Smartphone: Good Idea?
The US Army soldier is burdened with C4ISR technology. The soldier uses a handheld radio to talk to other soldiers and commanders, Blue Force Tracker to track friendly and enemy forces, a portable GPS receiver to determine location, a ROVER system to receive UAV video feeds, and, if he or she is lucky enough, an Afghan interpreter to communicate with the locals.
What if all these things could be brought together on one device – a smartphone that millions use every day in civilian life. The US Army has undertaken an effort, called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications (CSDA), to develop smartphones for the office and the battlefield, such as tracking enemy movements, determining locations of fellow soldiers, sending intelligence reports, and receiving live UAV video.
There are a number of obstacles to this bold vision, however, not the least of which is security. How will the Army ensure that all of this classified information is protected using open source commercial technology?
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