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Wired and ready to wear

Wired and ready to wear

In a company white paper, “Out the Hatch Situational Awareness,” Microvision officials describe how their wearable computer, Nomad, improves situational awareness for commanders in the field.

Situational awareness, the paper points out, drives the need for electronic information on opposing forces, neutrals and noncombatants, terrain maps, spot reports and messages, vehicle sensors such as driver vision enhancement and gunner displays, and “the time-tested human vision of the surrounding tactical environment.”

“With situational awareness armor units can confidently and swiftly take the fight to the enemy while avoiding friendly fire incidents,’’ according to the Microvision report. “Today’s challenge is to provide the Tank Commander/Vehicle Commander and the unit leader with tactical area situational awareness.”

The Nomad helmet-mounted display enables the commander to keep his head outside the vehicle while also accessing ­vehicle displays. It provides electronic information that is visible under all lighting conditions and enables the commander/ leader to remain aware of his situation without ducking into the vehicle.

One hundred Nomad helmet-mounted display systems have been deployed in Iraq, Microvision officials say. “Feedback from the field has been overwhelmingly positive with comments like - the only problem with the Nomad is that we don’t have enough of them,” according to the company white paper. “For the 3-20 Brigade, the Nomad Helmet Mounted Display consisted of a display module attached to the helmet, a video control module mounted to the vehicle, with a cable connected to the FBCB2 [Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade-and-Below] computer system. For the 1-25 Brigade the system has been ­upgraded to provide the ability to switch between the FBCB2, thermal weapon display, and thermal driver’s display with head-out-of-the-hatch operation. Nomad is a see-through, daylight readable display repeater in both applications.”

“There is close correlation between the rapid deployment/rapid engagement operational requirements of the Stryker brigade and the need of the Stryker commander to monitor tactical digital information while maintaining visual contact with the battlefield,” says Andrew Lee, Microvision’s vice president of sales. “The Nomad Augmented Vision System provides a high-contrast, daylight-readable, see-through display of battlefield information, enabling the commander to continuously view outside situations as they develop.”

The Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) is designed to bridge the gap between the Army’s light and heavy ­armored forces. The units provide combat commanders increased operational and tactical flexibility. An eight-wheeled medium weight armored vehicle, it is the SBCT’s primary combat and combat support platform.
Thanks to rrknowsmore.


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