Posts Tagged ‘military’

Blue Force Tracking

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009


 Blue Force Tracking is a United States military term used to denote a GPS-enabled system that provides military commanders and forces with location information about friendly (and despite its name, also about hostile) military forces.

In military symbology, the color blue is typically used to designate friendly forces while red is used for enemies, and green or yellow are used for neutral forces.

Blue Force Tracking systems consist of a computer, used to display location information, a satellite terminal and satellite antenna, used to transmit location and other military data, a Global Positioning System receiver (to determine its own position), command-and-control software (to send and receive orders, and many other battlefield support functions), and mapping software, usually in the form of a GIS, that plots the BFT device on a map. The system displays the location of the host vehicle on the computer’s terrain-map display, along with the locations of other platforms (friendly in blue, and enemy in red) in their respective locations. BFT can also be used to send and receive text and imagery messages, and Blue Force Tracking has a mechanism for reporting the locations of enemy forces and other battlefield conditions (for example, the location of mine fields, battlefield obstacles, bridges that are damaged, etc.). Users will include the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps, the United States Air Force and the United Kingdom. Recently, the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps have reached agreement to standardize on a shared system, to be called “Joint Battle Command Platform”, which will be derived from the Army’sFBCB2system that was used by the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps, and the Army of the United Kingdom during heavy combat operations in Iraq in 2003. (more…)

Army’s prototype system uses RFID tags to track weapons use

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Commercial versions of the equipment could begin appearing by the end of the year. The prototype was first tested on guns installed on M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks. The lab did initial testing on a medium-caliber cannon barrel for several hundred shots. “Putting the prototype on an existing fielded system will allow real-world testing in some of the harshest environments imaginable,” Miner said.

The technology package placed on each weapon consists of a piezoelectric sensor that determines when the weapon has been fired by sensing the recoil, a tiny processor with limited memory to record and store output from the sensor, and an RFID tag to communicate the data to an RFID reader.

Using signatures developed by the lab, the package can record the number and type of rounds fired and even deduce other characteristics from the intensity of the firing, such as strain, acceleration, heat and resonant electromagnetic frequencies, all of which can help estimate the viability of the weapons. (more…)