C4iSR Proposed CubeSat

Author: Albert Su
Date: February 4, 2020
Title: Strike Force from Space (C4iSR)

Strike forces that enables more effective forward deterrence and rapid response is key for any combat operations. A need to construct a flexible, adaptive command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) platform for a common operational picture using CubeSats was researched.

The word “common” in the term “common operational picture” does not mean that all participants have the same display picture; rather, it means that all participants have access to common sources of data, which could be displayed in different ways depending on the needs and equipment of the particular user. Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture access to data is the key here. From a network-centric perspective, users should have access to data as soon as they are in some comprehensible form, even though further processing of the data might be intended. This is because different users will have different needs for the data, and the additional processing might remove information content according to the perspectives of some users. For example, air vehicle tracks could be processed with the criteria of minimizing false-alarm rates or in order to display all potential leakers; the resulting processed data would not be the same in the two cases. Common processing will have to be applied in cases, for example, in which the parties involved need to see the same air picture, but the data should still be accessible in their preprocessed form.

Overall, this C4ISR platform has promising technology trends for search and rescue, disaster recovery, and global climate change benefiting a global common operating picture of the environment. Further examination of organizational improvements that can enable the recommended architecture needs to be researched on an international scale.