Video Streaming Solutions in the NATO-AGS Program

Bianor’s Part in The NATO AGS Program

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Unmanned Systems, subcontracted Bianor, and other leading defense companies, to develop a software module responsible for providing Mission Operations Support entity and Transportable General Ground Station entities the functionalities of processing motion imagery and primary imagery data streams.

“Processing” means extracting metadata/telemetry information from streams and converting it to engineering data structures suitable for further management by other software components, e.g., Storage components.
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The Alliance Ground Surveillance

The AGS system comprises five air segment remotely piloted aircraft, designed and developed by Northrop Grumman, and mobile and transportable ground stations. NATO AGS is a key enabler of NATO’s joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability.

Bianor participated in developing the system that expands NATO’s joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability and supports a full range of NATO missions, including protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control and maritime safety, the fight against terrorism, crisis management, and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters.

The NATO AGS system ingests sensor data from national systems, continuously detects and tracks ground-moving objects, and delivers actionable information to decision-makers in minutes.
Five years after the initial contract signing, in 2016, the aircraft model and the operational mobile and transportable ground stations were displayed in Warsaw.

The entire NATO AGS system consists of air, ground, mission operations, and support elements, performing all-weather, persistent, wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time.

Bianor and the Integrated Project Team

Bianor and Leonardo established an Integrated Project Team (IPT). All phases of the life cycle of the project took four years; sessions took place at the Leonardo premises. The software development process was controlled according to the IEEE/EIA 12207 standard.

Defense System Software Development passed successfully: Integrated Baseline Review (IBR), Software Requirement Review (SRR), Architectural Design Complete (Preliminary Design Review – PDR), Detailed Design Complete (Critical Design Review – CDR), Code and Test Complete (Test Readiness Review – TRR), Formal Qualification Test (FQT), System / Subsystem Test Readiness Review (S/S TRR), Integration, System Level Performance Verification.

Modules Delivered by Bianor

The modules developed by Bianor include the following:

  • Front End Processor – includes all the equipment and associated software packages to receive data from external systems, decode these data according to STANAG 7023 and STANAG4609 standards and distribute the decoded data to the MMGR Subsystem.
  • Mission Manager – includes all the equipment and associated software to store, organize, and retrieve the mission data to be visualized by the operator. It implements the decoding of digital motion imagery streaming from external systems and the associated metadata/telemetry information, according to STANAG 4609. The metadata/telemetry information is decoded in custom format, available to another SW component able to manage it. The motion imagery is decoded into a commercial format. It also implements the decoding of the primary imagery streaming from external systems and the associated metadata information, according to STANAG 7023. The metadata information is decoded and then stored in a custom format, available to another SW component able to manage it. The primary image shall be decoded and stored in a custom format.
  • Operational Workstations – provide to the operator HMI implementation for digital motion imagery visualization with functionalities for pause, slow play, a replay of sequences and timeframes (including true speed, slow and fast forward/backward views), and to skip back to real-time view, as well as functionality for still frame capture in STANAG 4545.

The three modules interact among themselves and with the external systems to implement two significant scenarios.

Read more details about the NATO AGS Project.

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