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December 16, 2022

Grab and go


As battlefield communications and data devices become increasingly complex, the need to ensure that key battlefield stakeholders remain connected is paramount. But what happens when your device breaks?


Everyone has dropped their phone or tablet. If you’re lucky, you might get away without any damage. However, a smashed screen, punctured battery, or worse can mean that a device is out of commission until you can get it repaired. In civilian life, this could mean a trip to one of the many mobile phone repair shops that are around, or returning the device to the manufacturer. What do you do when you’re on the battlefield, and need to carry out mission critical actions such as requesting fire support or medical evacuation, or have to plan the next phase of a mission?

Before battlefield computing became a norm, problems with a radio would mean that a commander would either go without communications and hope for the best, establish an alternative method such as a runner, or use someone else’s radio to regain access to the network and chain of command.

However, simply grabbing another user’s device is potentially going to create more problems than it solves, as devices are configured to specific roles, access privileges may not be sufficient, and corresponding support may not be readily available. Solving this problem is a specialist piece of software, known as SitaWare Agent.

“When the SitaWare Agent connects to a radio, it reconfigures the device to assume the identity of a call sign using the radio as the identity provider. This provides the ability to exchange or replace devices in an instant, with minimal downtime of situational awareness,” Colin Young, Lead Solution Engineer for Systematic Defence said.

As a result, devices can be transferred between users without a loss of software functionality, data can be re-hydrated, and permissions can be delegated as required. This helps ensure that the warfighter is not left out of the fight for longer than necessary, continuing to guarantee mission success for SitaWare Edge users.

The improved data capabilities of SitaWare Edge for commanders in the field also helps to reduce the need for additional voice communications, while helping to support operational planning in the field.

“We’ve seen a number of customers say how much they enjoy working with SitaWare Edge to create, allocate, and disseminate plans up and down the chain of command,” Young said. “If a team commander’s device is damaged, but they can get access to another one, this means that the ability to plan and maintain situational awareness keeps going.

“This is really important for transparency and accountability – it means that chat messages, plans, intelligence, and other information can continue to securely flow across the battlefield to the right people at the right time.”

For more information contact Charles Forrester, Communications Manager (Defence), at [email protected].