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Air Force Featured Stories

Joint Battle Labs assess DARPA program, reduce joint-fires execution time

  • Published
  • By 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 805th Combat Training Squadron

The 805th Combat Training Squadron’s Shadow Operations Center-Nellis enables advanced technology assessment in collaboration with the U.S. Army’s Mission Command Battle Lab, or MCBL, as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Air Space Total Awareness for Rapid Tactical Execution, or ASTARTE, initiative recently held at Nellis Air Force Base.

The ShOC-N is the U.S. Air Force’s premier Battle Lab supporting the development, advancement, and maturation of key technologies and capabilities designed to compress the kill-chain for joint and coalition warfighters.

In partnership with the Army and Air Force, ASTARTE is a DARPA-sponsored program designed to enable efficient and effective airspace operations and deconfliction in a highly congested battlespace. ASTARTE automates the ability to provide a real-time, common operational picture of airspace in and above an Army division to reduce the time required to execute time-sensitive joint fires. DARPA selected Raytheon Corporation to develop an artificial intelligence solution to solve the problem of airspace deconfliction, and the result is the Airspace Tactical Automation System, or ATLAS.

“To aid in the product development and maturation of ATLAS, the ShOC-N collaborated with the MCBL to organize, plan, and test a simulated battlespace designed to replicate airspace complexities inherent in a joint area of responsibility,” said Lt. Col. John Ohlund, 805th CTS commander. “The ShOC-N’s modeling and simulation team utilized Modern Air Combat Environment to transmit blue air tracks over the Army Persistent Experimentation Network to the MCBL.”

Test success was achieved when all blue air tracks sent from the ShOC-N were received by the Air Defense Systems Integrator & Tactical Airspace Integration System at Fort. Leavenworth, Kansas. Parallel tests with USA Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command, or STRICOM, at Fort Eustis, Virginia, yielded similar results when connected to the One Semi-Automated Force ground forces simulation.

The next ATLAS assessment is scheduled for fall 2022, and the ASTARTE team anticipates a fully integrated modeling and simulation environment that includes Theatre Battle Management Core Systems, or TBMCS, a set of software systems used to plan and execute military airborne missions.