Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2011 Contents preserving the meaning of those data.
Data mediation involves mapping data
between existing, incompatible data
formats, allowing multiple software
systems to share information.
The result is SMART, a solution that
allows systems to share more informa-
tion faster, enhancing collaboration,
deconfliction, and integration.
Adapting to Existing Systems
Rather than forcing different systems
and users to abide by a single, one-size-
fits-all "language," SMART is flexible.
It enables the solution to be introduced
without additional requirements for
training and day-to-day operations.
"SMART does the 'hard work' by
bridging all those non-interoperable
data schemas and services and does not
force any changes on the existing sys-
tems or users," Szymanski said. "Early
interaction with warfighters improved
the technology design, so there are few
to no changes to the user experience
when SMART is introduced."
The SMART approach is to build
upon successful past mediation
solutions, including Data Mediation
Service, Data Dissemination Service,
Publish and Subscribe Service, and
others, to tie them together into
an overarching, enterprise-oriented
interoperability framework, said
Matthew Wilson, Director of Business
Development for Future Skies Inc.,
who is supporting the project.
Unlike current data translation meth-
ods, SMART is extremely scalable to
existing and future systems. It was
specifically designed to allow for rapid
introduction of new connectors to
enable new systems to come online and
share information with legacy systems.
Putting SMART to the Test
The need for mediation solutions is
not limited to Army systems, but also
relates to managing data from joint,
interagency, and multinational systems.
The ability of the SMART architec-
ture to support multiple domains will
be demonstrated through an upcoming
exercise that aims to provide a clearer
picture of the airspace to joint forces
and coalition nations, said Goldin, the
project's technical lead.
The exercise will show how SMART
can unite information from different
systems, officials said.
"SMART brings the potential to
facilitate transparent coalition interop-
erability between native systems
without requiring modifications to
those systems," said Goldin. "By
improving interoperability and auto-
mation among functional boundaries,
services, and nations, better decisions
in airspace management and utilization
can be realized, hopefully reducing the
burdens on the warfighter and improv-
ing the outcomes of missions."
"What SMART does not do is remove
the human from the process. There
is, and should always be, a human in
the loop to verify the final product,"
Szymanski said. "The end result is a
significant reduction in the amount
of time required to obtain, process,
analyze, and transmit information."
SMART is one of the technologies
and capabilities under development as
part of the Collaborative Battlespace
Reasoning and Awareness Army
Technology Objective (COBRA ATO),
which seeks to improve collaboration
and interoperability within all levels of
command, control, communications,
computers, intelligence, surveillance,
and reconnaissance. Also part of
the COBRA ATO are Command
and Control Multitouch Enabled
Technology, which uses touch- and
gesture-based technology to improve
warfighter collaboration, and
customized battlefield applications for
hand-held devices. The COBRA ATO
also conducts research and development
in support of Battle Command Web, a
Web-based collaboration tool developed
by Product Manager Strategic Battle
Command within Program Executive
Office Command, Control, and
Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T).
Battle Command Web is expected
to reduce the hardware footprint to
increase sustainability and efficiency.
This year, SMART is scheduled to be
fielded with an operational unit, the
159th Combat Aviation Brigade, for
the first time, and the technology is
being transitioned to Product Director
Common Software (PD CS). PD CS
is assigned to Project Manager Battle
Command, part of PEO C3T.
"SMART can be applied to the infor-
mation needs of multiple communities,
from airspace deconfliction to the mili-
tary medical community," said Michael
Anthony, Chief of the Mission Command
Division for CERDEC C2D. "SMART
enables interoperability today."
CLAIRE HEININGER is a staff writer
for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting
the Army's PEO C3T MilTech
Solutions Office. She holds a B.A. in
American studies and a minor in jour-
nalism, ethics, and democracy from
the University of Notre Dame.
SMART brings the potential to facilitate transparent
coalition interoperability between native systems without
requiring modifications to those systems.
46 APRIL--JUNE 2011
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