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The U.S. military is developing an app that may one day enable troops in battle to call in airstrikes using their smartphones. The technology could help reduce the amount of friendly or civilian casualties during combat operations, according to the app's developers.
Called ATAK (Android Terminal Assault Kit), the military app is being developed with Draper Laboratory, a not-for-profit research and development lab based in Cambridge, Mass. The system will be compatible with Android phones, and will also be used for navigation, spatial awareness and a means to control drone systems, according to officials at Draper Laboratory.
The app could help protect soldiers by creating distance between them and the fighting, while also ensuring that combat decisions are made based on real-time information and logistics on the ground
"It's one thing for a user behind a desk in a climate-controlled office to toggle back and forth between 10 windows, deal with system crashes, and wait 60 seconds for booting up," Laura Major, who leads Draper's human-centered engineering work, said in a statement. "It's another thing to deal with those issues while someone is shooting at you or if you're jumping out of a plane. That's where ATAK comes in."
Not to mention the fact that it yet again places distance between the "fighter" and the "victim".
Yeah... I can't imagine where this could go wrong at all.
Not to mention the fact that it yet again places distance between the "fighter" and the "victim". In some cases that might be a good thing. I tend to think the further we remove ourselves from it, the less we may care about whose lives are being taken. Just my opinion though.edit on 10/21/2013 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)
reply to post by cheesy
It would have military grade encryption. It would be at best extremely difficult to hack.
reply to post by cheesy
Anything that keeps Blue on Blue from happening is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. You could easily put this on a battlefield laptop system that would only work if connected to a certain system. Or have a handshake system installed. It wouldn't be hard to keep it from working right if it fell into the wrong hands.
Typically, troops organize airstrikes using GPS receivers and laptop computers, but this requires simultaneously taking note of the location of friendly forces and civilians, assessing the status of nearby aircraft, calculating the time it will take for bombers to reach their targets, and considering the types of munitions onboard. The information is relayed to overhead pilots, but occasionally there are transcription, communication or memory errors, Draper officials said.