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The future of warfare will be in an urban setting and it will use new technology with the necessary tactics to follow. This is the underlying concept behind CUE17 recently held in Adelaide, Australia. The next one will be held in Canada in September 2018.

Five Eyes Cooperation

Beside the host country, other participating countries include the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand. Called “The Five Eyes”, it is the alliance of military intelligence from the above five countries.

The Five Eyes’ Technical Cooperation Program aims to test new tech equipment for urban warfare situations. The previous CEU meetings were desktop simulation exercises and the CUE17 is the first time that the exercise used a building or campus — in this case, a former hospital campus — for urban warfare simulations.

A hundred military personnel participated in the simulations

The experiments are a means to continue investigations into emerging tech to enhance surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence capabilities for tactical forces in an urban battlefield. As simulations, the CUE meetings were observed, monitored and analyzed for relevant learnings. During the CUE17, there were around 80 scientists in attendance–from the participating countries who were there to analyze the simulations. There were also a hundred military personnel from the Australian Defence Force who participated in the simulations with the former hospital as their proving grounds.

Data to Pertinent and Relevant Information

One aim of the program is to find out the benefits and advantages of an integrated wide-area aerial intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance, coupled with ground-based sensors along with target sharing tech in a cramped and complex urban war zone. To reach these objectives, there were new tech gadgets and devices that had field simulations. These included the Australian Defense Science and Technology Group’s Defence Experimentation Airborne Platform; Wide Area Surveillance Activity Based Intelligence (WASABI) which comes along with a 96 MP digital camera; Selex Galileo PicoSAR synthetic aperture radar, and a Wescam MX-20HD full-motion, HD video sensor; Evolutionary Layered ISR Integration Exemplar Architecture ISR software; social media analysis tools; and the use of existing infrastructure like outdoor CCTV cameras.

The data came from airborne and ground platforms in various formats using the above technologies, but it did not have an integrated analytics system. For example, the tools allowed for a pre-planning stage with the placement of sensors in designated areas. These also help map out dead spots which do not have coverage for video or surveillance.

When an activity occurs, the sensors relay the information to other monitoring units which allow for re-cuing and redeployment. If needed, airborne devices kick into the action to cover any possible hostile actions. All of these information as well as live feeds, reaches the combatants on the ground. Through all of these, the automated nature of the sensors and other equipment is readily addressed. However, further analysis with a broad perspective does not exist, which is what the scientists are already working on.

The bold idea behind CUE17 is the on-site analysis by the observers who are working towards an integrated system binding all of the tools. Integration is important for the automated dissemination of real-time information to those on the ground as well as for the controllers. Tactical automation comes into play only with pertinent information to those who need it, and can use it immediately.

According to Justin Fidock of the Australian Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, “We are integrating ground and air-based sensors and using multiple methods to draw insight into technology, with a strong emphasis on qualitative data.”

The annual event will keep using new technology in new ways in conjunction with Five Eyes partners. Canada will hold CUE18 in September, while the U.S.A. will host in 2019.

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