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[infowar.de] Pentagon nutzt 3-D-Simulationen für den Krieg
Wired News, 31.10.2001
Pentagon Has a 3-D View to a Kill
By Declan McCullagh
America's military is turning to advanced hardware and software that
generates virtual environments of war zones such as Afghanistan.
The Pentagon is already using applications such as Anteon's Topscene
system to compile aerial imaging, geologic, and terrain information and
assemble the chunks of data into a 3-D scene that lets military planners
and pilots preview missions before they take place.
At an event on Tuesday organized by Silicon Graphics, Anteon
representatives said Topscene can inject classified intelligence data
into the mix and let troops navigate the virtual scene from ground level
to 40,000 feet at speeds up to 1,400 miles per hour.
Silicon Graphics CEO Bob Bishop said the event, held near the Pentagon
in Crystal City, Virginia, was designed to highlight "the role of
technology on the digital battlefield."
Harris takes a different approach with its Realsite software, which
the company touted as "enabling the urban warfighter." The software
renders 3-D images of cityscapes, and a demonstration used Space
Imaging's now-famous photos of the World Trade Center to generate a 3-D
map of lower Manhattan.
Police trying to protect the trade summit earlier this year in Quebec
City used Realsite to defend against anti-free trade protesters. Law
enforcement agents can move around in the virtual cities and determine
line-of-sight and distances between two points, which can prove useful
in placing snipers or finding safe parade and convoy routes.
Navy Capt. Ken Deutsch, on a panel discussing sensor technology, said:
"We used to conduct warfare (the way) we play football -- stopping and
starting. Now, we're playing like basketball -- always in motion, fluid,
always on offense and defense."
Art Money, former assistant secretary of defense, said the military
wants to move away from proprietary systems and toward commercial
hardware platforms. "We want to go to commercial standards," Money said.
"The problem with U.S. standards is that as soon as you're in motion,
doctrine governs what you can use."
In a keynote address, Lt. Col. James King, retired director of the
National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that America's space imaging
needed a radical upgrade.
"This area needs funding. We will not establish definitive (success)
until database inter-operability is achieved. We have the (data), but we
can't get to it," King said.
He suggested an approach that's close to the heart of any computer
geek: "The foundation of data has to be in digital form."
Created by Congress in 1996, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency
provides high-quality "imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial
information" to the military and intelligence agencies such as the CIA
and the National Security Agency. It incorporated the former Defense
Mapping Agency, and provided U.S. Air Force Capt. Scott O'Grady with a
1:250,000 map of the area that he used when shot down over Bosnia.
The U.S. Geological Survey used to sell NIMA maps to the public, but
halted the practice after the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks.
Other software that runs on SGI systems includes technology used by
Lockheed Martin in its $200 billion contract to develop the new Joint
Strike Fighter and a coordination system for air-based weapons.
Last week, the House Appropriations committee approved $5 million for
the Air Force to purchase F-16 flight simulators from SGI.
Ben Polen contributed to this report from Crystal City, Virginia.
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