Will Future Battlefield Computers be Futuristic?

futureRecently, some clients asked AMREL to build an Operator Control Unit (OCU) for their Unmanned Ground Vehicle.  No surprise there; we dominate that particular application.  What was noteworthy was the specific form factor that they requested.  They wanted it to be a wearable computer, worn on the wrist.

We ran a simple experiment with the clients.  We strapped a small computer to their wrist and had them run some typical UGV commands.  Soon, they discovered that their arms grew tired supporting the computer.  The clients agreed to have their OCU installed in the traditional, if less exotic, form factor of a handheld.

Notice that the wrist-mounted form factor wasn’t discarded for technological reasons. AMREL has become quite adept at developing small, powerful, ATOM-based computer platforms, which would be perfect for wearable solutions. Rather, this innovative approach was discarded, because the wrist form factor proved impractical for this particular use. Read more

Coast Guard Communication Solutions

uscgMaritime conditions are especially difficult for communications, and nowhere are they more important. Corrosive salt air, rough storms, and “dead areas” in the belly of a ship all conspire to damage critical equipment and sabotage the transmission of life-saving information. In the August issue of U.S. Coast Guard Forum, Roger that! reviews a variety of solutions for extending connectivity to all personnel, whether they are in the air, sea, or onboard a vessel. On page 26 of the article, AMREL’s Vice President of Strategic Business Development, Richard Lane, is interviewed about the adaption of innovative technologies for the needs of Coast Guard communications. Check it out!

Micro UAVs do more than look cool

Some of the big attractions at last month’s AUVSI North American conference were micro-UAVs.  The Samurai UAV was especially impressive, sporting an unusual asymmetric design.  You may have seen images of this amazing little device, but do yourself a favor and check out the video below of Engineering TV’s interview with Bill Borgia, Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Lockheed Martin. Read more

The ARMY’s Smartphone may not always be a Smartphone

The Department of Defense is determined to field mobile devices that connect soldiers to networks for the rapid transmission of data. A number of forces have inspired this initiative:

  • Younger soldiers, by their own volition, are using their own smartphones and tablets whenever possible.
  •  The doctrine of network-centric warfare has upended the traditional paradigm of sending ISR to the rear echelons and is instead emphasizing delivering real-time info to the front lines.
  • Enemy forces have successfully used cell phones to relay information in their own networks. Read more