STK / Coverage for Persistent Border Surveillance

By: Sean Boyer

Persistent surveillance is the ability of an ISR system to continuously linger over an area detecting any changes that occur without fail. It also includes successful communications needed for both command and control and dissemination of large amounts of sensor data. STK can model many aspects of a persistent surveillance system. One quick example is the ISR Border Coverage scenario which combines ground cameras, a high altitude airship, and a UAV, to cover and analyze a border region.

If we look at the overview we see that by combining various types of sensor assets we attain an optimistic 100% regional coverage over a three (3) hour period, but that half of the area is only covered for a short duration by the UAV. In this example each asset is constrained by its field of view and terrain.  Adding additional constraints like minimum resolution, lighting, or adding a redundancy operator like “at least 2” would prove that more assets are needed to achieve persistence.

While the UAV proved to be effective, it’s also the most expensive asset. The tethered aerostat is more cost effective, but not responsive like the UAV. It’s likely that the cost of each asset will be a decision factor and that many combinations need to be considered before deploying a system. STK/Integration allows you to drive STK from MatlabC#, or Python and loop through multiple coverage runs for each changing variables like altitude, cost, assets, or other constraints to return static or dynamic figures of merit. Take look at a case study to see how the Marines conducted analysis like this to procure new radars.

Use the steps below to save a copy of the example scenario and experiment with it by adding different figures of merit or additional assets like a ground motion sensors to improve persistence.

To open this example scenario directly in STK follow these steps:

  1. Extend the File menu.
  2. Select Open.
  3. Select "STK Data Federate" button.
  4. Click the browse tab and navigate to…

Example 1: <Public/STK Scenarios/Example Scenarios/STK11/Solution Area Scenarios/ISR_Border_Coverage.vdf>

Example 2: <Public/STK Scenarios/Example Scenarios/STK10/Solution Area Scenarios/ISR_CONOPS.vdf>

Follow these steps to extract the VDF so that you have a permanent local copy. For those without STK/Coverage the VDF may also be viewed in STK/Viewer.


Posted: 11/15/2016 10:10:47 AM