Why Open Architecture Redefines Tactical Systems

The modern soldier is fully equipped with advanced weaponry and communications systems (weapons with sensors, night vision, navigation systems, smart phones and more) all of which require power and must be able to communicate with each other. The data sharing required between just one soldier’s devices has created the concept of a personal area network (PAN) that shares and gathers data, and then distributes that data with other platoon members or to central command.  Integrated Soldier Power and Data Systems (ISPDS)– also be known as Soldier Worn Power and Data Hub, Tactical Soldier System, and several other terms– enable simultaneous data networking between the devices and  power management to keep the devices running. In short, ISPDS delivers both PAN traffic and power management in a single device.

Most ISPDS are closed architecture solutions that allow only data communications and power management. They are focused on delivering these two functions, but don’t deliver integration of impressive data gathered and managed by the ISPDS to “bigger picture” battlefield applications, and then host those applications on the same compact footprint. Imagine the power of being able to make “abort” or troop movement decision based on how much power is available or making remote changes to power to specific devices based on something a forward unit has seen up ahead.

Unlike closed ISPDS, the MILTECH 404 incorporates an integrated, open architecture, Linux-based System on Module (SOM).  The SOM allows for increased mission flexibility by supporting custom application or communication routing to be run at the edge (on the soldier), without the need to carry additional compute devices.

With the MILTECH 404, designers and software developers have an open platform to create—and host—field-deployed applications that integrate both power and data information from each device on the PAN.  The Linux-based SOM collects, stores, and makes accessible critical power-level and management information that can be read through standard interfaces. Using these interfaces, designers can integrate this critical data and power information into battlefield intelligence applications that can be delivered to any device.

The MILTECH 404 comes standard with 1 port of Fast Ethernet, 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 serial port and 1 external power source. These flexible connectivity options eliminate the “closed architecture” of traditional solutions, so architects can pick and choose best-of-breed devices needed for specific mission applications.

If you would like more information on how the MILTECH 404 or its integrated SOM works, please let me know at info@milsource.us.

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