Skip Navigation


Security Levels

C3CEN logo Projects photo montage


The C2 Systems developed and supported at C3CEN have a multi-mission focus on Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Interdiction, Navigation, Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection. The systems may be as complex as a multi-tiered network of computers, radars, navigation receivers, satellite and radio based communication links installed throughout a Coast Guard Cutter. Or, the system may be as simple as a single computer connected to a telephone line in an Operations Center. In both instances, the system architecture reflects the C2 process and the system implementation supports the Sense-Assess-Decide-Act cycles occurring now and always within hundreds of Coast Guard Units.


The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a system used by ships and Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) principally for identification and locating vessels. AIS provides a means for ships to electronically exchange ship data including: identification, position, course, and speed, with other nearby ships and VTS stations. This information can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS display. AIS is intended to assist the vessel's watch standing officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements. It works by integrating a standardized VHF transceiver system with an electronic navigation system, such as a Global Positioning System receiver, and other navigational sensors on board ship.

The BridgeMaster-E Surface Search Radar is a highly dependable system manufactured by Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine. It provides operators with an advanced navigational and surveillance system that enhances situational awareness of the maritime environment. It is installed on all WLB-225 and WLM-175 buoy tender platforms and twenty-four WPB-87 patrol crafts. All BridgeMaster-E equipped cutters are outfitted with 25kw X-Band scanner units. As the System Management and Engineering Facility (SMEF) for the system, C3CEN is the point of contact for technical support and information.

C2PC(CG) is the acronym given to C2PC and Overlay Data packaged and distributed within the Coast Guard.  C3CEN is the System Maintenance and Engineering Facility (SMEF) for C2PC(CG). The actual software was repackaged by Northrop Grumman Information Technology (NGIT) for C2PC(CG) SWIII. C2PC was initially built for the USMC for use as a client workstation connected to a network with a track data gateway. An example of this configuration is C2PC's use as a component of Defense Information Systems Agency's Global Command and Control System (GCCS). C2PC is also used as a situation awareness and decision support tool in support of a broad range of operations. The USCG has used C2PC(CG) as its primary Search And Rescue (SAR) planning tool since 1999. C2PC provides vector and raster electronic charting capability for the Coast Guard's entire AOR. Coast Guard specific overlay data permits the display of thousands of geographic attributes like: High Sites, Sectors, EEZ boundaries, and hospital locations.

C3CEN is currently installing the new Coast Guard Data Distribution System (CGDDS) on WLB-225 & WLM-175 class cutters. To date C3CEN has fielded CGDDS onboard 3 WLB and 3 WLM cutters with plans to install the system on twelve (12) additional cutters in FY 2011. The beauty of the CGDDS system is that it uses “commercial off the shelf” hardware and integrates it with existing integrated equipment onboard WLB and WLM cutters. The CGDDS software suite is essentially a rugged utility that acts as a traffic cop receiving and sending messages between the various systems, while providing the user with the ability to easily troubleshoot problems, verify proper operation, and make configuration changes. The primary piece of software – the CGDDS_Core Windows Service –uses the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183 message format as the communications standard between devices. The service uses commonly available network protocols, operates on commonly available hardware, and incorporates a relational database to perform the following:

CGVTS (Coast Guard Vessel Traffic System) - Core C2 System is deployed in two ports: Puget Sound (Seattle, WA) and San Francisco, CA. The system compresses radar, VHF-FM voice, AIS data feeds, and camera video from remote sites into commercial leased land lines or microwaves and sends the information to a Vessel Traffic Center (VTC) which is usually collocated with a Sector Command Center (SCC) location. The vessel data is processed and displayed in a graphical interface, chart based format that lends itself to early recognition of potentially dangerous situations. A minimum of twelve months of vessel transit data is stored in an Oracle database for later reconstructing collisions, spills or other incidences. Additionally, the historical data facilitates data mining to analyze potential trends, such as, traffic density, port tonnage and fulfilling Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The Command Display And Control Integrated Navigation Segment, or COMDAC INS, is the Coast Guard's Electronic Charting and Integrated Navigation Segment (ECINS) software of choice. In short, it is a software application used for shipboard navigation and collision avoidance. It is designed to run on the Common Operating Environment (COE) developed by DISA. COMDAC INS is built to meet Coast Guard requirements and International, NATO and U.S. Navy Standards. It can perform any function that can be done on a paper chart. However, COMDAC INS is not just a one-for-one substitute for conventional paper navigation. COMDAC INS uses a variety of sensor inputs to aid in safe navigation. Some of these sensors include Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) receivers, LORAN receivers, radar lines of positioning (LOPs), visual LOPs, speed logs, depth sounders and wind sensors. It also includes dynamic tide and current vectors, continuously updated turn points, radar overlay for both navigation and collision avoidance, and the fusion of Command and Control and Navigation information. Large amounts of information are integrated into one real-time picture. Using this system, ship drivers know where they are right now, as opposed to where they were several minutes ago.

