January 2005
By Maryann Lawlor

Concept improves connectivity between individual warfighters.

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.

December 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

Integral Technologies’ Plastenna product is an electrically conductive polymer. This application can turn the entire outer case of a handheld wireless device, such as a cellular telephone, into an antenna.
Tough, lightweight materials offer designers power and space savings.

May 2001
By Stuart Kennison and Jamileh Soudah

Database on electromagnetic-dependent equipment reveals battlespace electronic environment.

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.

June 2001
By Sharon Berry

Military personnel abroad converse with locals through trainable interpreting tool.

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.

November 2004
By Robert Walter and George Duchack

The Adaptive Joint Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Node (AJCN) is a multimission radio frequency system that would provide seamless interoperable communications with signals intelligence, electronic warfare and psychological operations simultaneously.
Technology demonstration examines feasibility of a multimission system.

September 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Demonstrated networking provides personnel with true over-the-horizon situational awareness.

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.

October 2002
By Staff Sgt. Timothy Volkert, USA

Technical specialists work on-point for the nation.

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.

October 2002
By Sharon Berry

Mobile routing creates seamless links, increases situational awareness.

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.

July 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

June 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

Flexible signaling capability pushes information to warfighters at the tip of the spear.

An experimental communications system may provide future combat vehicle crews with access to high-bandwidth intelligence and command and control applications. Part of a larger U.S. Defense Department effort to improve troops’ ability to receive and send data, this research program is developing technologies to open communications channels down to the most spectrum-starved tactical user.

August 2003
By Lawrence Nosek

Tool suite helps avoid systems conflict in a crowded environment.

Communication decision aids are enabling U.S. Navy shipboard-system developers to improve system designs and on-station communicators to prepare better communications plans by predicting performance. The tools help designers take into account the variables of the entire communications environment, including a sea of antennas or other obstacles that could block communications. Perhaps more importantly, the tool set helps commanders answer the quandary, “I have the systems, but can I communicate?”

May 2004
By Cheryl Lilie


The weblog tool, developed by Traction Software Incorporated, works like an interactive Web newspaper. Information is labeled and categorized by subject or by posting time.

U.S. Defense Department tests Web technology for program management tasks.

April 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Bringing diverse information technology programs together under a single umbrella goes beyond settling on common commercial technologies.

Virtually every piece of military electronics hardware, from the simplest handheld personal computing assistant to the most powerful mainframe computer, faces the challenge of interoperability to fit into the U.S. Defense Department’s Global Information Grid. Designed as the ultimate military networking project, the grid is a cornerstone for achieving the information superiority outlined in the department’s Joint Vision 2010 and Joint Vision 2020.

August 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Initial contract covers units for ground vehicles, helicopters.

The U.S. military’s goal of a network-centric warfare capability is a step closer to reality with the recent contract award for the development of a long-awaited family of advanced radios. The devices will eliminate communications difficulties between terrestrial and airborne units through the use of common waveforms, creating greater situational awareness and enhanced survivability for warfighters.

October 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

Global Information Grid bandwidth expansion permits real-time sensor analysis, file sharing, decision making.

The U.S. Defense Department is connecting key command, control and intelligence facilities around the world with a computer network capable of moving massive amounts of information. Designed to provide the bandwidth necessary to channel live video and sensor data from distant theaters back to commanders and analysts, the system will allow users to post and share documents in real time. This enhanced networking capability offers the military and intelligence communities a robust architecture for network-centric collaboration and decision making.

December 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon


The U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is scheduled to enter service in 2009. MUOS consists of a space segment, groundstations and mobile user terminals. The satellites will provide unprotected, narrowband ultrahigh frequency communications capable of reaching handheld devices under adverse signal and weather conditions. 

February 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon


Initiative examines a common core technology

The desire to produce a truly joint radio for airborne, maritime and fixed station users has led two separate acquisition programs to merge. By combining their efforts, program managers hope to streamline the bidding and procurement process while creating more efficient equipment.