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By Adam Baddeley, Deputy Editor, BATTLESPACE

Dec 06. Rockwell Collins has undertaken a demonstration of their DAGR SA (Defense Advanced Global Positioning System Receivers Situational Awareness) C4I solution to the ITDU at Warminster on October 4th.

The major difference between DAGR and previous generations of GPS receiver is that DAGR is significantly smaller and lighter, and uses half the power of previous generation of receivers (4 AA cells, as opposed to the 8 used by PLGR II). DAGR also uses the Selective Availability Anti Spoofing Module (SAASM) and has an integrated graphical map display, allowing users to download Raster or Vector maps, or Satellite images to the receiver.

DAGR SA adds a new suite of software to the standard DAGR receiver now in service with a number of militaries, including the US and the UK, and connects it to a suitable data capable radio. This transforms the original DAGR and turns the display into a basic BMS, which allows the user to see the location of all other users equipped with the same hardware on their DAGR Map Display.

For the demonstration at Warminster, three data enabled Selex Personal Role Radios (PRR (DE)) were used. DAGR SA is radio agnostic has been tested with the Selex Personal Role Radio, The Thales Multi Band Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) and the Icom ICPM 43G, and continues to be integrated with additional user hardware.

The demonstration consisted of taking an aerial display of the ITDU area, centred on the FIST PCMO’s Portacabin and loading it onto a PC based Military C4I mapping system on a PC and onto the DAGR screens. Two soldiers were then deployed from this ‘HQ’ and when DAGR SA was switched on, their locations were immediately sent to the third PRR, the ‘commander’s radio’ which was linked to a laptop for the purposes of the trials, and served as the base station at the FIST cabin. Their locations were immediately and instantaneously displayed on the Laptop running a Military C4I package and projected on the ‘HQ’ wall, providing higher echelon Command and Control data..

Next, one of the soldiers marked a target using a Vector IV laser range finder. This too was immediately displayed on the map display projected on the wall of the HQ, appearing as a ‘Hostile’ or ‘Unknown’ target icon. The system can be configured so that these icons can appear on all or selected DAGR SA and C4I Screens.

A further option not demonstrated to the ITDU would integrate DAGR SA with a vehicle or assault boat C4I system to enable these platforms to retain situational awareness with each other when mobile (such as when in convoy) or when deployed tactically and importantly for dismounted troops, for them to be able to know the locations of their host vehicle at all times, enabling a safer rapid recall or evacuation, of troops if necessary, as DAGR SA users – even if disoriented – would always see a direct route back to their vehicle in an emergency on their DAGR map displays.

Rockwell Collins reported good feedback on the DAGR SA performance from the assembled UK MoD audience. One perceived drawback in the trials pointed out was the DAGR’s monochrome screen, which appeared a little “outdated” when used with C4I mapping, compared with the colour PDA’s used during the FIST trials, this is a natural consequence of using the standard monochrome DAGR GPS screen.
However, it was pointed out that DAGR SA has been designed with simplicity of deployment, (just two pieces of In-Service hardware (GPS receiver and radio)) high autonomy and for Local Section Level SA use (hence lower resolution) the more detailed colour maps being more important at higher echelons than at Section Level and as DAGR SA would feed back into Falcon View, C2PC, JMMTIDS or any other such C4I system. High autonomy was the driver for use in the field and what the DAGR display loses in terms of the simple screen, it therefore gains in battery life with the DAGR S

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