Army Needs Highly Flexible, Responsive Internet of Things for the Battlefield

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February 27, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: February 27 on

To serve the soldiers of the future through connected devices, the military will need dynamic and adaptable networks.

The Internet of Things is coming to the military in a big way, probably sooner than most think, according to the Army’s John Pellegrino. To make sure that tomorrow’s warfighters have all of the tools they need to take advantage of IoT, the Department of Defense and armed services branches will need highly flexible and responsive networks that can deal with limited bandwidth, he said.

Speaking May 17 at an AFCEA DC event, Pellegrino, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for strategic integration, said that “we can serve the warfighter better with more intelligence and more ways to coordinate actions amongst themselves.”

The DOD and Army are currently doing so in limited ways, but Pellegrino says that in 20 years the IoT “will be ubiquitous.” He also said that predictions made by people like him are usually understated. “We tend to put things out many years in the future that are probably only a couple of years away,” he said. “When I say 20 years, it’s probably a lot sooner than that.”

Yet for the Army and wider military to make the most of IoT, it will need to rely on heterogeneous and flexible networks that use different kinds of equipment, continue to operate in environments with spotty connectivity, and don’t place burdens on soldiers.