As the technology of battlefield command shifted from analog to digital, and as both communications and weapons systems became more pervasive and increasingly complex, the Department of Defense responded by directing an effort to enhance connectivity and interoperability across all platforms.
The first Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) framework was released in June of 1996, with version 2.0 released the following year.
This philosophy of net-centric warfare seeks to connect systems, services, weapons, operations and capabilities in a manner that provides the warfighter with a command and control capability focused on situational awareness. Allowing information to be shared across Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force resources within and across combat zones was deemed critical to improving operational effectiveness.
This approach required access, analysis and dissemination of data from Terrestrial Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Image Intelligence (IMINT) systems as well as from Space Based Radar (SBR) and Space Based Infrared Radar (SBIR) sources – processed as close as possible to real-time.
C4ISR encompasses systems, procedures, and techniques used to collect and disseminate information. It includes intelligence collection and dissemination networks, command and control networks, and systems that provide the common operational/tactical picture. It also includes information assurance products and services, as well as communications standards that support the secure exchange of information by C4ISR systems. Under the C4ISR umbrella, systems exchange digital, voice, and video data to appropriate levels of command. — Department of Defense C4ISR Policy
The range of C4ISR hardware includes everything from satellite communications to UAV ground control stations and advanced weapons control systems. Tying all these systems together is a massive network of embedded computers designed to monitor, control and analyze streams of data. It’s this integrated system-of-systems architecture that dramatically improves the warfighter’s situational awareness.
Whether the primary need is for data storage, computational power, video image processing or high performance computing, Trenton offers rackmount computers, single board computers and embedded motherboards designed to meet the needs of C4ISR applications deployed in extreme environments.
For example, the TRC2003 rackmount computer features a rugged, yet lightweight aluminum short-depth chassis that accommodates a PICMG butterfly backplane designed to support a PICMG 1.3 System Host Board along with a number of PCI Express, PCI-X or PCI option cards – ideal for vehicle-based ground control stations, surveillance aircraft, plus many other government and defense applications.