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NATO Rolling Out System for Sharing Data

Refinements to the Savi CMS platform will enable the sharing of RFID tag data among NATO and its allied nations.
By Mary Catherine O’Connor
Savi's CMS platform consists of its SmartChain supply network operating system software, its Site Manager middleware, which filters and aggregates RFID reads, and the SmartChain Consignment Management Application. The SmartChain Consignment Management Application pulls RFID tag data into tools such as computer-generated maps that show the location of consignments in the supply chain, and auditing applications using historical data to recount the journey of the consignment. The CMS platform enables NATO and its member countries' armed forces to monitor and configure the ISAF supply chain network, and to control the RFID devices linked to it. The solution enables military logisticians to manage consignments and associated manifests, as well as tagged supplies nested in the consignments, as they are packed, repacked, consolidated with supplies for other consignments or deconsolidated. The CMS platform can also send alerts regarding exceptions to logisticians or other personnel via e-mail, phone or the CMS application.

Australia's Department of Defense (see Australia's Military to Track Supplies) is currently deploying the Savi CMS. Denmark's Ministry of Defense deployed it last year (see Danish Defense Contracts With Savi), before it was commercially available and prior to the development of the STANAG-compliant data-routing protocols that enable the sharing of consignment information. Denmark will now upgrade its CMS software with the latest version, which will allow it to share data and receive supply chain data from NATO and its allied nations.

The U.S. Department of Defense uses Savi tags to track its consignments as part of its In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network, a cargo-tracking system employing active RFID technology. The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense also uses Savi technology to track its consignments. But because these two military organizations have not deployed the CMS platform, they will be required to make customized upgrades to their software, which will also need to be compliant with the STANAG 2233 data-sharing protocols, in order to share and receive information related to their military consignments and those of NATO and other nations.

Under the contract, made between Savi and NATO's Command and Control Agency (NC3A)—an agency that procures and implements communications systems for NATO, the organization will purchase additional ST-654 active tags, which it will affix to pallets and shipping containers, and SR-650 interrogators that it will place at key transportation nodes along the ISAF supply chain. Additionally, Savi will make software enhancements to NATO's CMS platform so it can share and receive consignment information with the armed forces of NATO member nations.

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