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EX PASHTUN DAWN: Video Network Integration

Client: UK MoD Contract Date: 2012

We are proud to have been involved in Exercise PASHTUN DAWN, we gained real job satisfaction helping train British troops preparing for deployment to operations in Afghanistan.

3SDL were contracted by UK MOD to provide airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Close Air Support (CAS) emulation. Using our DA-42 aircraft with CAS-qualified fast jet aircrew, we were able to simulate an extensive range of platforms from a Predator Unmanned Air Vehicle to a Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft, providing a Full Motion Video (FMV) downlink to troops on the ground.

For this particular training mission, there was an additional requirement to disseminate the FMV feed from the WESCAM MX-15 sensor installed on the aircraft to multiple Forward Operating Bases (FOB) around the exercise area from transmission to the ground control centre.

This led to 3SDL using its video networking and integration expertise to provide a STANAG 4609 compliant solution using the SANDPIPER radio network.

The solution provided direct access to the FMV feed at all HQ and FOB locations by selecting three Ground Entry Points. (See image)

These Ground Entry Points were selected due to their tactical position within the Exercise area in order to maximise the line of sight connection with the aircraft.ROVER IV equipment was used to receive the FMV from the aircraft.

A video server was then used to take the analogue FMV feed from the ROVER IV and to transcode into a STANAG 4609 compliant format. Once transcoded, the feed was interfaced to the SANDPIPER network.

In addition to the feed being sent to all FOBs, a feed was also received in the HQ where our Ground Liaison Officer (GLO) had access to a management terminal in order to provide remote control of each video server. This allowed the GLO to directly view the feeds from all video servers and select the highest quality feed which was then communicated to the other FOBs, therefore optimising the use of both the aircraft and its sensor.

As the solution was also integrated with Project CREOLE, users could access the video feed in the same way as they accessed all other ISTAR feeds during the exercise.

Location of Rover IV equipment in training area