Military forces in the future will utilize a variety of cutting-edge technology to achieve three targets. First, win the war in the shortest possible time. Second, prevent the death of soldiers or minimize the number of injured soldiers. Third, help soldiers carry out tactical missions more effectively.
This technology is indeed not new and has long been developed, but will help soldiers develop, improve, and increase situational awareness about the current conditions of the battlefield, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of enemy forces. The right technology will help them connect, be safe, be controlled, the ability of the sense of sight and sense of hearing will improve.
First, the United States Armed Forces uses the latest artificial intelligence program called Army’s Aided Threat Recognition from Mobile Cooperatives and Autonomous Sensors (ATR-MCAS). They install sensors on autonomous vehicles and unmanned aircraft to navigate, collect, and distribute target data, to interpret data. Artificial intelligence analyzes video footage and identifies objects that attract attention, thereby reducing the need for human analysts. Valuable data help commanders predict the possibility of further enemy attacks, make recommendations, and make the right decisions.
Second, drones and autonomous vehicles are used to conduct surveillance to obtain data about enemy forces. The data is sent directly to the ATR-MCAS program in real-time, then processed it into a “big picture” of the battlefield which is very important for the success of the mission. For example, a soldier sends a small drone to find out what is on the third floor of an enemy building. Other uses are monitoring the physical condition of the soldiers and carrying out lightning strikes into enemy territory.
Third, cellular hardware for extreme environments equipped with special applications provide sophisticated geospatial data, facilitate real-time intelligence information that is easily downloaded. The most important is to provide a better battlefield picture and can be used to plan tactical missions.
Fourth, augmented reality and virtual reality can create extreme situations and environment simulations similar to the actual battle locations. One World Terrain (OWT) is one of the key components of the United States Army Synthetic Training Environment that provides 3D (three-dimensional) imagery of the global operating environment. Soldiers can conduct a variety of real-life battle scenario training with the help of virtual simulations that mimic the various terrain on the planet from urban area, tropical forests, beaches, snowy mountains to the desert. This technology helps soldiers who carry out new missions prepare better and enter situational awareness to a higher level. For example, a soldier doing a parachute jump simulation in the Sahara desert will have in-depth knowledge of the terrain and weather at that location. OWT works closely with the Army Integrated Visual Augmentation System, which includes the HoloLens AR headset.
Fifth, a capable wireless network is very important for sending large amounts of data to be downloaded and analyzed. The transition process from 4G to 5G wireless networks is currently underway. 5G has the potential to change the internet dramatically because it has a capacity of 100x faster than 4G and faster than a blink of an eye, for example, downloading a two-hour video takes only 3.6 seconds. 5G technology will accelerate the flow of information in the form of videos and photographs from the battlefield to the command room, so that accurate decision making is faster and facilitates troop movements in the field.
White Paper: Battlefield Advantage: How Does Technology Boost Situational Awareness for Warfighters? (2020), page 1-6.
Photo: Unsplash/Jacob Owens