View Full Version : Tactical wireless.

03-05-2012, 04:03 PM
Danger Room (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/) ran a piece today [LINK (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/army-data-network/)] describing the acquisition of a broadband wireless network for dismounted infantry as the U.S. Army’s “number one program going forward.” I understand the theoretical utility, but if there is one truism regarding digital data it is that the time saved thanks to ease of transmission are counterbalanced by time eaten up sifting through piles of transmissions.

Is anyone on the forum willing to argue that this is an unequivocally good idea?

03-05-2012, 04:16 PM
We ran around in the heart of darkness with a SATCOM. Something similar to a large suitcase that weighed in at a brisk 35 keys :eek:

So, picture this: You're in relatively hostile territory and you stop in the middle of nowhere and start setting up the SATCOM. You've got this senseless looking antenna that you start aiming into the blue yonder based on compass readings. About 15 minutes has gone by and you finally get a decent signal and connect your "secure telephone" and attempt connection. Once connected you plug in this plastic cryptographic key and the whole enchilada goes dead :D

In sum, whatever the Army does has to be better. It may not be good, but it will be darn expensive !

03-05-2012, 05:23 PM
I thought about it for a few minutes and I couldn’t come up with any foreseeable alternative for those way out in the sticks besides satellite phones. Nor much apart from more satellites to improve their use. Another point up above or offshore to receive and strengthen the signal, maybe? (Though every new point would introduce security risks, I assume.) I have an acquaintance who recently retired from a career in the Signal Corps, I’ll bounce the question off her (haha) and see if she has anything to add.

03-05-2012, 07:41 PM
We were traveling northeast from Goma through Rwanda's Volcano National Park over 3 kilometers high - all said and done, about as good as things get looking for satellites :D

I used to run field power for the 67th Signal Battalion. Back then, those people humped even more "Jurassic Park" looking devices that didn't work.