Product Idea Description Essay


Product Idea Description

Most technical innovations in any field have been combinations or amalgams of software and hardware applications that were never meant to be used together. However, they have nevertheless come into existence because someone decided to marry up these unimagined elements in combination with each other.

To midwife these projects to full fruition, startup money is needed. As usual, the military is the usual maternity ward for such applications and often requires mission specific applications for certain situations. Telematics is certainly no exception to this and such applications have increasingly found usage in the war on terror to pierce the classical “fog of war.” Like the American GPS system, this has certainly been the case for telematics operations in the NATO European environment that would operate with the Galileo GNSS system. The handmaiden of our Red Force Tracking Telematics application in this proposal will be the Google capable Android Smart Phone that would be capable of multiple mission interfaces (Kwan 2011).

The growth has been astonishing in the military market for functions such as vehicle tracking, surveying, mapping, in-vehicle navigation, people and resource tracking and telematics applications in the field of miltary operations. For these reasons, the miltary has and will continue to have a plethora of uses for telematics applications.

Major defense contractors are producing GPS devices as the demand increases for accurate location information and precision guidance. Since its deployment in Desert Storm up to extensive use in conflicts zones of the 21st century, GPS has become the standard tool for obtaining precise position, navigation and timing information for military forces. Military GPS devices are now turning up in many military applications, such as hand held receivers for soldiers, GPS aided navigational systems for manned and unmanned aircraft and expendable miniaturized versions in missiles, bombs and even artillery and mortar rounds.

While war is more technological than ever, we must understand that it supports the ultimate weapon, the mobile infantryman. In operations just like the May 2011 capture mission by U.S. Special Forces to get Osama Bin Laden, it is the infantryman, squad and platoon size elements that will many times mean the difference between success and failure in a war or operations other than war. The benefits of space-based systems must increasingly make their way down to the lowest echelons of the ground forces to fully realize their benefits in war fighting and security operations.

As ruggedized portable notebook and lap top PCs, hand held computers and personal data assistants (PDA)s become more widely issued to military and paramilitary personnel operating in the field, viewing issues about the graphics-rich files becomes prominent. Wireless technology, portable computers and telematics make available to field personnel the ability to access large graphical files while working in a variety of field settings. What is becoming more an issue is that the information is able to be accessed about the enemy at lower echelons by small units and even individual soldiers. Hand held computers and PDAs are problematic however because presently security personnel can only physically view a very small fraction of the very large graphics files through a small view screen. To sum up, the data is available, but it is difficult to view, manipulate and difficult to understand. With present digital electronic storage and display, the security person can now access a huge number of maps from their database and can easily zoom in on details of interest.

The Red Force telematics software we will be developing will run on an Android Smartphone with Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo) or Eclipse Classic for interoperability and flexibility in with other European GNSS applications. Android sports a Linux operating system with a Java interface that is compatible with Eclipse (Vogel 2011 and Wallace 2011). What is needed and what we will be incorporating in the newer technology to resolve the visualization problems are as follows:

1) A sense of the entire area of interest a small map (which peripheral vision gave the soldier with a paper map). The Smartphone can be used with a ruggedized soldier’s laptop that is attached to his or her web gear. The application will be made for easier user flipping of map and other pages.

2) A sense of perspective to help the soldier interpret the terrain data. The soldier must be able to interpret what is and what is not the topographic high ground where he or she must apply their maximum efforts to take and hold.

3) A wide variety of military units will have to be able to use not just certain special warfare teams. The Red Force Telematics Android application is a part of the larger technological trickle down from higher to lower echelons of platoon, squad and team the benefits of satellite technologies that were previously at corps and division level. Given the prevalence of smaller, autonomous units in modern warfare, the trickle down of this technology is inevitable and necessary. Application developers need to produce their products with this bottom up attitude in mind.

4) All parts of the Red Force Telematics Android application must be compatible and run with existing SATCOM equipment for interoperability and flexibility or for missions in countries where European forces will be using host nation or captured equipment. An emulator with debugging routines can be programmed into the Android application to run software packages from existing telematics applications from military or civilian organizations. In addition, the application operating mission environment can be simulated prior to engagement with the Red Forces in combat or arrest (Jackson 2011, 38).

