Implementation of networking-by-touch to small unit networked-enabled operations
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Command and Control (C2) techniques and procedures radically changed with the emergence of Network-Centric capabilities. The extensive amount of information distributed to soldiers in the modern battlefield often results in cognitive overload. Utilizing the human sense of touch to convey information may avoid information bottlenecks. Tactile interfaces seem to be an alternate way to manage information efficiently, especially in small network-enabled units, thereby enhancing their performance on the battlefield. This transmission of data via physical or electronic touch can provide a robust, rapid, intuitive and secure means of reliable communications. In this research, the concept of Networking-by-Touch (NbT) integrated into Human Area Networks is being explored as a platform for improving information sharing and collaboration, increasing situational awareness and enhancing decision making. Some military applications that address the use of tactile displays for small ground-battle elements (e.g., a Special Operations Squad) are presented. Additionally, Disruption/Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology is discussed, as it relates to challenging military ad hoc networks with frequent partitions and intermittent connectivity due to mobility, environmental factors or jamming. Finally, within the CENETIX/Tactical Networking Topology (TNT) testbed environment, potential experimentation is proposed for testing proof of concept and evaluation of network performance.
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