Android-powered smartphones will help soldiers of the future discover better trails, locate colleagues and build stronger defense — capability that just doesn’t exist today. They’ll be a permanent fixture in the United States Army, officials said.
FoxNews.com traveled to White Sands Missile Range in south central New Mexico, where soldiers are testing the Motorola ATRIX and the General Dynamics made Motorola GD300, as well other smartphones, radios and handhelds in a massive war game. In military vehicles, combat leaders used Motorola Xoom tablets to get a unique new look at soldiers’ locations.
Craig is a little busy these days, but as our resident networking expert, maybe he can double check to make sure I’m not totally off base here.
We’ve discussed possible uses for smart phones on the battlefield before. Much like the apps used in civilian life, the possibilities are limited primarily by the innovation of the user.
In this case, it seems the Army is devising an architecture where a smart phone system can be used much like the Blue Force Tracker and other battlefield intranets to provide command and control and situational awareness. The difference here is that this is a system that can be easily incorporated at the dismount squad level, as opposed to being limited to mounted on a vehicle.
We wrote about the Navy Tactical Data System not just because it was an interesting historical concept, but because that same framework of distributed sensors being used to form a common picture and best allocate resources for a battle are in use today.
Think about it, we have the same architecture at work here. Individual soldiers (or squads, really) are the sensor systems. They perform their own computing on the data the generate. They transmit that data to a master plot, and that master plot is then retransmitted back down to the various squads in the field. That same network also helps commanders manage assignments of squads to objectives and missions, and can help prioritize engagements of threats by supporting fires.