Google Android Used For Military Application
Raytheon develop military mobile terminal software using Google Android...
Defense contractor Raytheon has developed software that transforms Google’s mobile operating system into a military application.
Using Android software tools, Raytheon engineers built a basic application for military personnel that combines maps with a buddy list. The application, known as the Raytheon Android Tactical System (RATS), allows soldiers to track fellow ‘buddies’ and even unmanned drones in real time on a map.
Mark Bigham, a vice president of business development in Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems unit, says the company selected Android because its open-source nature made developing applications easy.
The RATS has been designed with maximum benefit in mind. First off, the system only cost a couple of hundred dollars per users, compared to other military grade mobile terminals which run as high as $20,000 to $30,000.
The system also requires little training, as anyone familiar with a smart phone’s touch screen and keyboard can immediately start using it. Bigham said:
“Some of these functions were already available, but in hardware that’s kind of clunky. We’re going for a ‘zero-training-required’ design.”
Aside from tracking military buddies online, the RATS can also stream video from an unmanned aerial vehicle, send snapshots of suspects to the Department of Defense’s private data network, and in the future, could possibly include biometric scanners able to capture fingerprints.
Of course, this type of software calls for some level of security, that’s why RATS includes encryption to ensure that outsiders can’t intercept images, video’s or sensitive data stored on the platform.
After two years in development, Raytheon now hopes to finalize contracts and deploy the RATS in the next month or two.
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