Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2018 Contents sit and wait for a bunch of signal Soldiers that are going to be
setting up the network." at future network would come into
whatever environment and it would "basically set up itself, sort
of like what happens with your cellphone. I get o a plane in
another country and it detects the network, and [based on my
plan] it connects me to that network." Unlike with a cellular
network, its infrastructure would follow it.
Today's networks are robust, but not nearly as mobile and self-
contained as they will need to be in the future, Russell said.
"When we talk about all these technologies, they become highly
dependent upon our connectivity and having this robust, het-
erogeneous, highly dynamic network that is going to evolve as
partners and as di erent capabilities come and go within that
operational space." It's the military's own internet of things that
"drives di erent technologies and capabilities that we, militarily,
Increasing a Soldier's capacity to be more lethal is only partly
about weapons. It can also mean seeing the battlespace more
clearly than the enemy, as well as gaining a better understanding
of Soldiers to help them be more resilient and make decisions
more quickly---and providing the kinds of technology that will
Continuously improving Soldiers' situational understanding is
a major part of this. at means, Russell said, ensuring "that
they get information that's required for them to execute the mis-
sion ... without overloading them to the point that they're not
able to execute." ere could be a variety of new ways to keep
the Soldier aware, using di erent mechanisms to help update
information. at could include augmented reality that overlays
information on the Soldier's eld of view, haptic feedback (the
most common haptic feedback mechanism is phone vibration)
that tells the Soldier to duck, turn left or turn right, or even
"We're not there yet," Russell said, but there are "technologies
currently---it's in some of the laboratories---where I can actually
fuse [situational awareness] information through" a heads-up
display so that "it's projecting the environment, the sensory
environment, the information [networked sensors are getting]
onto the Soldier's eld of view." at technology is not a reality,
yet, but "it's a major focus in Soldier lethality."
"It's really the integration of all these things to enhance situ-
ational awareness," Russell continued. "One of the things you
have to be careful about is not overloading the human. at's
why there's a focus on technologies that help to reduce the
Soldier's cognitive load. On a future battle eld, the di erence
between us and them could come down to whose war ghters
are less burdened by needless information.
"A real challenge to this is not the materiel piece," Russell said.
"It's really understanding how the human can receive and pro-
cess information so that we can actually optimize their ability to
make those decisions with these decision aids."
e future of autonomy, software-intensive weapon systems,
advanced networking and lots of sensing technologies will not
be possible without decision-support capabilities to help Soldiers
not get instantly overloaded with information. at's where
arti cial intelligence (AI) comes in. While we encounter AI on
a daily, even hourly basis, from personal assistance technolo-
gies like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri to Microsoft Word's
grammar-check function, there's a big di erence between the
home or o ce and the battle eld.
To make the best use of AI and all of the other software that the
Army will employ, Russell said, the Army will have to code and
update code much faster than it does today. e auto industry,
he said, is doing interesting things with software updates and
patches. e "vehicle itself actually updates on a regular basis. ...
ey download software to update the algorithms."
EXPANDING SOLDIER CAPABILITIES
The Joint Tactical Autonomous Resupply System (JTARS) is designed to
move materials from the rear of the battlefield to the front line, without
requiring a manned convoy operation. Improving Soldier lethality
involves more than just improving weapons: It also involves providing the
kinds of technology, like JTARS, that will make Soldiers more resilient and
responsive. (U.S. Army photo by C. Todd Lopez, Army News Service)
62 Army AL&T Magazine January-March 2018
ITS ALL ABOUT THE SCIENCE
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