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NATO C-UAS: Live drone image capture, analysis, and fusion

de Peel, Fall 2022 - The NATO C-UAS Exercise 2022 centered around drones and counter-drones. One capability demonstration, by DLR and Jacobs University, had a drone fly over an airfield and send down imagery which was fed into a rasdaman datacube in realtime and immediately shown live to the high-ranking audience.


Two capabilities are essential for NATO missions to succeed: first, all units operating off the same map, so sharing the same situational picture, and second, every such unit getting the right data at the right time, and in the right shape.


The C-UAS (Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Technical Interoperability Exercise 2022 (TIE'22) organized by NATO was executed this Fall 2022 at the Lieutenant General Best Barracks in The Netherlands. The Cube4EnvSec project was invited to demonstrate ad-hoc federated mix-and-match and integration of moving data sources into the analytics service, with a focus on aviation. Data acquired live and merged encompassed a DLR drone delivering one image per second, Copernicus Sentinel data from Mundi DIAS, and German Weather Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD) aviation weather data like wind, temperature, icing, and turbulence. The common information turnpike was provided by the rasdaman datacube engine. "For Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) scenarios, datacubes open up completely new perspectives in availability and usability of all the Big Data sitting around", explains Peter Baumann, Cube4EnvSec project lead.


The Cube4EnvSec project has set out to demonstrate the value of datacubes as a unifying paradigm for all raster data in domains of environmental monitoring, climate change, and security. The project is funded by the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme of NATO. "Cube4EnvSec is a prime example of how NATO can mobilise the best expertise and knowledge of the scientific community to make a crucial difference", assesses Dr. Jamie Shea, former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO Headquarters.


"The new generation of high-resolution, 1 to 10 cm imagery enables the quality and accuracy of procedures such as change analysis for airfields on unstable ground like thawing permafrost, flood simulations, Harbour security in case of sea level rise or land slide risk”, adds LtCol Rene Heise, former Section Head at the NATO Allied Command Operations and member of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change.


Learn more at the Cube4EnvSec project site: https://cube4envsec.org

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