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 Project:  WEdge (Warfighter’s Edge)

Description:

The Automated Flight Briefing Room project, now called WEdge (Warfighter's Edge), is developing a collaborative, adaptable briefing and debriefing system for use in combat and training that facilitates the smooth flow of pertinent mission information to and from pilots and aircrews through a straightforward user-defined interface.

The combat briefing conducted immediately prior to mission execution is a critical part of the war fighting process.  During this briefing, all pertinent mission information is presented and discussed.  Certain pieces of information are important to everyone such as weather and NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen).  Other items are mission specific such as targeting folders for attack missions and troop locations and terrain features for Close Air Support (CAS) missions. 

The earlier Flight Briefing Room project was an effort to develop a standardized briefing and debriefing system designed to produce consistent results. The subsequent WEdge system focuses on the needs of the warfighter by following a bottom-to-top approach.  Currently, there is no direct transfer of electronic information into the briefing room.  WEdge closes this need and will be able to integrate necessary and relevant information for briefing personnel.  Once the types of data are defined, it will be pulled from appropriate databases and presented through an easy to use and easily adapted PowerPoint-based system.  Additionally, once a mission is completed, WEdge will streamline the weapon system video process and expediting Battle Damage Assessment for the AOC.  

The effort is being conducted in partnership with the Air Force Command and Control Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (AFC2ISRC).  The AFC2ISRC has recently delivered the core engine for Theater Battle Management Core System (TBMCS 1.1.4) with is the next step in the evolution of the Air Operations Center Weapons System (AOC WS 10.1.1).  The TBMCS 1.1.4 database is currently the principal source of the information for the WEdge system.

 Methodology: 

A simulated flight briefing room has been constructed in the IITA laboratory to "field" the equipment selected from the Flight Briefing Room project of 2004.  The development of the software that will integrate the numerous information sources that will make up the briefing will be tested by pilots in the briefing room simulating actual conditions.

For example, the information being managed by WEdge is separated into basic flight information, objectives, package information, specific mission information, and debriefing items.   Basic flight information is all information dealing with a package of aircraft coming and going from an airbase (tail numbers, takeoff times, parking locations, weapons load for example).  The mission objectives are important pieces of information which describe the purpose of the mission.  General objectives are set by the JFACC and become more specific as they progress down the chain of command.  It is important for departing aircrews to know the desired effects of their mission.  The mission items contained in the WEdge system are tailored to specific missions and specific aircraft.  For example, A-10’s performing Close Air Support (CAS) are very interested in knowing every detail about the location of the friendly and enemy ground troops, but a DCA (Defensive Counter Air) mission would not need nearly the detail on ground forces.  All of these data bases provide outbound crews with the information they need to execute their missions.  The last area is debriefing which treats the user as a source of information.  These inputs are used in the planning and execution of future missions.

 

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