In this environment, the developer must use off of the shelf software. Some of the features will include chat functions, file transfers (audio, video, images), video display and “white boarding” to assist on missions. Android run devices are necessary because the Smart Phone keeps its source code open unlike Microsoft, Apple and most other software manufacturers. Special operatorions “coders” need to be able to hack and modify software applications in the field, on the move and in combat field expedient conditions. This provides soldiers, police and paramilitary personnel valuable time and tools to respond or communicate effectively in war or emergency mission situations.

The software will need to pick up aerial images from unmanned aircrafts or satellites and then can focus on the smallest details such as license plates on cars or a person’s facial features and match with facial recognition software. It will need to let military personnel interact as “buddies” and allow them to track the locations of other members of their squad, as well as help them identify potential enemies. Such specifications from European organizations sport a handful of soldier-developed applications. The Android Smart Phone will be compatible with these ad hoc, field expedient systems as well. By adopting an already growing mobile operating system, this lessens the time needed for development of working products, especially those tailored to specific mission environments (Hahn 2010).

Core applications that will need to come with every handset, to include mapping, Blue Force (displaying where friendly units are in order to avoid “friendly fire” incidents) and Red Force Tracking (enemy), map-marking and messaging (Page 2011).

The soldier will need to be able to mark areas to serve as a warning for other soldiers operating in the area. Also, the solider will be able to directly access a feed coming from a camera or drone in the air to see what the area looks like from above. If soldiers see the enemy from up front, they can put it in the GNSS to mark it for other soldiers who can not see it. In the future, every soldier will be carrying a Smart Phone that uses GNSS (Urandroid 2011).

Certainly, the commanders of these small units could not care whether it is a satellite or a drone that provides them with the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). What the soldiers need is quick, persistent coverage. In other words, small units need to communicate and have Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) functional as quickly as possible. They need to be able to talk to small teams deployed in complex terrain environments. They need the information in real time and in any way they can get it (Kehler 2010, 2).

If one talks to any infantry soldier, they will probably confirm that they would like to see low resolution data in 30 minutes more than they need the higher resolution data in three hours or in three days (Sheridan 2010, 3-4). What kind of telematics could provide the forces the solutions to their operationally responsive space (ORS) as quickly as possible?

The immediate off the shelf digital solution would be to make this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information available on a need to know and on demand basis to the platoon, squad and team leader level using the as an improvement over the U.S. supplied GPS with its 2 meter accuracy. In other words, in this proposal, this author proposes mashing up the software so that it will provide them with the intelligence information from the satellites more quickly and from the last time one of them was over the battlefield.

Certainly, there is just not enough conventional air reconnaissance to go around at this level. Telematics can play an important role as a force multiplier by giving these lower level leaders the reconnaissance information that they need very quickly. However, given shrinking potential defense budgets, they may need to do this more cheaply that they are now doing it (Campbell 2010, 5-6). For the infantryman the philosophy is better, cheaper, faster and good enough. Turn-around time to support the infantryman in battle is critical. The central issue is the interface and if it is inter-connectable with the other soldiers and units in the area of operations (Henderson and Lyke 2010, 14).

The above reasoning is especially the case for NATO countries where defense budgets are not as generous as in the United States, though even American defense budgets are now under pressure. However, with U.S. troops fighting near or alongside NATO forces in places like Afghanistan, questions are also being fielded about the amount of overhead that is involved in developing telematic solutions for the battlefield environment. Luckily enough, as GNSS technology advances, more and more components that were previously represented by pieces of hardware are now being replaced by pieces of existing software, making it possible to coordinate several applications into one telematic package (Inside GNSS 2006).

For command and control and security purposes, this might be limited to command and control vehicles such as the platoon leader’s HUMV and the telematic devices it has on board or to specifically designated unit members. Access could be given on a need to know basis to squad and team leaders. This information need to be distributed securely at all levels of the friendly forces so that they can coordinate and track each other (Isaac 2011).

