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Communications

No Stones, But a Novel Battle

September 2000
By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.

A David and Goliath rematch is shaping up in Northern Europe over the next few weeks. This time, however, there are several Goliaths, and no one will be using a sling. All opponents are armed equally with the latest technological advances, and the contest is in one of the giants' own backyards. Two other titans wait in the wings.

Experimental Technology Connects Warriors

February 2005
By Henry S. Kenyon

A prototype over-the-horizon communications system and an on-the-move command post that allows commanders to conduct fully mobile operations could help the U.S. Marine Corps maintain connectivity and situational awareness on the battlefield. Developed by the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, both systems support the service's doctrine of ship-to-objective maneuver, which calls for the rapid deployment of troops and equipment from the seat to staging areas deep inside enemy territory.

Army Finds Communications Path

January 2005
By Maryann Lawlor

Networking capabilities that increase situational awareness are moving down the chain of command and eliminating bottlenecks in data sharing. Work underway on the Pathfinder advanced concept technology demonstration aims at integrating capabilities so that information gathered by unmanned ground vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and unattended ground sensors can be distributed within a mobile, self-forming, self-healing network. The system is designed for use by special operations and lightweight conventional forces in small team operations.

Plastic Antennas Mold Flexible New Frontier

December 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

An electrically conductive resin technology may soon free warfighter and civilian wireless devices from bulky aerials. The proprietary recipe can be added to any of the thousands of polymers used to manufacture cases and components, turning the entire bezel of a cellular telephone or handheld radio into an antenna.

Accurate Metrics Support Efficient Spectrum Use

May 2001
By Stuart Kennison and Jamileh Soudah

The U.S. Joint Spectrum Center is developing and will maintain an extensive set of databases to directly support both the spectrum management and electromagnetic environmental effect communities. To accomplish this task, the center has established the Data Quality Metrics Program, which will monitor and enhance the quality of its databases.

Wearable Translator Makes Phrase Books Obsolete

June 2001
By Sharon Berry

A Star Trek-like communications instrument promises to help penetrate the language barrier by providing automated near-real-time translations. The mobile, lightweight device, which is the size of a cellular telephone and can be clipped to a belt, will translate English paired with Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Albanian and Thai as well as other major European languages.

Extending the Software-Defined Radio Concept

November 2004
By Robert Walter and George Duchack

The U.S. military is developing a modular, scalable, multifunctional radio frequency system that would provide unprecedented interoperability through its communications and data gateway while performing signals intelligence collection, electronic warfare and psychological operations broadcast. The technology incorporates common radio frequency hardware components networked with pools of processors that are programmed through software to instantiate a variety of radio frequency capabilities and perform multiple radio frequency functions simultaneously.

Littoral Battlespace Becomes Smaller

September 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

The extended littoral battlespace is beginning to shrink as commanders acquire the capability to monitor force operations from greater distances in near-real and real time. Recent exercises held on and off the California coast demonstrated a number of different approaches to linking offshore commanders with onshore events.

Communications Under Fire

October 2002
By Staff Sgt. Timothy Volkert, USA

In the war against terrorism, ship and aircraft activity may be foremost on the nightly news and in the public eye, but in information-age conflicts an almost invisible force is just as critical to mission success. The military service members who build communications infrastructure from the ground up under combat conditions have become major contributors to winning battles fought by joint and coalition forces.

In-Motion Connectivity Unifies Information Grid

October 2002
By Sharon Berry

Miniaturized routers have been merged with mobile technology to give the military uninterrupted high bandwidth connectivity to mission-critical data as forces move throughout a theater of operation, all via one small rugged device. The capability could network troops in unique ways and solve defense-identified challenges of achieving seamless communications mobility between networks while addressing what is known as the form factor-maintaining a small device size and configuration. It can provide interoperability within a group as well as among defense organizations.

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