Dashboard PCs show real-time troop positions

Dashboard PC

Army, Marine Corps and allied ground forces in Kuwait and Iraq have used the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below tactical communications system to track enemy and friendly forces and to obtain terrain data.

Soldiers 'can also communicate with each other and commanders through radio and e-mail sent by a satellite, which also provides global positioning information,' said George Brady, chief of the Project Design and Development Division of the Production Engineering Directorate at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.

Installed in ground vehicles like Humvees, FBCB2 includes a PC with keyboard and monitor, satellite antennas and a position location ground radio. The antenna transmits data via satellite and provides Global Positioning System data about troop movements.

FBCB2, which runs the Sun Microsystems Solaris operating system, has an e-mail application that ties into the Army's higher-level tactical comm systems, letting soldiers send out mass messages and digital spot reports to theater commanders, who can then reposition troops.

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