During the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence 2021 experiment scheduled for October, researchers will assess silicon anode cells for its Conformal Wearable Battery to be used with the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) and the Nett Warrior system. The batteries double the power, allowing those systems to run much longer without increasing size and weight. Ultimately, the new cells could be used in a wide range of batteries for the military and commercial sectors, including those used to power tactical radios, electric cars and cellphones.
Brig. Gen. Anthony “Tony” Potts, program executive officer (PEO)-soldier, recently signed a new standard for 256-bit encryption for individual soldier systems. That is an increase from 128-bit encryption.
And since beginning the job about 18 months ago, he has stopped the once-common practice in the PEO-Soldier shop of signing cybersecurity waivers for the individual soldier equipment being developed. Furthermore, he is building a “robust capability” Risk Management Framework, which essentially specifies security controls for a system that involves organizational risk.
The U.S. Army’s current tactical network environment is not optimized to provide expeditionary, mobile, hardened or simple intuitive network capability under all conditions. Its full range of communication capabilities provides the communications backbone across all echelons, but if commanders face a disconnected intermittent limited situation such as during an electronic warfare attack, they must have the ability to turn to alternate communication methods or pathways.
This multipath diversity is especially critical during expeditionary, early entry, early phase operations when soldiers rely heavily on effective communications to initiate their missions before vehicles and other high-capability systems join the fight.
The U.S. military faces a critical stage in establishing an effective and commanding position in the new technologically advanced environment of regional networking. Commanders and staff always are seeking the “next best” solution to attain supremacy over adversaries in the pivotal domains of command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C5ISR.
Some of that effort is shouldered by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF), which began seeking out and quickly supplying cutting-edge materiel solutions during the early days of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq about 15 years ago.
Augustine Consulting Inc., Monterey, California, was awarded a $9,790,387 cost-plus-fixed-fee, incrementally-funded contract with options for Nett Warrior software development, production and sustainment. Work will be performed in Eatontown, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 24, 2018. One bid was solicited with one received. Fiscal 2013-2015 research, development, testing and evaluation and other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $6,551,905 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W91CRB-15-C-0025).
An "Army of One" may have been the Army's motto at one time, but now, new wireless technology under development could enable individual soldiers to carry a tactical operations center compactly on their backs. It will be muddy boots connectivity in motion, linking battlefield warriors and squad leaders alike. The Soldier Planning Interfaces and Networked Electronics (SPINE) objective is one Army effort to continually modernize C4ISR.
Soldiers involved in the January 6-February 19 Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) will help decide what technologies will be used on the battlefield of tomorrow. The ninth annual exercise, Spiral I, incorporates more than 60 technologies in various stages of development, including Nett Warrior, unmanned aircraft and robotic ground vehicles, all of which are designed to help soldiers do one thing: perform their missions more effectively.