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The US army vision calls for linking “every sensor” to “any shooter.” Shortening sensor-to-shooter data transmission times is a major challenge. 

Rainmaker, a US Army science and technology program run out of the C5ISR directorate,

develops common standards to let combat networks share data for everything from targeting smart weapons to training AIs. It is focused on common data fabric integration and data transport among service sensors and platforms. 

US Army engineers and information technology experts are working to integrate the Rainmaker data fabric program into key applications within the service’s Integrated Tactical Network (ITN), in preparation for a vital capstone experiment later this year.

Officials from the army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center are coordinating with members of the service’s Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team (LRPF CFT), to shorten sensor-to-shooter data transmission times via Rainmaker and other data fabric systems, said C5ISR Center official Alan Hansen.

The co-operative effort is part of ongoing science and technology development work being conducted by C5ISR Center officials, in preparation for the Project Convergence 2021 capstone exercise, scheduled to begin later this year, according to Hansen. “One of the important [aspects] with what we are doing with Rainmaker is to build in that agility”, for networked sensor-to-shooter capability, in anticipation of the capstone experiment, according to janes.com.

Project Convergence is the army’s ongoing effort to link every sensor and shooter platform in the service’s arsenal under a common network. The effort dovetails into the Pentagon’s larger Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative, which is designed to enable US commanders to connect any sensor pod or platform to any weapon system, regardless of domain.