U.S. Army Selects Andrews Space to Enhance Urban Battlespace Capabilities
Seattle, WA - Andrews Space, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Phase I contract by the U.S. Army through the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR). Phase I of the contract is valued at $70K over six (6) months, with an optional Phase II at $50K over four (4) months. The Army selected Andrews proposed approach in a competitive procurement out of hundreds of other SBAs.
Urban warfare poses unique challenges for the Future Combat System (FCS) and other Army systems that require high-fidelity terrain information. The shape of the terrain is an important component, and dense networks of elevation data are needed to represent the complex shape of an urban landscape. Applications like line-of-sight or drive-through in an urban area also need high-resolution terrain data.
Currently, transmission of terrain data is done via hand-carried external hard drives. Under the terms of the contract, Andrews will develop a new approach that helps the military reduce the burden required to manage data.
Andrews will use two approaches to reduce the size of elevation data files to be stored and transmitted. The first approach is to develop a better compression algorithm that works well on discontinuous data, which will provide high fidelity urban elevation data with a minimum file size. The second approach is to develop an innovative way to transmit the data that will dramatically reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted to, and stored by, a soldier or vehicle in the field.
"Andrews' solution to this problem will provide our armed forces with a significant advantage in the urban warfare environment," said Jason Andrews, President of Andrews Space. "By speeding up the availability of this terrain data, our troops will be able to respond much more quickly to combat threats and other battlefield challenges."
Commercial applications of this technology include computer scene generation, mapping software such as Google Earth/Maps, Microsoft Live Search/Terra-Server, and MapQuest. It will allow them to more efficiently store 3D buildings for larger portions of major cities and then transmit and reconstruct the information for users. This will also allow enhanced capabilities for GPS and car navigation, and GPS capable cell phones.