The U.S. army has developed a combat training application that employs UWB as one of its key elements. Is it really worth it?
The U.S. army has developed a combat training application that employs UWB as one of its key elements.
At a Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) training site at Fort Benning, Ga., the U.S. Army is using an ultra-wideband (UWB) RFID system to track the movement of soldiers in mock combat situations.
As the soldiers engage in operations such as seizing buildings in an urban warfare exercise, they wear RFID Ubitags from Denver-based Ubisense to track them inside the buildings. They also wear GPS systems and 900 MHz radios to track their outdoor movements.
Later, in much the same way NFL and college football players review game films, re-creations are used in post-training analysis. Officers in charge of the training can change the course of eventssuch as having a soldier fire at a different time, or hold fire completelyin order to generate a different outcome.
This operation just goes to show that the department of defense is (1) on the cutting edge of technology and (2) is still the place to go when you want to sell an application that is on the edge of reasonable.
It's hard to imagine any corporation or non-profit operation being able to invest that kind of money in training. And although it is important to field the best trained soldiers possible, I wonder if this exercise really makes a big difference in terms of results.