How do you see the development of modern military perspective? Fighting robots crawler, breaketh into dust winds polished bone; urban drones, punching at high speed low gray skies; soldiers in the exoskeleton with minigun; Neon Laboratories, buried in the ancient rock formations - that is our approximate associative array consisting of popular science news, science fiction films and controversial articles ("military hide a terrible secret!»).
It is considered that the military carefully hidden from the public to develop cutting edge of science. What's in the secret laboratories of Homeland iron creates the future, working on the trouble-free software. Space exploration, the emergence of the Internet, the introduction of new composite materials - all this is a consequence of the arms race. Transnational corporations can only envy the success (and budgets) of the military.
More interesting to learn how to actually is the case c advanced technology in the most potential enemy army. Troops need "special category of smartphones," but whether such technology useful and "ordinary" customers?
A call from the field h4>
We are used to a good, fast, convenient smartphones. They are available for almost everyone. But if you are a soldier aiming a war zone, then forget about the usual applications, LTE-communication and other pleasures of civilization. American military leaders rightly fear that the soldiers, using conventional smartphones, will seriously violate the security requirements (and distracted by the built-in games) and instructed the agency DARPA to create a customized version of the "civil gadgets."
No news that DARPA - the hero of many articles on the Habré - takes a huge amount of applied research in the development of weapons which plays the most important role. However, an attempt to put public mobile technology on the rails serve the god of war - is an interesting trend.
Radios and paper maps are used in the military anywhere in the world. This combination of tools morally obsolete, and it is a problem to be solved. And if you think that is enough to replace the radio and map any physically ultrazaschischёnnym smartphone, you're wrong. In DARPA spent several years trying to establish a framework for ecosystem of applications, called the program Transformative Apps (TransApps). This is a unique application store for the military, which collects programs designed to work in an unsafe environment, and in the absence of reliable communication.
Devices on the market of smartphones, have one common drawback - depending on the network. As soon disappears network in your hand remains expensive calculator function flashlight. This is unacceptable in a real combat, where the absence of any means of communication - a common phenomenon. Even if the cellular infrastructure will survive in the fighting, communication signals are intercepted by the enemy.
Work with maps in real time, exchange information (even just call each other), to control combat drones - all this can be done with the usual smartphone, if you have a protected network, which can be used in the most remote places or cities destroyed by the war.
No need to create a military smartphone from scratch, you can take for this as the basis of any "civilian" machine. The question is - how to connect. When civil networks can not be trusted, the military will have "on the fly" to deploy secure network. And TransApp existing systems, to which the military can be connected for communication. Even if the fighter would be out of the network, all applications will retain their functionality.
Work in the field h4>
Cellular network DARPA uses as basic cells modified mobile military radio stations that encrypt the signal. In addition, the developed technologies that replace the vulnerable communication centers: a set of devices «timing & inertial measurement unit» is a six inertial measurement sensors (3 gyro and accelerometer 3) and a high-precision clock to track the movement of an object in the absence of signal GPS. < br />
In DARPA develop even imager that can be embedded in a smartphone, but a military gadget for the most part is rethinking public commercial technologies based on popular models of smartphones and operating system Android.
DARPA engineers have admitted that nourish sympathy for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The soldier smartphone is in a special box, pouch, which is attached to the front body armor. Due to such mounting leaves both hands free, and at the same time the display remains in sight. On the back of an extra battery, which allows the device to feed during the week.
Why Samsung? The military tried to make its own smartphone, but without success. "Patriotism" of the device could not compete with the products in the consumer market has won the hearts of millions of people. Team TransApp was shortlisted from smartphones and tablets that correspond to the tasks and measurable necessary modifications. The devices were tested in conditions as close to the fighting. As a result, the choice fell on Samsung.
Army app store h4>
Unfortunately, we know very little about the military applications for your smartphone. When it comes to a system that is designed to control drones in order to accurately determine the position of the terrorists on the basis of signals network, the military become terribly secretive. Journalists tested smartphones military, note that applications often look like a modified version of the "civil software", capable of operating without a network.
The map reflects all involved in special operations units, beginning and ending with the FBI fire service. I>
Thus, in the usual Google Maps added plug-ins allow you to display additional information - from the mission plan to the location of drones. Appendix TransHeat preserves the history of movements of a soldier and shows on the map uncharted and potentially dangerous areas. PLI application enables you to synchronize data on the movement of various groups in order to avoid losses from friendly fire.
The annex SmartTRIAGE for medical assistance, you should click on the human figure, choose the symptoms and get treatment plan. I>
How about that: the ballistic calculator for snipers reference guide arms and ammunition, the program to compile reports on jobs. GammaPix measures the radiation level and SmartTRIAGE helps physicians to assist with injuries and other health problems on the battlefield.
The soldiers eat and their "analog» Facebook. There is a function to add notes, and sorting into groups: the good, the bad, the friends, the UN team locals. For recruits the opportunity to get a functional in the usual Samsung Galaxy - an important stage of rapid adaptation to army conditions.
Of course smartphones must withstand high temperatures, to be protected from dust, and if necessary - self-destruct by remote commands from headquarters. But without a developed ecosystem of applications created by the development team in style, which is more like the work of a startup than the defense department, all the technological innovations would have been useless. That is why the US Department of Defense a blind eye to the use of Google and Samsung. If the medium is convenient for both developers and end users, the benefits of using civilians feel all mobile technologies.
In a globalized world, different institutions, whether transnational corporation or the War Department, necessarily serve the same goal of technology development. Already TransApp programs save lives, used the Presidential Guard and some firehouse. Ideas contained in this system (profitable exchange of information with other devices in zonedosyagaemosti, saving full functionality without network access performance in extreme conditions) and will be reflected on the public market applications.
In conclusion, I want to say a few words about the moral side of the issue. Depends on us whether the technology to save lives, or take them - it launches a missile or call an ambulance is not a smartphone itself, and people. Therefore, this article is, in fact, not about how smart is put at the service of the god of war. We want to believe that among developers TransApp lives the spirit of enterprise that it is inherent in an innovative view of the world, and everything created by them, in the end serve to prosper you and not to harm anyone.
Prepared according to the « Inside the Military's Secretive Smartphone Program »