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Modern defence vehicle platforms are designed to last. To be effective, the sensors, weapons and other systems will be updated many times through the platform lifetime. Open vehicle architectures facilitate operational and information advantage through integration, easy refit and capability augmentation.
Data and Equipment Interoperability through Electronic Architectures (EAs) connect multiple platform systems, sensors and hardware. For example, cameras, mapping, engines, power, communications, targeting and armaments. EAs allow monitoring and control of all platform elements and systems from a single interface: a platform management system.
Benefits of open electronic architectures
Many defence authorities, including the UK, recognise open platform management systems as an essential part of all defence vehicles, bringing the following benefits:
- Simplicity of operation
Integrated crew stations provide a single interface to all the platform systems allowable by that role. A unified interface on a single screen reduces cognitive burden and speeds operation, as well as reducing crew station clutter.
- Information advantage
By integrating information from all platform elements and systems on a single screen, data is combined to aid decision making. Information is received from and passed to other battlefield objects e.g. vehicles bases, dismounts.
- High-tempo capability augmentation
Simple replacement of obsolete components and addition of new capabilities or battlefield systems and applications in response to new threats or mission characteristics.
- Reduced through life costs
Condition-based monitoring, Health and Usage Monitoring (HUMS) mean that maintainers can get the equipment back in the fight faster, and vehicles are serviced when they need it.
- No vendor lock-in
Standards-based open systems allow the rapid addition of any equipment to the system, whether they directly conform to network data and power standards or are legacy equipment that requires adaptors.
- Reduced training burden
Consistent user interface simplifies operation and addition of new functions can quickly be learned. The crew can easily move between vehicles. The EA can be used in simulators.
CGI OpenLand360 is suitable for all sizes and roles of defence vehicles. It integrates all platform equipment and systems onto a Crew Information Display (CID) which is then used by crew roles i.e. driver, commander, gunner, etc.
All elements of the platform and mission are monitored and controlled from the CID, using the same look and feel, simplifying vehicle operation and reducing training burden.
CGI OpenLand360 is standards-based and open: It uses UK MoD and NATO data protocols and Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) standards.
Any equipment can be integrated if it has a data connection: CGI OpenLand360 directly connects to standards-compliant or legacy equipment via software and hardware adaptors. Vehicle fit-out is defined in configuration so multiple vehicles can use the same system.
CGI OpenLand360 can run on any type of hardware and can be used as a simulation and training tool by replacing the connection to the platform with simulated data feeds.
CGI OpenLand360 crew interface can be rapidly prototyped and reconfigured to suit any standard, environment or equipment. Any number of screens are available to all crew members through their CID, accounting for security and operational role restrictions.
The GVA compliant Human Machine Interface (HMI) uses simple controls via bezel buttons to access functionally grouped areas, for example:
- Driver’s Dashboard and Camera
A role-based screen integrates a classic vehicle dashboard including compass and route following. The driver has access to forward and rear cameras and a local operating picture map view.
- Local Situational Awareness
A cross-role screen that can be configured to any number of cameras and split-screen views. Driver’s forward and rear cameras are also available to all crew members. Sight feeds and internal cameras are also available.
- System: Scheduled Maintenance & Power Management
CGI OpenLand360 allows monitoring of all aspects of the platform health and configuration, including scheduled and unscheduled maintenance that is set by configuration. Power is monitored and controlled across the platform, including groupings that define the power state of the vehicle for different situations (engagement, silent watch etc.). Vehicle data is recorded as required for fleet management and processed for in-vehicle warnings.
- Battlefield Management System (BMS) and Local Operating Picture (LOP)
CGI OpenLand360 integrates platform data with mission and equipment systems, for example, BMS, fire control or defensive systems. These systems use the same look and feel as the rest of the platform, reducing hardware requirement and training burden. LOP allows all members of the crew to see local mapping/imagery and disposition of deployed troops and other objects close to the platform, such as firing arcs or targets.
- Mission Specific Systems
CGI OpenLand360 can be rapidly configured to integrate platform components to streamline their use for a specific battlefield role, giving information edge and increased mission tempo and precision. For example, the commander can manage a mounted mortar fire mission using a composite screen that uses data, video, graphics and mapping. Target management, sighting and off/on boarding of data are typical mission system elements. Unmanned ground vehicles can be monitored, controlled and used to generate targets through this HMI grouping.
As part of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), CGI has designed, built and delivered into trials the Warrior 2 electronic architecture using CGI OpenLand360. CGI OpenLand360 connects all the electronic systems and many of the hardware components using a GVA compliant EA. Using a range of protocols and adaptors, CGI OpenLand360 integration for WCSP includes engine, sights, cameras, the fire control system and the BMS (BCIP).
The Warrior 2 EA has a single, consistent, GVA compliant crew-centric man-machine interface. It also provides alarms, platform and data logging for Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS).