Mobile

Marines demonstrate real-time battlefield collaboration

With the number of computing devices, ground and airborne sensors and other devices on the battlefield proliferating, generating data isn’t a problem for expeditionary forces. But sorting through that data and getting the right information to the front lines can be a challenge.

Teams of U.S. Marines recently tested a way to improve information flow, employing a user-centric system of mobile devices — including smartphones and tablets — and collaboration software as part of the third annual Agile Bloodhound demonstration in Hawaii.

The demonstration, conducted by the Marine Corps and the Office and Naval Research, is part of efforts to integrate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets into command and control capabilities to improve decision-making in the field, according to ONR.

Among the tools used during Agile Bloodhound were a serverless chat system for person-to-person or group communications regardless of whether users were logged into the network, and a knowledge discovery program that used smartphones and tablets to automatically collect and share data to create a unified view of the battlefield. Teams also used ActiveWiki software for collaboration and for making real-time updates to layered maps and images.

“We’re trying to create a user-oriented worldview for Marines,” said Col. William Zamagni, deputy director of ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department. “Whether they’re in command centers with PCs, in vehicles with laptops or on foot with smartphones, Marines need access to the most pertinent information possible.”

The demonstration supports the Corps’ Information Enterprise Strategy, which is designed to develop seamless communications for a “knowledge-based force.” Last year’s Agile Bloodhound, for instance, featured such technologies as prototypes of self-adapting radios, location technologies and adaptable antennas.

 

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