Battlefield Communication Technology by Ricky Sacra COMM. 303
Purpose• Describe multiple communication technologies and their battlefield applications.• Explain various theories of dispersion regarding selected communication technologies.• Predict future technological advancements and uses for selected battlefied communication technologies.
Battlefield Assessment As communication technology advances in the civilian world. It must also advance on the battlefield. U.S. technology is vastly superior to many of our current “enemies” Most dangerous threat to our forces now is not enemy soldiers, but a fairly simple technology known as an I.E.D.
Improvised Explosive Device• Most common “communication technology” used for detonation is cell phone• Other “trigger methods” can be wire, radio, victim operate, infrared and pressure plate• Most common detonation method is pressure plate• Commonly used in unconventional warfare• Delivery methods: person, car, roadside, animal, and boat to name a few.• Technological countermeasures exist but are very inconsistent.
IED Countermeasures• Includes but not limited to: • IED Countermeasures Equipment (ICE) and the Warlock • use low-power radio frequency to block signals of initiators • Neutralizing Improvised Explosive Devices with Radio Frequency (NIRF) • produces high frequency field to neutralize IED electronics • Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) • Detects traces of explosives up to 30 meters away
“Friendly” Fire M982 Excalibur• “Smart” round, designed to minimize collateral damage• 155 mm extended range guided artillery shell• Precise GPS guided munition and capable of close support• Can be used within 490 feet of friendly forces• Range- 25-35 miles• Cost- $50,000 perM982 “communicates” with GPS to locate target. Has ability to pointstraight down once target acquired. Meaning, only target/buildingdestroyed is the one intended. No surrounding collateral damage orpersonnel or structures. (Theoretically)
Uncle Sam’s GPS Force XXI Battle Force Brigade and Below (FBCB2)• Linux based communication platform designed for commanders to track friendly and hostile forces on battlefield• Information gathered by satellite, near real time• Viewed graphically, and exchanged via both free and fixed text• Mounts inside tactical vehicles
Component and Uses of FBCB2 Components• Computer, monitor, satellite antenna, satellite receiver, keyboard and GPS Uses• Provides commanders and ground forces with friendly and hostile locations• Send / receive battlefield instructions• Send / receive battlefield updates and reports• Send / receive battlefield evacuation and/or support requests• Locate and determine route
The “Commander’s Voice” Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS)• Combat Net Radio (CNR) system currently used by allied forces• Radios, which handle voice and data communication• Reliable, secure and easily maintained• Vehicle mount, handheld, backpack, and airborne factors available• Has single frequency and frequency hopping modes• Frequency-hopping mode “hops” 111 times per second
Theories Umbrella Perspective on Communication Technology Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations Moore’s Innovation Adoption Rate Critical Mass Theory Uses and Gratification Theory Media System Dependency Theory Social Learning Theory/ Social Cognitive Theory The Theory of the Long Tail The Principle of Relative Constancy
Umbrella Perspective on Communication Technology• Stems from writings of Everett M. Rogers and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach• Rogers defined communication technology as “The hardware equipment, organizational structures and social values by which individuals collect, process and exchange information with other individuals(Grant and Meadows 2008).” Ball-Rokeach suggests that “communication media can be understood by analyzing dependency relations within and across levels of analysis, including the individual, organizational and system levels.” She also identifies “three systems for analysis: the media system, the political system and the economic system (Grant and Meadows 2008).”• Levels to consider -Hardware, software, organizational infrastructure, social system, and individual users• Factors to consider –enabling, limiting, motivating, inhibiting
Diffusion of Innovations TheoryDiffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certainchannels over time among the members of a social system .Given that decisionsare not authoritative or collective, each member of the social system faces his/herown innovation-decision that follows a 5-step process1) Knowledge – person becomes aware of an innovation and has some ideaof how it functions,2) Persuasion – person forms a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward theinnovation,3) Decision – person engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt orreject the innovation,4) Implementation – person puts an innovation into use,5) Confirmation – person evaluates the results of an innovation-decisionalready made. -Rogers
Critical Mass Theorya theory to describe the existence of asufficient amount of adopters of aninnovation in a social system such thatthe rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth.
Uses and Gratifications TheoryAn approach to understanding why people actively seek out specificmedia outlets and content for gratification purposes. The theorydiscusses how users proactively search for media that will not only meeta given need but enhance knowledge, social interactions and diversion .It assumes that members of the audience are not passive but take anactive role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives. Thetheory also holds that audiences are responsible for choosing media tomeet their needs. The approach suggests that people use the media tofulfill specific gratifications.This theory would then imply that the media compete against otherinformation sources for viewers gratification.
Media Systems Dependency Theory The basic dependency hypothesis states that the more a person depends on media to meet needs, the more important media will be in a persons life, and therefore the more effects media will have on a person.
Social Learning Theory Theory derived from the work of Albert Bandura that states people learn through a social context. The theory proposed three “models” and each modeling process could involve several steps. Models• Live model – in which an actual person is demonstrating the desired behavior• Verbal instruction – in which an individual describes the desired behavior in detail, and instructs the participant in how to engage in the behavior• Symbolic – in which modeling occurs by means of the media, including movies, television, Internet, literature, and radio. This type of modeling involves a real or fictional character demonstrating the behavior Steps• Attention – in order for an individual to learn something, they must pay attention to the features of the modeled behavior.• Retention – humans need to be able to remember details of the behavior in order to learn and later reproduce the behavior.• Reproduction – in reproducing a behavior, an individual must organize his or her responses in accordance with the model behavior. This ability can improve with practice.• Motivation – there must be an incentive or motivation driving the individual’s reproduction of the behavior. Even if all of the above factors are present, the person will not engage in the behavior without motivation.
The Theory of the Long TailCompared to a “normal” curve or bell shaped curve ofdistribution…“What is unusual about a long-tailed distribution is that the mostfrequently-occurring 20% of items represent less than 50% ofoccurrences; or in other words, the least-frequently-occurring80% of items are more important as a proportion of the totalpopulation.”
Principle of Relative Constancy“In it’s simplest form, ThePrincipal of Relative Constancysuggests that a relativelyconstant proportion of nationalwealth (usually approximatedusing Gross Domestic Product)is spent on media every year.”
Theoretical InfluencesMany of the theories described would not have the exact effect’sof dispersion, popularity or use on battlefield communicationtechnologies as they would regarding civilian communicationtechnology. Defense department contracts are often times soldto the cheapest bidder with a product that will get the job doneefficiently, accurately and correctly. A soldier doesn’t usuallyhave the option to choose what is hip or cool. He chooses whathe is issued and trained to use.However, with that said, communication technologies areimproving everyday. The enemies of America have access to thesame websites, social networks and technologies that we do. Asour abilities improve, so does theirs.
2022 Battlefield Communication TechnologyAs the battlefield seem to regress back to more traditionalwarfare, the soldier, the enemy and the technology willcontinue to progress and advance.We already have unmanned aerial vehicles. We haveprototypes of body armor that will help the soldier stay cool orwarm, and built in systems that can help to stop bleeding ifwounded.We have kevlar helmets with built in radios and night vision.We have satellite guided weapons systems. We have all thecommunication technology needed to exact warfare on adirect location.Perhaps in 2022 we will be “advanced” enough to not needanymore battlefield communication technologies.