Information Warfare: October 18, 2004

Archives

The camera equipped UAV overhead, and its vidcam link to troops nearby, has brought about one of those very noticeable changes in the way wars are fought, and imagined by reporters and film makers. Its now common for a company or battalion commander to run a battle looking at the screen of a laptop computer, which is displaying the video images being taken by the UAV up ahead. The last time combat commanders changed the way they went about directing combat  was 70 years ago, when portable radios allowed company and battalion commanders to run battles while holding a radio handset in one hand. Only in the last few years have commanders had access to the laptop video of the battelfield. Now, both the laptop and radio handset images are in for a major makeover. The U.S. Army is introducing headsets for the radio, so the user has their hands free, and eyeglass type video displays, that drop down over one eye and appear as about the same size and resolution as a laptop screen. That way, the commander can look at something else, like a map (which is more often on the laptop as well), and work a keyboard, using Blue Force Tracker to IM other commanders. Actually, a lot of officers have been developing these new techniques on their own, often with their own money.

While the radio headsets have been around for a while, the video eyepieces have only now begun to mature in terms of efficiency and low price. For example, Mitsubishi will be shipping, early next year, a new type of eyeglass display. SCOPO costs $400, and is a headset with a small liquid-crystal display (LCD) screen. The display, which is positioned in front, slightly below eye level, does not obstruct normal vision. Users have full visual range once they take their eyes off the display (by looking up or ahead. A device like this would be particularly useful for commanders on foot. Many of the smaller UAVs have ground receiving equipment that can be carried on your back. This would enable a platoon commander to go in with his troops, directing them as he simultaneously uses the UAVs birdseye view of the combat area, and what friendly and enemy troops are doing. Its a whole new way to fight a battle.


 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close