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Posted 6/27/2012

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By Amanda Rominiecki
U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command


FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The U.S. Army recognized employees from two of its research and development centers for their collaborative efforts to enhance mission planning capabilities for the Soldier, during a ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Va., June 19.

Engineers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Engineer Research and Development Center, or ERDC, received the Outstanding Collaborative Research and Development Achievement Award for their work to automate route planning capabilities for the Command Post of the Future, or CPOF, system.

CPOF is a Mission Command system that enables Soldiers to plan and manage mission data and to instantly share that content with other CPOF users. CPOF currently supports the ability to enter routes, but these must be calculated and drawn by hand.

CERDEC's experience in interfacing other systems with CPOF, such as Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Deep Green, indicated to ERDC that it was possible to integrate ERDC's Tactical Spatial Objects and provide automated route planning capabilities such as predicting trip times based on terrain and the vehicle used, said Vineet Gupta, ERDC chief of data representation.

"We used CERDEC's technical expertise. Sometimes labs are hesitant or don't want to collaborate, but this is a good example that illustrates positives that can come out of this. Together, we were able to extend capability," Gupta said.

ERDC and CERDEC previously teamed on the Collaborative Battlespace Reasoning & Awareness Army Technology Objective, or COBRA ATO, in which both laboratories brought different pieces of the OPS/INTEL convergence puzzle.

"I'm really proud of winning the ERDC team collaboration award, but it's odd to receive an award for doing something that came so naturally. CERDEC and ERDC have successfully collaborated on a range of problems over the years," said Cynthia Carpenter, CERDEC's manager for the project.

"This award is a great example of how two organizations with different core competencies can team to produce a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts. The mix resulted in proposed improvements that can cut costs, speed up development and potentially bring needed capabilities to the Soldier. This would have been very difficult for either organization to do by itself," Carpenter said.

The result of the teams' effort will provide lessons learned for production runs of the capability in the program of record.

The award recipients were Cynthia Carpenter, Ron Szymanski and Chris Bubeck of CERDEC's Command, Power & Integration Directorate and Vineet Gupta and Richard Tynes of the ERDC Data Representation Branch.