geo-referenced imagery import
  • Highest resolution of DTED or Digital Elevation Mode (DEM) available to the map, possible levels include:
    • 0 – 1000 meter resolution
    • 1 or DEM 1 – 100 meter resolution
    • 2 or DEM 7.5 – 30 meter resolution
    • 3 – 10 meter resolution
    • 4 – 3 meter resolution
    • 5 – 1 meter resolution

Supported Standards

  • MIL-STD-2525B symbols and tactical graphics 
  • Over 30 commonly used geodetic datums (WGS84, NAD27, ect.)

System Requirements

VCS-4586 is configured to operate effectively on a variety of PC-based hardware configurations. Supported operating systems include Linux, Solaris (SPARC hardware only), and Windows.


Software Delivery

All of our software packages, licenses, and documentation are delivered electronically through our secure customer portal. Once all required legal documentation and accounting related matters are processed, unique login credentials are provided along with the URL to the customer portal. A hard-copy can also be provided.