C. Other Supporting Capabilities
Advanced Research Center (ARC). The ARC is a contractor-operated computer facility located in Huntsville, Alabama. The ARC's mission is to provide a highly flexible, cost effective research and computational test bed to support missile defense programs to include TMD, NMD, BMC3, and other advanced technology simulations and experiments in support of MD. The ARC concept has evolved from over 20 years experience in test bed research, development, and use; first in support of the U.S. Army BMD program and more recently in support of the BMDO. The ARC facility contains a variety of Government owned hardware resources consisting of general purpose application development processors providing a wide range of architectures. Computer architectures consist of high speed vector and scalar uniprocessors, tightly coupled parallel processors, and graphic workstations. These resources can be configured to support a variety of experiments or developmental activities.
The ARC provides a distributed processing environment via a number of networking schemes. The ARC serves as a node of the BMDO's Joint National Test Bed and provides resources and support for distributed experimentation across the NTB network. A T3 link connects the ARC to the USASSDC Simulation Center. Other links exist from the ARC to development contractors' facilities.
The ARC has a sophisticated set of audio/visual capabilities. Video input from terminals and graphics consoles can be displayed on large screen displays providing recording and display capability for conferences and demonstrations. The Experiment Control Center is an example of how this capability can be used to support commanders and battle staffs in the execution of real-time experiments. This provides USASSDC with a distributed multi-processor test bed through interfaces to simulated battle management functions providing insight into critical human-in-control issues, algorithm performance, and experimentation analysis.
The ARC supports a small laboratory facility for evaluation and integration of advances in computing. Current areas of research include Virtual Reality and Parallel Programming schemes that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques such as genetic algorithms and neural networks for processor scheduling.
Activities currently supported at the ARC include:
- BMC3 Architecture Development and Evaluation
- Real-Time Algorithm Design and Development
- Prototype Processing Hardware Evaluation
- Software Engineering Methodology and Tool Development
- TMD and NMD Technology Evaluations
- Man-Machine Interface Development
- Integrated Hardware/Software Experimentation and Demonstration
- Missile Defense Scientific and Technical Information Center (MDSC)
- TMD and NMD Weapon and Sensor Development and Evaluation
- EADTB and TMD Interoperability
- ARC Advanced Technology Evaluation and Integration Lab
Numerous government organizations, represented by over 60 contractors, use ARC resources for problem analysis and resolution. The ARC serves 800 different customers worldwide. A hardware and software engineering staff provide design and implementation support for unique user requirements.
POC: Mr. Paro Perrett, MDBIC; (205) 955-3921; PMA A3352.02/12
Missile Defense Data Center (MDDC). The MDDC is managed and operated under the control of the Sensors Directorate. The MDDC's main computer facility is located at Teledyne Brown Engineering. The mission of the MDDC is to provide the BMDO approved scientific and academic community with access to information collected by BMDO measurement programs, to provide multi-mission, multi-sensor data fusion capability, and to provide storage and dissemination of past, present, and future data relevant to the missile defense activities of the United States and allied nations. It is chartered to serve as a centralized repository for these programs and to maintain state-of-the-art facilities for the community and the programs.
The Center is responsible for: mission support; maintaining the document library; development, installation, operation, and maintenance of the science data bases; data distribution; user training; and overall technical support for the missions.
The MDDC offers a number of unique services for its users and customers. Included among these services are: (1) Real time digitization and storage of video data (3200 continuous frames); (2) Telemetry processing for Pulse Code Modulation and Pulse Amplitude Modulation encoded analog data; (3) Special security processing capabilities; (4) Automated data ingestion for mission support; and (5) Support for very large, online database applications.
BMDO continually reevaluates its experimental requirements, thereby adding and deleting programs assigned to the MDDC. Currently, BMDO has assigned the data management activities for 120 programs to MDDC, including STORM, Corps SAM/ MEADS, PATRIOT PAC-3, THAAD, MSX, GBI, AST, HALO, and many others.
The MDDC has extensive experience in data management. Mission support teams interface with measurement programs to assist in establishing requirements and procedures for capturing supporting data, developing data reduction strategies, verifying data integrity, archiving data products, and distributing data products and documents. The MDDC's Data Management staff has working agreements and relationships with more than 120 national ranges, test facilities, supporting platforms, and orbiting resources.
The MDDC has an in-house software development team dedicated to meeting the needs of the user community as well as the day-to-day operations of the data center. The MDDC is known nationally for the development of the integrated software system for the ingestion of mission data-DADS (Digital Automated Data System). This system has enhanced the data management process by automating the generation, population, and access to mission databases. DADS organized the structure, definitions, and information on all data delivered from an experiment and stores the information in a centralized database that is used as an interactive tool to generate on-line databases.
POC: Ms. Barbara Rogers, MDSTC; (205) 955-1518; PMA A1155
Optical Discrimination Algorithms (ODA) Development Center. The ODA Development Center is a multi-contractor facility housing a wide array of networked Silicon Graphics computer hardware. Numerous simulation, modeling, and analysis tools are resident at the Center to facilitate robust and rapid analysis and algorithm development activity. The majority of the ODA Program's work is performed at the ODA Development Center.
