In order to “fight tonight” and prepare for tomorrow’s fight, the U.S. Army is shifting its view of the network. Its network modernization strategy will enable a simplified, protected, agile network that enables real-time information sharing across services and with partners, with reach all the way to the edge, viewing the connected soldier as another platform to integrate.
“It’s important to have all of your platforms connected, and the solider is really becoming much more of a platform than just a person,” Tara Martin, Director of Business Development for Collins Aerospace told us at AUSA 2019. “We are developing technologies to help connect those platforms: the soldier as a platform together with the vehicles, the aircraft overhead, so we’re trying to communicate, share data, and share imagery between those platforms.”
To enable this interoperability and agility, an open architecture is critical, according to Stephanie Boone-Shaw, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton. The flexibility allows the military to work with multiple vendors and systems, without being locked down to any proprietary hardware. Technologies around artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics provide real-time intelligence on soldier performance and situational awareness on the battlefield, and “we are really pushing emerging technology to the edge,” she told us.
Ground combat soldiers are on the battlefield and using headsets and goggles, with augmented reality icons overlaid to decipher friend or foe, using mapping technologies and sensors for greater situational awareness, with data that needs to be deciphered in real-time.
This data is one of the most critical components to the future of the battlespace and the connected soldier and warfighter. “Data is now a precious commodity,” echoed MG (RET), George Franz, Cybersecurity Lead for Accenture Federal Services – National Security. “It’s as important as ammunition and fuel.” The managing of the data, for complex missions across multi-domains, enables the connected solider and requires the Army to look to industry for the best commercial offerings to ensure availability, flexibility, and security of the data.
Want to learn more? Watch this short video from AUSA 2019 featuring industry experts discussing the new connected solider. https://modernbattlespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Digital-Soldier-AUSA.mp4