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The future battlefield is set to become more challenging as soldiers need to operate across a wider range of terrain and face more unconventional threats. Against this backdrop, DSTA developed a command, control and communications (C3) system prototype to leverage unmanned ground and air platforms for risky missions, such as surveillance in dense urban environments, to enhance soldier survivability while reducing manpower requirements.

The C3 system prototype unifies control of various unmanned platforms, allowing central coordination of operations. It provides a common picture of battlefield entities to enhance situational awareness. Working in close consultation with the Army, the DSTA team also incorporated mission planning and sense-making tools to aid commanders in carrying out their missions more effectively.

An architecture for the C3 system was developed to provide a common interface for the C3 system to integrate with different unmanned ground and air platforms easily. Similar to a ‘universal language’, this common interface enables all unmanned platforms to communicate with the C3 system in a consistent manner, simplifying interface testing each time a new unmanned platform is introduced.