Warfighters and emergency responders are using the same unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies for rapid area surveillance. This capability goes beyond mere direct downlinks, as the airborne craft are able to transmit data that can be reprocessed and distributed to users in near real time.
A free smart phone app makes it easier for service members and veterans to track their emotional health after deployments.
Many i's need to be dotted and t's to be crossed for commercial communications to succeed on the battlefield. Jake MacLeod, executive vice president, Powerwave Technologies, offered a glimpse of some of them in a Monday panel at MILCOM 2010.
Satellites, cell systems and airborne platforms may be teaming to provide future battlefield wireless communications. They would be complementary, but each offers both advantages and drawbacks.
Usage is growing faster than procurement can respond.
Lt. Gen. Dennis Via, USA, J-6, The Joint Staff, offered the MILCOM 2010 Monday luncheon audience a glimpse of his wish list for U.S. forces. Items ran the gamut from new technologies and methodologies to improved efficiency in existing systems. On a large scale, the general called for information and services from the edge to be joint, integrated and operational "out of the box." With U.S. forces expected to be deployed virtually anywhere in the world, Gen. Via cited a need for global network access with a single sign-on. Technology must serve the user, not the other way around, he emphasized. Some existing capabilities are exploited to about only 25 percent of their full capability. Industry should help leverage those systems to a greater degree of use. Above all, the military must leverage "the significant investment" made over the past decade, Gen. Via added. This effort should entail spiral development and technology insertion so that the force can increase the benefits it receives from existing systems and technologies.