Feedback helps Evolves Mobile Wireless “Hotspot”

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Image Soldiers' Network courtesy General Dynamics


General Dynamics C4 Systems - built Warfighter Information Network - Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 Soldier Network Extension (SNE) continues evolving with new capabilities based on soldier feedback and mission-centered innovation. In addition to recent updates that make the SNE more intuitive to use, soldiers are expanding the capabilities of the WIN-T Increment 2 SNE as a secure, mobile network "hotspot."

In April, soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division were assigned to an observation point during the Afghan elections. The soldiers drove a SNE to their mission location near a polling place and used the SNE as a hotspot to connect their laptop computers, radios and other equipment to the tactical network for voice, chat and email communications, including situational awareness information, directly from their area of operation.

Recent updates to the SNE included reducing the steps and the time needed to power-up and power-down the system by half, making trouble-shooting tools more intuitive and streamlining the soldier's graphical interface to look more like the electronic devices they use at home. Reducing the operational complexity of the SNE is the work of the General Dynamics Human-Systems Integration and Design (HSID) Center of Excellence. HSID team members work directly with soldiers to identify and evaluate what soldiers need and how they work with the systems while in the field. This feedback allows the HSID team to collaborate with engineers and other professionals to rapidly adapt and improve the way soldiers interact with SNE.

The SNE is a part of the WIN-T Increment 2 tactical network backbone that extends network voice, data and video connectivity to soldiers at the company level. Part of Capability Set (CS) 13, the Army distributed WIN-T Increment 2 to four Brigade Combat Teams and two Division Headquarters last year.

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