Command Centers - Started in 2002 as a result of the 1999 Command Centers Improvement Study and subsequent site surveys, the Command Centers IPT was tasked with standardizing and equipping Area, District, and Sector Command Centers with Command & Control systems. From its onset, the team has fielded cornerstone systems, providing dramatic improvements to the capabilities of operational commanders. Collaborative systems, net-centric data sharing, and Internet-based applications are representative of the on-going IPT initiatives. The CC IPT continues to research emerging technologies, prototype feasible options, and field fully supported systems that enhance Maritime Domain Awareness, improve application functionality, and streamline watchstander efforts. As USCG's mission focus changes, fielded systems and systems to be fielded will remain fully capable to meet changing requirements.

The Common Operational Picture (COP) is defined in the USCG COP Concept of Operations as:  a display of relevant information shared by more than one command. The COP provides a shared display of friendly, enemy/suspect, and neutral tracks on a chart, with applicable geographically referenced overlays and data enhancements. The COP contains a decision-maker toolset fed by one or more distributed and exchanged track and object databases. Each user can filter and contribute to these databases according to his or her area of responsibility or command role. The COP environment may include distributed data processing, data exchange, collaboration tools, and communications capabilities. The COP may include information relevant to the tactical and strategic levels of command. This includes, but is not limited to, geographic information systems data, assets, activities and elements, planning data, readiness data, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance data, imagery, and environmental data. The COP facilitates collaborative planning and assists all echelons in achieving Situational Awareness.

The Communications Core Technology - RF Systems Division (formerly TISCOM (tis-43)) - designs, develops, procures, tests and installs short and long range radio systems (e.g. commercial satellite, military satellite and terrestrial radio communication systems) to meet established, enterprise-wide requirements. In addition to providing entire systems, Communications procures and installs specific radio system components (e.g. antennas, patch panels, modems) as these components reach the end of their life-cycle and must be recapitalized or as new communication requirements are developed.

The Cutter Video Recording System (CVRS) was established to replace aging and obsolete VHS recorders aboard WHEC-378, WMEC-270, and WMEC-210 cutters. These recorders archived footage from two flight deck cameras, a bow camera (WHEC-378 only) and the MarFLIR/SIRVSS. The new system, 1SG38-CVRS, consists of an industrial 12-channel Digital Video Recorder (DVR), two 2X3 video amplifiers, a KVM drawer, a video quad-splitter and A/B selector switch (WHEC-378 only), and a 1500 KVA Uninterruptible Power Supply. The DVR runs a Windows-based application and allows for full triplex (record, monitor, review) operation. Normal operation involves continuous recording of all video feeds, and the unit can hold approximately 55 hours of footage. Archived video is water-marked for security and can be exported onto a DVD or USB flash drive.

Deepwater - On June 25, 2002, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Michael Jackson, joined by US Coast Guard Commandant Thomas H. Collins, announced the award of the largest acquisition in the history of the Coast Guard. The Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) contract was awarded to Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture established by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The Deepwater contract has the potential to extend up to 30 years, with an approximate value of $17 billion. At full implementation, the interoperable ICGS system comprises three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, a combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable assets are linked with Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, and are supported by an integrated logistics regime. Many of the Coast Guard's most critical missions - countering terrorist threats, rescuing mariners in distress, catching drug smugglers, stopping illegal migrants, and protecting the marine environment - demand forces that are able to operate effectively across a broad geographic spectrum, from overseas operating areas to US Exclusive Economic Zone, coastal, and port regions. The Coast Guard's Deepwater cutters and aircraft are designed to operate throughout these diverse environments. They comprise the first line of the Service's layered defense against threats to America's homeland and maritime security. Unfortunately, the Service's current Deepwater assets are aging and technologically obsolete. They lack essential speed, interoperability, sensor and communication capabilities, which in turn limit their overall mission effectiveness and efficiency. To address these shortfalls, the Coast Guard established the Integrated Deepwater System Program to replace and modernize its aging force of cutters and aircraft, and their supporting command-and-control and logistics systems. These new assets, which possess common systems and technologies, common operational concepts, and a common logistics base will give the Coast Guard a significantly improved ability to detect and identify all activities in the maritime arena, a capability known as "maritime domain awareness," as well as the improved ability to intercept and engage those activities that pose a direct threat to US sovereignty and security. The Coast Guard's Deepwater Program will ensure that the Coast Guard - and the nation - has cutters, aircraft, and command-and-control systems that can capably defend against maritime threats far out to sea, before they can reach US citizens, territory, or vital interests. The Integrated Deepwater System is critical to the Coast Guard's future and to America's ability to safeguard homeland and maritime security for generations to come.

