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Computers help coordinate troops.

A software system that may help the U.S. military and its allied forces lift the "fog of war" in their theaters of operation is being developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo (N.Y.). The system is designed to fuse and share information received from multiple air and ground sensors used by the military to predict and track movements of enemy and friendly troops as well as artillery and aircraft, according to Tarunraj Singh, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

"In the theater of war you have multiple, disparate sensors with different capabilities, some of which are looking at the same targets." explains Singh. "There is a need to network and fuse information from the sensors, screen out noise, get better [data], and reduce error in measurements. By combining and filtering the information, our system will give military leaders the ability to monitor the [action] with a lens that transitions from a soda-straw view to a bird's-eye view."

The software system can be used for real-time battle scenarios or for strategic planning to predict and simulate potential movements of friend or foe. They are displayed in 3-D perspectives on a computer screen or laptop, complete with accurate representations of a region's topography. Fusion and depiction of this information will give military leaders a more accurate and comprehensive common operations picture from which they can make better deployment decisions, the researchers maintain.

"Just monitoring the actions of foes is not enough," says associate professor of industrial engineering Rakesh Nagi. "When tracking a target, it is important to make good judgments about the intent of the foe; you need a means to predict what he BS going to do. With that information you can then make assessments about whether it is a threat or not, which gives you an opportunity to take counteraction."

The software supports Department of Defense efforts to implement "network-centric warfare," which uses information technology to link sensors, soldiers, and decisionmakers, thus improving battlespace awareness, knowledge sharing, and performance.
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Title Annotation:Warfare
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:333
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