Redlands, California-TEC and ESRI will collaborate to design and build innovative prototypes to demonstrate the next generation of geospatial technology in U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Battle Command applications.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Topographic Engineering Center (TEC) and ESRI signed a cooperative research and development agreement for the project today.

This core research will influence the use of geospatial technology in combat systems throughout the DoD and will significantly contribute to the design of the next generation of geospatial capability in command and control applications.

TEC researches how geospatial technology improves decision-making support throughout the DoD command and control systems. ESRI is the world's leading technology firm for geographic information system (GIS) software, geospatial modeling and analysis, and service-oriented architecture for spatially-enabled applications. The company also has extensive experience in geospatial research and engineering. This cooperative agreement brokers each organization's complementary strengths.

"ESRI has enjoyed many years of successful collaboration with TEC," says Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. "We look forward to working with TEC to design these pioneering prototypes that will support a new generation of defense geospatial capability."

"TEC's ability to provide the warfighter with a superior knowledge of today's complex and ever-changing operational environment depends, in part, on a productive marriage of our geospatial tools, talent, and military geospatial business logic with complementary commercial geospatial information technology," says Bob Burkhardt, TEC's director. "Our partnership with ESRI allows us access to powerful software, database, systems, and architectural concepts critical to our continued success as an Army Geospatial Knowledge Center."

TEC and ESRI will combine their skills and resources to design and develop prototypes of new Battle Command data management and decision support tools. Specifically, ESRI will help TEC identify and incorporate key technologies for the architecture and design of prototypes. These prototypes will serve as reference implementations or model applications that demonstrate improved geospatial capability in battlespace management.

TEC and ESRI will 
  • Design mobile geospatial applications that take advantage of server technology for data updates and synchronization when connected and also operate as independent, stand-alone units when disconnected.
  • Prepare image services that exploit BuckEye imagery, a combination of high-resolution color images and lidar data that supports intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and tactical operations. BuckEye imagery is a proven important geospatial resource used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Design and create several advanced technology defense prototypes that improve the ability of command and control systems to operate with geospatially aware battlefield objects, server technology that provides tactical-situation awareness, and geospatial technology to analyze human intelligence.
ESRI and TEC will jointly attend technical workgroups and meet with other defense and intelligence agencies to share the results of the research and engineering of the Battle Command geospatial technology developed under the agreement.