Simulation of Electronic Warfare with NetScene on the NetBeans Platform
As described in the introductory parts posted by Robert Forsgren (part 1, part 2), NetScene is a tool for creating, editing and executing scenarios, mainly to be used to evaluate electronic warfare scenarios.
NetScene is built on the NetBeans Platform, which provides window management, file management, plugin structure and configuration management to the application. Scenarios are defined in an XML format and NetScene provides a GUI for editing entities, paths, and behaviour models. The entity classes and parameters of objects that are available to use in scenarios are defined in a scenario model, which is in XML format. For our distributed electronic warfare (EW) simulations, we use a scenario model that corresponds with an RPR-FOM in order to make an HLA connection easily attainable.
Based on the NetBeans file and action connections in a project, we have developed an easily extendable map module for 2D maps of any format. Lately we have added TMS support and WMS support based on NASA’s WorldWind and have extended NetScene with support for 3D maps, see Figure 1.
Figure 1: A scenario shown on three different maps. From the left; a map from a png file with projected coordinates, the second map is from a local WMS server in geodetic WGS84 format and the last is from NASA’s WorldWind WMS and in 3D.
Electronic Warfare Plugins
A series of plug-ins makes NetScene even more useful for electronic warfare simulations. For instance, there is a network plug-in that manages configuration and analysis of communication networks. This is useful for cases when a scenario contains many communication nodes (radios, computer networks and mobile phones) and routing between communication nets becomes difficult. In Figure 2, the simulation administrator is configuring a scenario and these additional tools, shown in Figure 3, are used.
Figure 2: NetScene while editing a scenario for distributed simulation, note the list of simulated platforms on the bottom right. Each platform in this scenario has 1-3 different ways of communicating with each other.
Figure 3: Plug-in for network configuration and routing and map view of communication links. The links shown are calculated using a choice from different level of detail propagation models.
With the EwPlan plug-in, NetScene can be used as a planning tool. The plug-in contains models of electronic warfare sensors, including the fields of radar, electro optics and communication. EwPlan also gives the possibility of adding coverage diagrams to visualize for example area of detection which is a great aid in planning. Figure 1 shows the area of detection for a radar platform while affected by two radar jammers. Figure 4 shows communication links in a scenario with a signal surveillance system of three direction finding (DF) sensors. All calculations made by the plug-in are made with consideration taken to terrain data and height and the user may choose the level of detail used for propagation calculations.
Figure 4: Communication links in a scenario and signal surveillance with direction finding sensors.
Distributed EWSim Simulations
NetScene is capable of running simulations in stand-alone mode, or may be connected via HLA to run distributed simulations. Figure 5 shows how we currently use NetScene in our simulation and evaluation process. In the case of distributed simulations, NetScene broadcasts the scenario at startup, and lets each federate create its simulated objects (defined in the scenario). Time synchronization and federation control is done by a Federation Manager. This manager is provided as a plug-in to NetScene, or can be used as a stand alone application.
Figure 5: NetScene’s role in the HLA simulation and evaluation process.
The main application of our distributed simulations is a duel tool called EWSim. This program contains models of platforms, sensors and other equipment as well as terrain and other background data needed to create a 3D scene for EW duels. We need to be able to run simulations in real time with a human in the loop. To accomplish that, the application can use EW models with different levels of detail, and any number of EWSim instances may be part of a distributed simulation as the scenario dictates what objects each federates should model. Objects handled by each instance are gathered from the object library and initialized at simulation startup. Figure 6 shows some screenshots from EWSim simulations. Other applications that are frequently used in our distributed simulations are a network simulation model called ComNet and a logger that makes it possible to replay a simulation for later analysis.
Figure 6: Screenshots taken from EWSim duel tool which is the main application doing the calculations in our distributed simulations.
Command and Control Tool
We have also developed a Command and Control tool that uses NetScene as a platform, and thus inherits functions like the map module and EWPlan. This tool is used in our distributed simulations, where it provides a staff group an operational view of the current situation based on sensor reports and a GUI for order sending. This is used mainly in order to evaluate how situation awareness and command and control ability is affected by electronic warfare and computer network operations. Data used by this tool is presented in several different views, for instance map views of current and past communication nodes or sensor data, platform properties, a list of generated alerts and an equipment view for easy access to sensors on own platforms and orders regarding these sensors. Figure 7 shows the command and control tool during a simulation. Hidden behind other views in that figure, are the views shown in Figure 8. These views let a user of the command tool map social networks that are part of the simulation in relation to the communication networks that are built from sensor reports.
Figure 7: The Command and Control tool. The two main windows are usually shown on two different projectors; the one to the left shows communication nodes and enables network operations while the right shows the current reported sensor information from the team’s platforms. On the bottom right the order GUI is shown where a number of orders can be sent to the team’s platforms.
Figure 8: Social networks can be shown in a map view together with communication sensor reports (left) or in a logical view (right).
(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)