Meeting today’s defence and security challenges requires increasingly connected solutions, as underscored by Airbus’ diversified product lines that were exhibited during this month’s Eurosatory international exhibition near Paris.

One of the capabilities highlighted at Eurosatory was Airbus’ hybrid networks, bringing seamless connectivity management services spanning disparate networks – whether digital or analogue; and deployed on the ground, in the air or in space.

Airbus’ solution provides collaboration between networks having their own characteristics, without the need to create a new network. The company’s offer addresses a wide range of users’ requirements, including government customers (defence and public safety) as well as commercial operators (large corporations and critical infrastructure).

Key features of Airbus hybrid networks include intelligent tactical routing, authentication that ensures end-to-end security, and the adaptability to such new technologies as SDN (software defined networking) and NFV (network function virtualisation).

Augmented decision-making

The Eurosatory exhibition also provided the venue for Airbus’ display of its augmented decision-making capabilities with the innovative “Holographic Tactical Sandbox.” Using augmented reality technology and high-resolution 3D imagery to create a holographic map, the “Holographic Tactical Sandbox” creates a highly accurate representation of the battlefield that is viewable via augmented reality helmets.

This decision-making tool provides real-time shared situational awareness and enhanced mission effectiveness, enabling operators to view information and create situations for mission preparation, mission briefings and rehearsals – which then can be shared with higher decision-making levels of command.

The “Holographic Tactical Sandbox” is interoperable with Airbus’ Fortion® TacticalC2 tactical battle management software – a single software solution for use throughout the command chain with automatic data synchronisation.

A greater focus on connectivity

The connectivity theme at Eurosatory extended as well to Airbus’ agile imagery capabilities. It brings “space-eye” views from Airbus-built smart constellations of radar and optical satellites together with real-time video and information using the company’s Zephyr high altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS), as well as images from enduring drones at high, medium and low altitudes (illustrated at Eurosatory by the ALIACA and DVF 2000 ER unmanned aerial vehicles from Airbus’ Survey Copter subsidiary, and the VSR 700 rotary-wing system developed for naval applications based on Airbus helicopter expertise).

At the 2018 Eurosatory defence and security exhibition, visitors experience a demonstration of Airbus’ innovative “Holographic Tactical Sandbox” decision-making tool, which provides real-time shared situational awareness and enhanced mission effectiveness