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Joint Tactical Ground Station

The Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) is a transportable information processing system which receives and processes in-theater, raw, wideband infrared data downlinked from Defense Support Program sensors. The system disseminates warning, alerting, and cueing information on Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM), and other tactical events of interest throughout the theater using existing communications networks.

Developed and built by Aerojet for the U.S. Army, JTAGS determines the TBM source by identifying missile launch point and time, and provides an estimation of impact point and time. Since the system is located in-theater, it reduces the possibility of single-point-failure in long-haul communication systems and is responsive to the Theater Commander. It also fulfills the in-theater role of the U.S. Space Command's Theater Event System (TES).

JTAGS maximizes the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and government off-the-shelf (GOTS) equipment. The system is housed in a NBC protected standard military shelter, equipped with a standard mobilizer that permits tow speeds up to 55 mph by a 5-ton truck. It is air transportable by a C-141 or larger aircraft.

JTAGS is an essential link for the Theater Commander's situational awareness. Operational benefits include:
JTAGS receives direct down linked data from up to three Defense Support Program sensors and follow-on space-based sensors. Features include:
The high resolution JTAGS displays include:
Inside JTAGS, there are three operation/ maintainers per shift.

The JTAGS can deploy worldwide. Two JTAGS systems have been delivered overseas for contingency operations/exercises, and three systems have been fielded in CONUS: one to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and two to Colorado Springs, Colorado.

JTAGS P3I Phase I will improve the accuracy and timeliness of both predicted missile launch and impact points. It will also improve information dissemination through JTIDS integration fusion of DSP data with data from other sensors and sensor calibration via the use of static sources and beacons. Phase II upgrades five JTAGS into Multi-Mission Mobile Processors (M3P) for integration into the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS). The upgrade is necessary for continued JTAGS operation with the new constellation of SBIRS satellites scheduled to replace the aging DSP in FY02-04. The tri-service memorandum of agreement calls for a common mobile processor and recognizes JTAGS as an in-theater tactical processor. M3P provides a low-cost solution for all services.


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Implemented by Charles P. Vick, Sara D. Berman, and
Christina Lindborg, 1997 Scoville Fellow
Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Friday, March 27, 1998 6:39:09 PM