Ground Guidance is patented, fielded software that plans fast and concealed routes on- and off-road for dismounted and mounted soldiers. Primordial developed Ground Guidance under contracts with the Army Geospatial Center (AGC); Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC); Product Manager (PM) Movement Tracking System (MTS); Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and others.
What products are available?
- Ground Guidance SDK. Ground Guidance SDK is a .NET DLL written in C# that runs on Windows and Linux (via Mono) platforms. A Java version of the SDK is pending (projected completion in 2012) and will provide support for both Android and standard Java applications.
- Ground Guidance Web Service. Ground Guidance is a .NET web service that supports SOAP and HTTP protocols. Customers include General Dynamics, GPS Tuner, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Nokia, and Rockwell Collins.
What can it do?
- Fast route. Ground Guidance generates the fastest route between two points.
- Unit prediction. Unit prediction enables one to predict the likely location of an entity (e.g. a downed pilot or sniper fleeing an area) given a last known location, travel duration, and transportation mode.
- Urban routing. In addition to routing in mountainous and woodland terrain, Ground Guidance supports urban routing.
- Alternate routes. Ground Guidance supports planning any number of alternate routes between two points. This facilitates planning primary, alternate, contingent, and emergency (PACE) routes before or during a mission.
- Intervisibility. Ground Guidance analyzes man-made and natural features to calculate accurate view sheds. Ground Guidance is unique in that it incorporates an optical vegetation penetration model to perform its analysis.
- Road routing. In addition to off-road routing, Ground Guidance supports performing state-of-the-art on-road routing for tactical and logistical vehicles. Ground Guidance supports displaying turn-by-turn directions and preferentially routing along main supply routes (MSRs) and alternate supply routes (ASRs).
- Randomized routes. Ground Guidance supports generating randomized routes to reduce predictability during patrols and commutes.
- Multi-resolution routing. To achieve rapid rerouting on resource-constrained handheld platforms, Primordial developed a patent-pending multi-resolution routing algorithm that starts with a coarse map and refines routes over time.
- Differential routing. In addition to fast and concealed routes, Ground Guidance supports maximizing relative advantage along a route.
Route check. Similar to Microsoft Word’s spell check, Ground Guidance’s route check highlights potential dangers along a route (e.g. steep terrain, marshy areas, and exposed positions).
- Graphic processing unit (GPU) routing. To leverage the hundreds of GPUs present on modern graphics cards, Primordial developed a GPU-based routing algorithm that is 22X faster than the CPU-based equivalent.
What maps are available?
- United States map. Primordial maintains a routable Ground Guidance map covering the continental United States (CONUS). Map sources include Intermap, National Elevation Dataset (NED), National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD), and Open Street Map (OSM).
- Afghanistan map. Primordial maintains a routable Ground Guidance map covering Afghanistan. Map sources include Buckeye, Consolidated Afghanistan Feature Dataset (CAFD), Digital Globe, Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED), Geo Cover Land Cover (GCLC), Intermap, and Urban Feature Database (UFD).
- Global coverage (pending). Primordial is currently in the process of creating a global-coverage map expected to be completed in 2012.
How do you generate maps?
- Road extraction. Primordial Extractor automatically extracts roads from topographic maps.
- Wall extraction. Primordial Extractor automatically extracts walls from imagery leveraging shadows.
- Leveraging honesty traces. Ground Guidance analyzes GPS tracks to extract road/trail networks and plan routes that avoid well-worn paths.
- Primordial Ooze. A crowd-sourcing tool for extracting map features using skilled labor.
Who uses it?
- January 2011, Primordial fielded Ground Guidance with Land Warrior to a Special Forces unit training at Fort Campbell and an Army unit operating in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
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