Aerospace & Defense

Information Technology


Emerging Capabilities

Mission Planning and Management

VCS-4586’s Mission Manager works together with the VCS Map and provides a number of editors and utilities that give operators the ability to create and define mission details such as routes, zones, patterns, targets, and data links. Certain vehicle and sensor tasks can also be automated using the Mission Manager thereby allowing operators to focus on mission objectives.


The Mission Manager provides custom editors and displays for different types of mission files including:

  • Waypoint coordinates and overall summary
  • Zone types
  • Zone coordinates
  • Pattern coordinates
  • Pattern name, shape, color, line size, and fill style
  • Zone and pattern comments
  • Two dimensional terrain profile for displaying a route and its waypoints relative to the terrain profile located directly beneath a route
  • Validation rules to define terrain clearance and violations, airspace constraints and data link coverage outages
  • Geographical location of hostile marked targets including targets marked in the Mission Manager and externally marked targets received via the Curser on Target (CoT) interface
  • Targets marked by an external source such as vehicle or battlefield entity other than the AV
  • Route attributes such as total distance, duration, fuel, and minimum clearance (above ground level (AGL))
  • Time of flight countdown that starts beside an engaged target and shows the estimated time in seconds between weapon release and target impact as specified by the AV/VSM


Using the Mission Manager, operators can create, access, and modify mission files. The custom editors give operators the ability to:

Create different types of mission files, including:

  • Flight routes 
  • Contingency routes
  • Attack routes
  • Restriction zones
  • Search patterns
  • Vehicle type list
  • Circles
  • Labels
  • Add, modify, or delete waypoints and loiter points with specific locations, altitude mean sea level (MLS), airspeed, and times
  • Associate a contingency route with a flight route by:
    • Specifying one of two contingency options
    • Importing previously saved contingency and flight routes for use
    • Enabling a global return home setting in case of an emergency
  • Add, remove, or update a marked target from a list according to target priority, source of target location, and level of confidence
  • Define vehicle airframe, light, transmitter, sensor, and EO/IR settings for each route waypoint
  • Define loiter patterns, radius/length, bearing, direct, and total loiter time
  • Define the lateral offset and tolerance
  • Command an AV to continue to the first waypoint and re-fly the same route once it has reached the final waypoint
  • Define a multi-sided region of airspace that has either flight or sensor restrictions at specific times and altitude. Possible types include:
    • Keep in 
    • Keep out 
    • No look zones 
  • Draw and define patterns, points, circles, and labels
  • Upload or download missions to or from vehicles
  • Query Pre-Mission Data (PMD) from a database and modify and upload PMD to one or more vehicles to provide additional details required for missions involving network setup and other actions
  • Establish the limits of data link coverage from a GDT location based on GDT location, transmission range, coverage altitude, and resolution angles
  • Establish a line of sight profile between two or three vehicles or GDTs to check for ground obstructions that could impede communications
  • Define and load a Safe Airspace Volume (SAV) to a selected vehicle with a three dimensional region of space thus limiting the airspace volume in which the vehicle can safely operate
  • View additional details about specific tactical symbols and graphics reported by CoT messages
  • Activate a tactical symbol as a remote designator (friendly), target (hostile), neutral or unknown targets
  • Denote a region around a vehicle where the target can be engaged or around a target where it is suitable for attacking the target
  • Use the One System Joystick and press the Weapons Fire button to engage a hostile target
  • Command an EO/IR or Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor to monitor a designated targeted or point of interest

Supported Mission Manager Features

  • Send Tactical Communications (TACCOM) data and messages with target information through C41 infrastructure
  • Synchronize and display targets marked on any CUCS that shares the network with the same instance of VCS-4586

Supported Standards

  • Common Operating Picture (COP) information received from intelligence services (collectively referred to as the Situational Awareness Common Data Store (SACDS))
  • Tactical symbols and graphics follow MIL-STD-2525B and are retrieved from the Situation Awareness/Situational Awareness Common Data Store (SA/SACDS)