Unleash the power of chat to support situational awareness and more
SitaWare Edge allows its users to communicate both up and down the chain of command, a feature facilitated by its integration with systems for use by mounted commanders and higher echelon commanders. As a result, situational awareness and operational transparency are increased, allowing for more efficient operations by those in the field.
Communication is not just a two-way interaction where two individuals talk to each other. Non-vocal and group communication tools are just as important, and can help improve spatial and situational awareness, as well as provide alternatives when voice communication is not an option. SitaWare Edge helps to support dismounted troops by ensuring that they can communicate using a variety of methods, beyond voice networks on a radio.
Radio communications can be fickle. Data transmission can sometimes be more reliable than voice channels due to latency or background noise, and a squelched radio can sometimes miss important details such as callsigns. Similarly, when operating in an environment where quietness is required, voice communications may be detrimental to security.
SitaWare Edge features a chat function that allows users to communicate with each other and higher echelons – be they a mounted support unit, tactical operations centre, or brigade headquarters using text messages. Direct messaging and group chats in secured chatrooms allow for users to transmit messages and send attachments to each other, with full transparency provided by message IDs, time and date stamps, and callsigns.
Users benefit from directed chat networks, and free-style text messages that can be delivered across the network.
Users can also define and set Quick Messages that can be rapidly sent to other users in a group – such as situation reports, resupply requests, or standardised responses – and have the location automatically added to the Quick Message.
These features within a dismounted C4ISR platform’s chat function allow other users in the group to be readily alerted to key events, allowing for contingency plans to be activated, and support to be deployed or prepositioned as needed.
Messages can also be prioritised by users as “flash” or “immediate”, which will be sent ahead of others over the network, thanks to the capabilities of SitaWare Edge and SitaWare Tactical Communications (STC).
As a result, critical messages can be rapidly disseminated to other units, while higher command units can be kept abreast of developments when crucial information – such as the location of enemy units – becomes available.
Knowing where friends and enemies are on the modern battlefield is an aspect of indirect communications that helps teams to deconflict, and potentially find ways to collaborate and achieve common goals. As situations change and teams need to adapt dynamically, revising and issuing new plans becomes more important.
Chat messages can help with this, as plans formulated on devices using SitaWare Edge and SitaWare Frontline, or indeed at headquarters with SitaWare Headquarters, can be shared through chat message attachments. Plans can be imported and added to a SitaWare Edge user’s operations, with SitaWare Tactical Communications (STC) helping to keep the common operating picture synchronised at all levels of the chain of command.
Updates to SitaWare’s planning capabilities will allow users to include file attachments within a plan, allowing commanders to know more about what they may be looking for and understand the context of their operating environment. SitaWare Edge users will also receive improved support for usability and access, such as a plan layer on the layer manager and the ability to archive plans, to help with the reduced amount of screen space on a SitaWare Edge device.
As the battlespace becomes increasingly digitised, sharing critical intelligence between users is more vital. Pieces of information that can help with the direction of battle can help ensure that your troops can achieve their objectives and come home safely.
For users of SitaWare Frontline and SitaWare Edge, STANAG 4609 compliant live video feeds can be played in the apps, with viewshed and UAV position data transmitted into the app. SitaWare Edge users are able to take snapshots from live video feeds and share them in the chat function, meaning they can alert other users to key intelligence such as deployed troops, concealed enemy positions, targets of opportunity, and more.
If the metadata is included in the video feed, position information of the target is also automatically added to the image, and when shared in the chat system a clickable link is created.
This helps to shorten the intelligence cycle and provides transparency to commanders of the wider recognised intelligence picture.