The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) operates the Coast Guard Maritime Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and the developing Nationwide DGPS (NDGPS) Service, consisting of two control centers and over 60 remote broadcast sites. The service broadcasts correction signals on marine radio beacon frequencies to improve the accuracy of and integrity to GPS-derived positions. The Coast Guard DGPS service provides 10-meter accuracy in all established coverage areas. Typically the positional error of a DGPS position is 1 to 3 meters, greatly enhancing harbor entrance and approach navigation. The System provides service for  coastal coverage of the continental US, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, portions of Alaska and Hawaii, and a greater part of the Mississippi River Basin. Many foreign nations are implementing standard DGPS services modeled after the US Coast Guard's system to significantly enhance maritime safety in their critical waterways.

ECS - Originating as WLB/WLM IPT, this IPT coordinates support, maintenance and training on systems onboard Juniper & Coastal Keeper Class Buoy Tenders: i.e., Integrated Ship Control System (ISCS), Electronic Chart Precise Integrated Navigation System (ECPINS), and Survivable Adoptable Fiber Optic Embedded Network (SAFENET) LAN. The IPT role grew as USCG fielded commercial charting systems including ECPINS on USCG Icebreakers and Icebreaking Tugs, a standard Electronic Chart System (ECS) on cutters and boats, and an Electronic Charting & Integrated Navigation System (ECINS) for 87' Coastal Patrol Boats. Responsibilities include management and procurement of USCG's electronic chart portfolio, requiring careful coordination with NOAA and commercial vendors. Renamed ECINS/ECS IPT in FY2005, the IPT currently supports 87' ECINS.

The Furuno FAR-2127 Surface Search Radar was selected as the next generation surface search radar for a variety of CG cutters. This radar incorporates leading edge technology and advanced signal processing to provide reliable performance and improved target detection. Each system is outfitted with an X-band, 25kW, TR up, turning unit with 6.5 foot antenna, deck mounted console, full keyboard control unit and a high resolution, multi-color LCD monitor. The system can display 1000 AIS-equipped targets and acquire a maximum of 100 radar targets. FAR-2127 complies with the latest IMO and IEC standards.  As the System Management and Engineering Facility (SMEF) for the system, C3CEN is the point of contact for technical support and information.

The Flight Deck Video System (FDVS) project has established and maintains a consistent baseline of shipboard Flight Deck equipment at C3CEN. The new system replaced the aging Pelco pan/tilts and controllers that are no longer serviceable and bypassed the aging and unsupportable DyNair switchers. All classes of cutters utilize identical zoom and fixed cameras, American Dynamics pan/tilts and pan/tilt controllers. This equipment is stocked and supported by the CG Engineering Logistic Center (ELC). All drawings have been or will be updated to reflect these changes. In addition, the 378 class FDVS is integrated with the SCCS-378 upgrade. This integration was prototyped on CGC DALLAS. This baseline will be developed to aid in troubleshooting procedures and provide System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF) advisories to the fleet. C3CEN will also track system failure trends, using that data to engineer improvements to the camera equipment and increase system availability.

Homeland Security - Even before the September 11th terrorist attacks, our country faced an array of maritime security challenges - environmental degradation, illegal migration, over-fishing, drug smuggling, organized crime, arms trafficking, pandemics, mass migrations, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These dangers pose direct threats to American lives, property, safety, health, stability, and values. The Coast Guard is uniquely positioned to provide America with a versatile, multi-mission force to address security challenges in the maritime domain. C3CEN has taken some specific steps to help the field meet the Homeland Security mission. Shortly after September 11th, 2001, C2CEN assisted Naval Station Norfolk and Sector Hampton Roads by providing radar and camera surveillance of the Hampton Roads harbor approaches and a command and control system to help them track and monitor the vessel traffic. This system, still in place today, provides the model for Joint Harbor Operations Centers (JHOCs), an initiative to provide like capabilities in dozens of ports around the country.

The Maritime Forward Looking Infrared (MarFLIR) project was launched in FY2000 to identify, test, and install a shipboard infrared system for night time detection, recognition, and classification of targets of interest. After evaluating several systems designed for this purpose, the AN/KAX-2 MarFLIR system was selected for deployment to all WHEC-378, WMEC-270, WMEC-210, and select WPB-110 and CPB-87 class cutters.

