To create a mobile field test bed environment for research and development, integration, operational testing, and field validation using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, manned and unmanned air/ground sensors (i.e. soldiers equipped with handheld (PDA) technology), and emerging wireless network technologies to display Command and Control information to a local/remote or mobile tactical and network operations center.
This research will allow U.S. military commands, including NPS, to collaborate with coalition partners and allies to support War on Terror objectives and requirements, using the latest wireless networking technologies, tools, tactics, and techniques. NPS and Thailand are the initial team members that will integrate the proposed equipment and technology into a system to facilitate surveillance and monitoring of “areas of interest.” The Singapore Ministry of Defense is considering becoming involved in this project.
The COASTS program experiments with individual and small unit network-capable communication and threat warning technologies. The COASTS topology uses an open, plug-and-play architecture, is user-configurable, and enables U.S. and coalition partners to implement a common operating picture (Situational Awareness) via a self-forming, self-authenticating, autonomous network.
The COASTS concept is modeled after the Surveillance and Target Acquisition Network (STAN) project, an NPS-driven research endeavor. STAN was initiated to meet the need to integrate emerging WLAN technologies with surveillance and targeting hardware/software systems. STAN has been very successful and has grown significantly since inception.
COASTS will directly support organizing, training, and equipping U.S. military forces and the Thailand (and possibly Singapore) Defense Forces in seven principal mission areas: Direct Action; Tactical Reconnaissance; Foreign Internal Defense; Combating Terrorism; Civil Affairs; Counter-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction; and Information Operations.
The COASTS project hopes to address three primary concerns:
- Does COASTS provide threat warning information as part of a wireless LAN/WAN?
- Does COASTS meet performance requirements when deployed to Thailand (ground/jungle scenario - such as the 2500 kilometer Thailand/Myanmar border region)?
- Does COASTS meet performance requirements when deployed to Singapore (water scenario - such as Straits of Malacca and/or Singapore Straits)?
Organizations involved in this project include: U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM); U.S. Joint Information Operations Command; Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF); Royal Thai Army (RTA); and the Naval Postgraduate School’s MDP Research Group. The National University of Singapore and Temasek Labs, and Singapore’s Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) are considering becoming involved.
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