Following the incorporation of its geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) software into the Royal Navy’s (RN) Unmanned Warrior 2016 exercise held in October, Esri UK claims to have, “more than piqued the interest,” of the service in using cloud-based planning systems in the future.
The AcrGIS software was brought into the exercise planning in June 2016, and allowed all of the parties involved to access one shared system, so that all maps were up-to-date and that airspace was effectively controlled.
This was notably the cloud-based version of the software, which is something new to the service that has previously only had access to the desktop version of the software.
“I think they [the RN] are minded that a cloud-based system has its benefits,” Roy Freeman, account manager for land and joint at Esri UK, told Mönch. “It all came about because we have an enterprise agreement with the Royal Navy for software,” he adds. “It needed some proper collaboration with all of the parties so that everybody was on the same plan.”
The planning was also communicated to the UK Civil Aviation Administration and NATS air traffic control service, to reassure them that the RN could control the airspace for the exercise.
Throughout UW16, the role Esri played increased from providing a planning service that the UAVs could operate to, to also demonstrating its processing, exploitation and dissemination software to help turn data collected into intelligence.
“We became more central to the exercise as it went on,” Freeman said, adding that this evolved to also include the use of the company’s Drone2Map software that processes data collected by a UAV to georeference it.
Exercise "Information Warrior" will now follow on in March, which the RN is working up to now.
Freeman says that Esri is discussing what part it will play in the exercise, but expects to play a significant role that will help demonstrate the software it has developed for this application.