NAIS - In response to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is developing a two-way maritime data communication system based on Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology, referred to as the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS). The NAIS Project is classified as a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Level 1 investment and is a USCG major systems acquisition project. The goal of NAIS is to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), with particular focus on improving maritime security, marine and navigational safety, search and rescue, and environmental protection services.
AIS is a maritime digital broadcast system that continually transmits and receives voiceless exchange of vessel data. The AIS technology and communication protocol has been adopted by the International Maritime Organization as an international standard for ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship communication of navigation information. AIS users operating in proximity to each other automatically create a virtual network. Shore stations can join these virtual networks and receive shipboard AIS signals, perform network and frequency management, and send additional broadcast or individual informational messages to AIS equipped vessels.

The Navigation Sensors project is responsible for support and engineering for standard Coast Guard Radar and Navigation Sensor Systems. This encompasses a variety of different sensors including all standard Global Positioning Systems (GPS) receivers used on CG Cutters and Small Boats. In addition to GPS receivers, C3CEN has SMEF responsibilities for the AN/SPS-73, AN/SPS-69 Radar, V850 Depth Sounder, KDF-538 (VHF), KDF-580 (MF/HF), and KDF-581 (UHF) Direction Finders.

The Portable Night Vision Electro Optics (NV/EO) Program was established to identify, test, and deploy equipment designed to enhance nighttime detection, recognition, and classification of targets of interest. NVEO devices include both Image Intensifiers (I2) and Infrared (IR) systems, also referred to as thermal imagers. An I2 or IR device is considered portable if it can be reasonably moved from one location to another without using tools to remove or install the device or any ancillary equipment. 

The Ports and Waterways Safety System (PAWSS) was established to meet the goals set forth under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 (PWSA), Title 33 USC §1221.  Under this provision the Coast Guard has a statutory responsibility to ensure the safety and environmental protection of U.S. ports and waterways. The PWSA authorizes the Coast Guard to "...establish, operate and maintain vessel traffic services in ports and waterways subject to congestion."  The purpose of the act was to establish good order and predictability on United States waterways by implementing fundamental waterways management practices.

Port and Coastal Security System (PCSS) - also known as Hawkeye - The Mission of the Coast Guard is to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests - in our ports and waterways, along our nation's coasts, in international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security. As the showcase system for PCSS, the Hawkeye system monitors and tracks commercial vessels on the coast and in port areas using radar, cameras, and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) sensors. Watchstanders monitor all vessels, using sophisticated tools to detect anomalous behavior. After examination of vessel data from multiple sources, the operator can choose to dispatch Coast Guard and port partner assets using Hawkeye's Blue Force Tracking (BFT) system. Hawkeye data is transmitted to the Coast Guard Common Operating Picture (COP). The CG COP inter grates Hawkeye data and data from other sources to provide a national depiction of maritime activities.

Search And Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) - SAROPS is an operational Mission Essential Application (MEA) that operates within the standard workstation environment to support the SAR community and overall Maritime Domain Awareness via a rich geographical display. Key features include search event modeling, display animation and optimized search plan determination as well as interface support for SARSAT and web-service fed COP tracks. The SAROPS system consists of the C/JMTK based Mapping Framework (i.e., tailored ESRI ArcMap), custom extensions and spatial databases.

SCCS - The Shipboard Command and Control System (SCCS) combines navigation and tactical operations under the Common Operating Environment (COE). The COMmand Display and Control Integrated Navigation System (COMDAC-INS) serves as the Electronic Chart Integrated Navigation System (ECINS). COMDAC INS currently makes use of both NOAA Raster, ENC and NIMA DNC vector electronic charts, provides advanced navigator reports and calculations, and displays enhanced radar overlay. COMDAC-INS software provides interface with the latest AN/SPS-73 Surface Search Radar (SSR) software, provides additional DNC features, adds a system performance monitor, and corrects several trouble reports. SCCS is installed on EAGLE, all Mature Class cutters, WPB-110, WMEC-210/270 and WHEC-378s.  These COE releases contain the next generation cartographer for enhanced chart display and SIPRNET integration for near real time COP interoperability. COMDAC-INS development partnerships continue to expand with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Navigation Sensor System Interface (NAVSSI) program for surface combatants. NAVSSI ships running COMDAC-INS software has already been installed on over 130 platforms, including Nimitz class aircraft carriers, Arleigh Burke class destroyers, and Wasp class amphibious assault ships.