The ODA Program objectives are to analyze optical data and to develop discrimination algorithms. The analysis of optical data is performed in order to understand the physics and phenomenology of objects likely to be encountered in missile defense or theater defense scenarios. The data collected on domestic flights is analyzed in order to determine how objects (representing warheads, decoys, associated objects, etc.), behave in terms of radiometrics (optical thermal behavior) and metrics (dynamic behavior). The fundamental goal of data analysis is to determine what the sensor "saw" and why the objects appeared to the sensor as they did. The understanding of this optical data is critical to the development of discrimination algorithms that can discern between lethal and non-lethal objects in a real defense scenario. ODA frequently produces pre-flight signature predictions for domestic flights in order to assist in mission planning (e.g., determine optimal placement of sensor platforms), to determine potential mission anomalies before actual flight, and to determine how the optical data "should" appear when it is collected.
ODA also analyzes data collected on foreign targets. The purpose of this analysis is to characterize the threat systems that may eventually be encountered in a theater or missile defense scenario. The knowledge gained in characterizing these objects is applied to allow defense systems to properly identify and designate lethal objects.
ODA develops and evaluates discrimination algorithms, which are the signal processing elements that allow a defense element or system to differentiate between lethal and non-lethal objects. The discrimination process is essential to a defense system because it prevents the waste of expensive interceptors on non-lethal objects and provides a high degree of confidence that all lethal objects will be intercepted. Discrimination algorithms are the cornerstone to the discrimination process. The ODA program uses the knowledge gained through the analysis of data, both foreign and domestic, to identify discriminants and to develop discrimination techniques that are applied in discrimination algorithms.
The ODA program makes its work available to the defense community through several products, including (1) The Discrimination Algorithm Catalog, a five-volume compendium of available discrimination algorithms and discrimination technology; (2) The Optical Data Analysis Journal, a bi-annual publication that documents current and relevant results of ODA's optical data analysis activity; (3) The Target Signatures Handbook, describing the validated computer construction (simulation) of targets of interest to the community; and (4) ODA Conferences, semi-annual three-day conferences in which ODA and related discrimination and data analyses are presented to the defense community.
POC: Mr. Mike Lash, MDSTC; (205) 955-3872; PMA A1155
Simulation Center (SC). The Simulation Center was established in 1981 to provide USASSDC access to high-speed computers. Since its inception, the SC has worked to provide stable and reliable computer support to the entire range of BMDO scientists and engineers. The SC is a contractor-operated facility located in the USASSDC building in Huntsville, AL. Unclassified and classified processing activities are accommodated utilizing many connectivity methods. The SC is staffed to provide expert help for users with its operating systems, optimization techniques, communications, and debugging code problems. The SC computations resources are available to BMDO and its contractors for program development, testing, and production. The type of code being produced by users at the SC include Computation Fluid Dynamics, Aero-Optical Quality, Jet Interaction Performance, and Impact Dynamics.
There are currently three Cray UNICOS computers operations within the SC, along with unclassified computer platforms that share a common file system. The Cray and AXP processors, along with several UNIX workstations, provide a wide range of hardware and software capabilities to support a broad spectrum of USASSDC and BMDO activities. Some of these programs include PAC-3, THAAD, Arrow, and NMD.
The SC Scientific Visualization Suite (SVS) is a multi-purpose facility available to all users for code development, training sessions, and demonstrations. The SVS is supported by four Silicon Graphics workstations, two Sun workstations, two electrohome large screen projectors, and an audio system. The SVS is connected to all other SC resources to provide a flexible system that can be configured to special requirements.
The SC has unclassified and classified connectivity to the Advanced Research Center. The SC is also connected to the Interim Defense Research and Engineering
Network for unclassified processing. Future plans include a classified connection to IDREN.
POC: Ms. Claudette Owens, MDBIC; (205) 955-4538; PMA A3352.02/12
Spatial Weapons System Analysis (SWSA) Center. The SWSA Center is an automated tool using geographic information system technology to proactively support OSD, BMDO, USASSDC, and contracts with military applications disciplines during all phases of the weapon system acquisition process. The SWSA Center supports requests from OSD, BMDO, USASSDC, and other government organizations for spatial weapons system analysis. Also, satellite imagery processing and aerial photograph processing is promoted. These efforts result in the prevention of weapon system breakage which occurred previously due to not considering all the real Earth constraints and opportunities. The SWSA Center uses the two major data types (vector and raster) in geographic information systems technology. This gives SWSA a wider range of data sources, and a broader scope for analysis. Most of the data used is already in digital form, which gives SWSA the advantage of quicker processing. The Center also has the technology and capability to acquire and process data not already in digital form. An extensive library of databases covering the world, plus trained analysts with security clearances, completes the SWSA Center's capabilities to provide rapid response to requirements.
POC: Mr. Robert Baker, MDBIC; (205) 955-3327