October 1999
By Maryann Lawlor

International flavor of exercise compels participants to address standards, creates cooperative framework

November 1999
By Robert K. Ackerman

Hardware interchangeability teams with replaceable software to enable multifunctional radio platforms.

German engineers have combined modular hardware components with the flexibility of software-driven operation to produce a new line of radios for military and civil applications. These units can operate across a range of different frequencies while maintaining interoperability with similar equipment on varied platforms.

November 1999
By Michelle L. Hankins

Partners create company to meet alliance need for tactical area communication system specifications.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is developing standards for products that will be incorporated into a tactical communications system to unify forces and encourage interoperability on tomorrow’s battlefield in international missions. The alliance must guarantee that the systems it employs in the next century will function with other technologies developed by a plethora of multinational companies. To do this, a major effort is underway to create technical guidelines for the organization’s communications architecture.

December 1999
By Robert K. Ackerman

New capabilities emerge with advanced networking, while shortcomings become more apparent and critical.

The military information revolution came of age during the Kosovo operation as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization pushed the edge of the technology envelope. Commanders and warfighters found new capabilities that allowed them to take full advantage of precision-guided munitions, flexible surveillance and reconnaissance assets, and real-time situational awareness that reached across the full spectrum of participants.

December 1999
By Henry S. Kenyon

Allies move closer to global operations capability through Link 16 interoperability.

A tactical datalink management system is making the United Kingdom’s armed forces more compatible with its U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners. The groundstation-based platform facilitates setting up and monitoring communications networks between air assets. A mobile variant of the equipment will enter service with British expeditionary forces early in the coming decade.

March 2000
By Henry Kenyon

Small, easy-to-use device offers alternative to anti-personnel mines by placing humans in target identification decision making.

A manportable sensor capable of detecting troops and vehicles up to 100 meters away offers commanders a variety of choices for defensive and surveillance operations. Consisting of a microwave Doppler radar unit and a passive infrared detector, the activated device transmits a message to a sentry who is equipped with a pager display that indicates the type of target and the direction it is moving.

February 2000
By Michelle L. Hankins

Prospect of a vast untapped customer base triggers communications industry gold rush.

As China's great wall of trade barriers crumbles, telecommunications companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of the major emerging market in Asia. The promise of increased competition and fewer Chinese government impediments to trade could result in a dramatic shift in the focus of telecommunications marketing and is already changing the way companies operate in the region.

April 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

A fast drop-in system provides long-distance communications among peacekeepers and their national headquarters.

Faced with a burgeoning humanitarian crisis amid a virtually nonexistent communications infrastructure, Australian peacekeeping forces worked with private industry to establish a broadband network in the heart of East Timor that included connectivity with other peacekeepers as well as their own national headquarters in Australia.

May 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

A U.S. study addresses command, control, communications and computer needs for Atlantic alliance interoperability.

The path to Western alliance membership will be paved with silicon if the modernization plan for a former Warsaw Pact nation is successful. The Republic of Bulgaria is looking toward building its revamped military around advanced information systems assembled through U.S. guidance and commercial partnerships.

June 2000
By Dr. Herbert K. Fallin, Jr., and Dipl.-Ing. Walter H.P. Schmidt

Evolutionary procurement allows military customers to participate in designing systems to meet their needs.

The armed forces in many countries are examining the methods they use to acquire information technology systems. In a coalition environment, procuring communications equipment that will be employed by several nations during cooperative operations is more complicated than point and click. The new trend for allied nations is to begin further back in the supply chain, scrutinizing the processes that influence the development of products.

March 2005
By Adam Baddeley

The HDMS Absalon was the first Danish navy vessel in a new class of ships to receive C-Flex, which uses the T-Core software as the basis for the combat management systems. Terma A/S developed the software.

Upgrade facilitates operations with allies.

October 2000
By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.

Vikings set sail into the digital realm.

A new Internet protocol military encryption system from Norway is being targeted for marketing to Scandinavian and new North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations. Developed for Norway’s Ministry of Defense, this system provides end-to-end communications security using an Atlantic alliance algorithm and features a smart card removable cryptographic ignition key, operator password and tamper-proof protection.

November 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

Soft commitments go nowhere; shared costs, international standards and testbeds may open the way to future operational successes.

Nations seeking to enable information exchange among international coalition partners face several daunting tasks for laying the groundwork for vital interoperability. Many of these efforts involve individual national commitments to build interoperability into their systems and practices, while others require consultation and consensus before proceeding along equipment deployment paths.

December 2000
By Christian B. Sheehy

Experimental sonar enhances long-range communications capability on submarines.

A team of Scottish researchers is pursuing the design and development of an advanced sonar system that will enable personnel on board tactical surface and air units to communicate with submarines cruising at operational depths without revealing their positions. The technology addresses a growing demand for systems that can deliver critical data to hard-to-reach units to improve interoperability and unify command network connectivity.

January 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

A defensewide intranet is in the works for broad data access and interoperability.

The United Kingdom’s armed forces will be calling for communications based on capabilities rather than technologies, if the agency responsible for answering their calls is successful. This is the approach chosen for dealing with interoperability challenges, widespread legacy systems and the rapid introduction of new information technologies.

March 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Hardware, software provide encryption at the touch of a button.

A wireless communications system offers government organizations the potential to shield both data transmissions and users’ geographic locations. The scalable technology can operate in stand-alone networks or through existing public cellular providers, allowing users to make secure calls from almost any location. An optional central administration capacity allows increased security and administrative capabilities, such as the monitoring and control of every participating mobile telephone or handheld computer.

May 2001
By Christian B. Sheehy

Surface-to-air projectile attains high accuracy through course adjustment in final meters to target.

Germany, France and Italy are experimenting with a new fiber optic guided missile system that will enable surface ships more precisely to track and destroy air and surface targets by using remote imaging sensor technology. With an onboard infrared camera and fiber communications system, the weapon can conduct long-range autonomous strikes, then relay critical information to the launch operator for the rapid processing of point of impact and kill assessment data.

May 2001
By Alfred G. Brandstein, Henrik Friman and Gary E. Horne

Nations join forces to study decision environment and design next-generation planning centers.

The Swedish armed forces and the U.S. Marine Corps are collaborating to develop a design for the possible command post of the future. The goal is to bridge the gap between operational knowledge and technological solutions.         

July 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Tradition built in government laboratories gives way to a competitive business model.

This month marks the beginning of the future of defense science in the United Kingdom as the Ministry of Defence breaks with long-standing custom and transfers the bulk of its research to the commercial sector. The newly formed corporate vehicle for this transformation will be required to sink or swim in the marketplace to maintain its viability as a font of technology innovation.