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It's not always just about the "cool technology." Sometimes it's about the people that benefit from the technology. For example, take Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories' (ATL) Distributed Operations (DisOPS) system. It gives military squad and team leaders critical information when they need it, where they are.

In the modern urban battlespace, a single patrol of warfighters may face humanitarian, peacekeeping, and combat operations in the span of just a few blocks. Based on input from experienced warfighters, greater information sharing, situation awareness, and decision making at the lowest tactical levels are essential for mission success.

Driving the Solution to the Point of Action
ATL's DisOPS system of integrated hardware and software delivers real-time geospatial reports of the immediate tactical situation. DisOPS increases information sharing, enhances situational awareness, and provides an end-toend communications and coordination solution—from pre-mission planning through post-mission analysis—to make small units' missions safer and more effective.

DisOPS consists of two components, Connect and View. Connect is software that runs on a ruggedized laptop computer. Squad leaders use it to plan their missions by drawing with a stylus or placing drag-and-drop icons on a map. Once the plan is completed, Connect synchronizes the plan with the teams’ View PDAs to provide each team and squad leader with the mission plan consisting of the maps of the mission area and the squad leader’s annotations. On patrol, View provides friendly force tracking of other team and squad leaders, land navigation tools, photo capture and transmission, and the ability to annotate and share maps in realtime with other leaders.

The success of DisOPS results from ATL's ability to evaluate and understand the needs of the ground soldier in the modern urban battlespace. The result of this needs analysis is a ruggedized, hand-held PDA that weighs no more than 1.5 pounds. The combination of the map display and an internal GPS—with the ability to draw on and share maps—allows a group of small units to coordinate their movements in a stealthy manner. And, speaking of cool technologies, when a team is fired upon, View PDAs include a sniper detection system that automatically detects and locates the origin of the enemy fire, places it on the map, and distributes that information to other View units in the area. This allows the unit under attack to take cover while other units promptly and accurately return fire to the enemy position. These same coordinates could also be transferred to an unmanned aerial vehicle to provide realtime surveillance or launch an aerial counter attack.

Delivering Innovation

Understanding the needs of the warfighter, filling gaps with leading-edge technologies, and integrating diverse applications into a single system enables Lockheed Martin to effect change where it is needed the most. DisOPS capabilities are currently being proven in operational environments, increasing small unit operational safety and mission success.

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