The Backbone of Situational Awareness: Real-Time Data

The opportunities that real-time data presents, and the timing for which it will become a reality, are two factors that have gripped the federal defense sector for quite some time – and for good reason. With real-time insights into the happenings in the field and rapid communication between personnel, comes the ability to minimize information silos – a reality that will have a transformative impact on the efficiency and safety of our military personnel.

The ability to understand the landscape of the battlefield, including what’s currently happening, what’s needed and who’s around, is the foundation of situational awareness. But to have that visibility in real time? That’s the backbone.

Technology to answer “who, what, where”

Today, there are various technological advancements that are answering these “who, what, where” questions at a rapid pace. For example, with rugged mobile devices like the TOUGHBOOK G2, downloadable applications are available that provide state-of-the-art geospatial data and constantly updated intelligence feeds. These applications not only give troops an enhanced understanding of the combat environment, but they can also be used to develop tactical mission plans. Other technologies, like drones, augmented reality and virtual reality, offer the opportunity to view surroundings, including hazardous situations, from afar to help perform sophisticated reconnaissance and strikes, and detect enemy movements. Operations can even monitor soldiers’ physical conditions thanks to wearable devices that collect operational data.

Traveling at the speed of 5G

While these technologies are improving battlefield operations, their efficiency all comes down to the speed at which they can relay this critical information. And the key to ensuring these tools are sending data in real time is 5G.

5G connectivity provides substantially lower latency. In fact, 5G promises latencies as low as 1 millisecond, which is around 60 to 120 times faster than 4G connectivity. This connectivity improvement will facilitate clearer streaming from drones and enhance data communication from sensors and wearable devices to develop actionable, accurate insights to inform operational next steps. Finally with 5G, real situational awareness is coming to fruition.

Mobile applications and emerging technologies can supply military personnel with real-time data, information and intelligence that improves situational awareness, but only if those technologies are connected through the fastest, most up-to-date, wireless solutions. By deploying modernized technology that utilizes 5G connectivity, those on and off the field will be able to reap the safety, efficiency and reliability benefits of real-time information.