Last Updated: 04/03/2013*
From streaming video to real-time intelligence data, Raytheon is creating new networking tools for the nimbler, tightly focused operations of today’s changing military.
Soldiers can beam video from their positions to comrades around the corner or around the world. Pilots can carry an entire suite of communications gear in a wearable computer. Commanders from different countries can communicate no matter what kind of radio they're using.
The aim of these tools is to bring the convenience of civilian mobile networks to the most difficult and remote battlefields, said Larri Rosser, chief engineer for the Appsmart marketplace.
"We want to take all of the things that are successful in the commercial marketplace and make it accessible to the warfighter," Rosser said.
Recent innovations include:
- Aviation Warrior, a wearable computer that keeps warfighters fully connected even when separated from the cockpit. The system provides maps, sensor imagery, video and messaging data from multiple military networks. It has a survival radio and GPS coupled with a razor-thin display that controls all solider-worn equipment and aircraft systems. While inside the cockpit, the system communicates with a helmet that features hostile fire indicators, 3D audio and a heads-up display.
- Forward Operations Multiplier, a laptop-based system that brings tactical reconnaissance images to soldiers in low-bandwith areas. It replaces bulky rack servers and delivers data 59 times faster than previous systems.
- Raytheon Advanced Tactical System (RATS™), which delivers multimedia directly to soldiers’ mobile devices. Users can collaborate through chat, voice, full-motion video, imagery, map overlays and a variety of other communication tools, allowing them to make decisions in seconds rather than hours.
- Persistent Surveillance System Cross Domain Solution, a software package that allows video to flow easily between classified and unclassified computer systems. Commanders trying to send help to a remote forward operating base can easily patch in video from the outpost’s unclassified surveillance cameras to help guide airstrikes. In August the system was used to target a Griffin missile at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake.
- MAINGATE, an advanced battlefield radio network. MAINGATE is self-forming and interoperable, so coalition forces around the world can join the network regardless of the radio they're using. And it’s blindingly fast: soldiers can transmit as many as 27 videos at a time.
"Information is flying around the network at incredible speed and volume, and Raytheon is delivering it to the people who need it right now," said Jeff Miller, vice president of combat and sensing equipment for Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business.
If soldiers need a different tool, they can get it instantly through Raytheon’s Appsmart marketplace. C4ISR Journal recently named the online store to its Big 25 list of important military innovations.
"We want to take the at-your-fingertips convenience and the rapid innovation that we see in the commercial mobile market to provide secure, mission focused capabilities for our soldiers," Rosser said.
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