Army to focus on getting apps out to more users

The challenges still facing Army transformation have to do largely with the service's ability to get beyond an individual system approach and move to an interoperable, high-performance computing environment.

Monica Farah-Stapleton, director of the Architecture and Systems Engineering Of- fice of the Army Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center at Fort Monmouth, N.J., said her office must find a way in the coming years to make systems more adaptable and scalable with improved configuration control.

The Army needs to scale applications from dozens to tens of thousands of users within huge system-of-systems programs, such as the service's transformational Future Combat Systems initiative.

FCS is designed to link 18 manned and unmanned weapons systems via a common computer network known as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical program and the System of Systems Common Operating Environment.

'As we really begin to look at system of systems, we need to look at true joint interoperability,' Farah-Stapleton said last week during the OPNETWORK 2005 conference, sponsored by OPNET Technologies Inc. of Bethesda, Md. 'I would argue we've been very successful to date, but we need to go to the HPC environment.'

It is driven by DOD's High Performance Computing Modernization Program office. HPCMP provides supercomputer services, high-speed network communications, and computational science expertise that enables Defense laboratories and test centers to conduct focused research, development and test analysis, according to the program's Web site.

CERDEC is the Army's information technologies and integrated systems center. Its directorates'Command and Control, Intelligence and Information Warfare, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors, and Space and Terrestrial Communications'work together to develop and integrate command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies.

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