The Scaleable Integrated Navigation System (SINS) is the replacement for the AN/SPS-69(V) radar system, the CMX-MX-200 GPS/LORAN receiver, and the ST-50 Depth Sounder on the small boat fleet. The SINS is a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) integrated system intended to meet the requirements as set forth in Chapter Two of the Objective Architecture and Transition Plan (OATP).

The Shipboard Infrared Visual Sensor System (SIRVSS) was launched in FY2005 to provide a next-generation replacement for the successful MarFLIR system. The new system boasts enhanced optics, a laser range finder, inputs for ships' gyrocompass and GPS receiver, and interoperability with the Shipboard Command and Control System (SCCS), allowing Type II navigation.

SRAN - The field of Short Range Aids To Navigation (SRAN) encompasses, as the name implies, all those aids that do not rely on long range radio or satellite communications such as Long Range Aids to Navigation (LORAN), DGPS etc. SRAN does include lighthouses, buoys, RADAR beacons, fog detectors and signals, range lights, radio beacons, and markers. As the majority of these aids are in remote locations, SRAN personnel must be provided with means of controlling and monitoring these devices. The Aids Control and Monitoring System (ACMS) utilizes computer technology and several communications methods to perform this function. SRAN devices continue to evolve towards more durable and energy efficient systems, many solely dependent on solar energy for their operation.

The AN/SPS-73(V) Surface Search Radar (SSR) is designed for both large and small cutter applications and has been at sea since April 1997.  The SSR provides operators with an advanced navigational and surveillance system that enhances situational awareness of the maritime environment. The AN/SPS-73(V) system is comprised of a Furuno radar and a Raytheon designed Stand-Alone Operator Position (SAOP).  The radar portion of the SSR includes the antenna, pedestal, receiver/transmitter, and performance monitor and is available in 25kw X-Band and 30kw S-Band.  The SAOP combines the use of processor cards, video monitor, trackball, and keyboard to provide complete control of the radar system. All WAGB, WHEC, WMEC and WIX cutters are configured for dual radars and SAOPS.  All other SSR equipped cutters are configured for a single X-band radar and SAOP.  As the Coast Guard’s system manager for the AN/SPS-73(V) radar, C3CEN is committed to extending the service life of the system, with implementing periodic field changes and software updates. 

Tender Deployable Differential Global Positioning System (TD DGPS) - The U.S. Coast Guard's Short Range Aids to Navigation Program has an operational requirement for a portable Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) reference station.  This requirement arose because the new 225' Juniper and 175' Keeper Class buoytenders require a DGPS signal as their primary input sensor to the Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) and Automated Aid Positioning System (AAPS).  The DPS is used for vessel maneuvering and AAPS is used for positioning Aids to Navigation (AtoN).

C3CEN provides support and engineering for 87’ CPB Electronic Charting and Integrated Navigation Systems (ECINS) and Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFOR SWA) 110’ Electronic Charting Systems (ECS).  The systems operate using commercial software produced by Transas called NaviSailor 3000 ECDIS-I (NS3000).

The National Vessel Monitoring System (N-VMS) program is used to enforce the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act MSFCMA).  This Act provides a comprehensive framework for the management of fisheries resources, which is necessary to prevent over fishing, to rebuild fish stocks, and to realize the full potential of the nation's fishery resources (16 U.S.C. 1801(a)(6)).  The Act established eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (RFMC) to exercise sound judgment in the stewardship of fishery resources through the preparation, monitoring, and revision of the Fishery Management Plans (FMP). 

WLB/WLM - C3CEN has been designated as System Management and Engineering Facility for the 225' Juniper Class Buoy Tender (WLB) and the 175' Coastal Keeper Class Buoy Tender (WLM). C3CEN will be the single point of contact for technical and training support of the Integrated Ship Control System (ISCS) that controls and monitors the operation of machinery and navigation sensors onboard both classes of ships. Both the Juniper and Keeper Class buoy tenders were designed to replace the aging 180' and 157' class buoy tenders. The new ships will be equipped with Dynamic Positioning Systems (DPS) as well as Z-Drive Propulsion Systems on the 175' class buoy tenders, allowing for enhanced performance in tight maneuvering situations. Accompanying this technology are machinery-monitoring systems that enable all crews to operate and maintain the ships propulsion and engine systems in an extremely safe manner. With these systems and a highly trained crew, the 225' and 175' buoy tenders will be able to maintain more buoys and be responsible for a larger geographic area. They will also be able to perform search and rescue (SAR), enforce laws and regulations, and respond to marine/environmental accidents.


Last Modified 1/12/2016