The lowest echelon in Network Centric Warfare : possibilities and limitations in the soldier level command, control and communication system
Like many other military forces around the world the Swedish Armed Forces have started a transition towards anetwork centric defence. This thesis will centre on what information services that will be needed in the lowestechelons of the network (i.e. at soldier level). The visions and predictions on the technical (r)evolution are in somecases exaggerated. Possible short-range communication techniques by the soldier in the frontline due to throughputlimitations have been analysed. IEEE 802.11x and Bluetooth are the leading short-range communications techniquesexamined along with techniques such as HiperLan/2, UWB and 60 GHz in this aspect. The conclusions will show howmuch data that will be possible to transmit in this short-range network. Through literature and comparative studiesbetween different countries’ projects for the future soldier, as well as interviews and study visits, the obviousconclusion is that the basic equipment for the soldier as a part of the Network will be devices for communications,navigation and positioning, and presentation. This will be complemented with weapons sensors, target acquisitionequipment, etc. In a 5 to 10-year perspective it will not be possible to transmit high-resolution video on a low-speeddata connection. It will, on the other hand, be possible to send speech, messages, still images, low quality video, targetdata, etc. to and from the future soldier. Apart from speech, all of the information above must be compiled andpresented in some way to the soldier in a C3-system. The human-machine interface will in many cases be built ongraphics and moving pictures. The resolution of these pictures, as another contributor to the throughput, will also beexamined in the context of this thesis as well as the contribution to the throughput from error correction andencryption. The result points out HiperLAN/2 as the most promising technique, followed by UWB or 60-GHz, but themost feasible in the near future will be IEEE 802.11b, since the others are not yet commercialised products.
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