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01 Apr 15. 5 new technologies for the US Army warfighter. Soldiers may soon wear solar panels on their packs and helmets to recharge batteries and to power battlefield display screens and other equipment. The wearable solar panels and many other technologies are being developed by Army researchers and scientists, said Gen. Dennis Via, commander of Army Materiel Command, at the AUSA conference on Wednesday. Here are four more current and future initiatives to equip soldiers for Force 2025, Via said:
* A joint multirole technology demonstrator provides a foundation to eventually replace the aging aviation fleet with vertical lift capability. The intent is to enable soldiers to fly farther and faster with greater efficiency. Scientists are working to conceptualize technology that would be needed for the future aircraft, Via said.
The Army is looking at smaller UAVs as it plans for 2025. (Photo: Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Army)
* The Army’s Natick team is working on palm-size aerial reconnaissance aircraft with real-time video of what’s in the next room or down the hall. They are designed to work in low light environments, indoors or on the ground.
* Researchers are exploring ways to turn soldiers into generators, by harvesting kinetic energy from their movements using devices worn over their uniforms.
* Finally, an augmented reality sand table is a generational improvement over previous sand tables to portray terrain, Via said. The sand table essentially puts the battlefield in the hands of the warfighters to let them sculpt terrain to their needs and adapt to conditions.
“I could not believe my eyes when I saw it,” he said. “It’s pretty fascinating.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
31 Mar 15. US Navy invites wargamers to help put its big data in play. The Navy has more data than it knows what to do with—or more specifically, it has an idea what it would like to do with it, but it doesn’t quite know how. So the service is inviting virtual wargamers to help it solve the problem. The Navy Department’s CIO site has posted an invitation to gamers, http://www.doncio.navy.mil/ContentView.aspx?id=6199 asking them to sign up to play Data Dilemma, a MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet) that will be staged April 6-17.
As the DON CIO’s notice points out, the Navy collects massive amounts of data—more each day than is held in the Library of Congress—and a lot of that data isn’t classified or mission-related, such as demographic, medical, energy, education, public safety and (presumably non-personal) financial information. The ability to organize and share that data could spur innovation and help solve problems, both internally for the Navy and in the public realm, but the Navy “does not have an effective strategy to share this information internally or with the public, thus preventing it from maximizing on recent open-data and innovation trends,” the invitation, written by the service’s MMOWGLI team, says.
The team admits that the Navy’s default position on data generally has been to share it only on a “need to know” basis, otherwise holding it in silos in order to protect it from online exploitation or attack. But in light of the success other organizations—in both the public and private sectors—have had in opening data stores for app development and other innovations, the Navy wants to change its baseline approach to “need to share,” while also protecting personal, sensitive and national security information.
Data Dilemma, which the team refers to as dd, could help get the Navy moving in that direction. Players will work and collaborate across boundaries and are asked to share their professional knowledge, practical experiences and, of course their ideas for possibly game-changing innovations. The key goal, the notice says, is to find ways to make ben