What is needed for the Blue Forces down to the lowest echelon is to have a Red Force tracking ability down to the unit levels below, at or just above his level on the enemy force side. In this paper, this is exactly what this author is proposing. Indeed, given the asymmetrical nature of the present conflicts and that the enemies are using off of the shelf equipment such as cell and satellite phones and land line communications, the enemy is able to respond quickly. Therefore, this author proposes that an informatics package be developed that will give every leader down to the team leader the ability to track the opposing forces. This is particularly true in the present state of the war on terror where an increasing number of missions will be like the one carried out against Osama Bin Laden that resulted in his capture and killing by U.S. special forces. As these missions are farmed out to more “regular” units, they will need the same kind of GNSS telematic electronic warfare support that the people who caught Osama Bin Laden had. The steps for developing the Red Force Telematics application will be very quick since it is based upon the Android Smart Phone.

While the war on terrorism and its occurrence on the battlefield, there are a number of other applications for Red Force Telematics, especially in the European Arena. Historically, Europe has had a broad understanding of the concept of security and that there is a need for telematic instruments to support a wide variety of European safety security and safety missions. These include external security actions, maritime surveillance, anti-piracy, narco-trafficking, border surveillance, emergency response to natural disasters and other homeland security type of situations. In essence, this is why the European needs for specific telematic security applications are distinct from those that the Americans need because U.S. needs are so wrapped around the regular military and Europe has a more paramilitary, gendarmerie type of structure that can take on dual police and military style missions. (Single and Remuss 2010, 72).

In the case of maritime GNSS applications, the Red Force Telematics system will have to receive and interface with the existing Galileo AIS and EGNOS systems as set up by the European GNSS Agency (GSA 2011 and Remuss, N., 2010, 41).

The steps in the software development will be very quick. The Android Smart Phone applications are readily programmable quickly using the Eclipse software. Certainly, step one will be for this author and their team to do the initial work on the application. However, what is radically different about this application package is that the development process will be much more dynamic and multifaceted. Unlike many other applications, this one will have the active input and development of the service and security members themselves on the spot and in the field as circumstances make necessary. Unlike many other developmental software processes, it will be constantly updated several times. It will be hard to identify what version it is, since it is always being updated.

Characteristics/features of GNSS it Exploits

Because of the war on terror, the military is a natural market. Of all sectors, this market is the most demanding as its tolerances are the strictest. In the case of this project, the value of the military applications of Galileo Masters over the GPS system of one meter accuracy may not seem like much in civilian applications, but it is a lot in military terms. One meter greater or lesser can be the difference between a terrorist being hit by a sharpshooter (or a drone) or not being hit at all (Cascio 2005).

U.S. military forces represent the “gold” standard by which our Red Force Telematics software will be developed. It will be able to function in a number of different mission sets, including anti-terror, anti-piracy, drug interdiction and humanitarian and peacekeeping missions in the air, on land and in marine mission execution environments. The software will digitize the latest advances in force tracking technology will have near-real time monitoring with accurate positioning data, red force tracking at same level of fidelity as blue force tracking, tracking of Red Force cell and satellite phone traffic tracking of use of social media sites by Red Force members for C2.

This is why the Red Force Tracking telematics will need to be a digital, battle command information system that will provide integrated, on-the-move, relevant battle command information of timely nature information to tactical combat, combat support and combat service support leaders and soldiers. The system incorporates state-of-the-art information technology to allow commanders to concentrate combat system effects rather than combat forces, enabling units to be both more survivable and more lethal. provides the capability to pass orders and graphics allowing the war fighter to visualize the commander’s intent and scheme of maneuver.

This flexibility affords combat forces the capability to retain their tactical/operational initiatives under all mission, enemy, terrain, troop and time available conditions to enable faster decisions, real/near-real-time communications and response frameworks. As a key component of the ground force C3I systems, this completes the information flow process from brigade to platform and across platforms within the brigade task force and across brigade boundaries. The Android-based system will provide a dual-based capability consisting of both terrestrial (EPLRS) and satellite based (L-Band) systems. The Android system and accompanying equipment will include a Pentium-based processor, display unit, keyboard, removable hard disk drive cartridge and a platform specific installation kit. The satellite-based system that will also include an L-Band transceiver that employs commercial satellite services in lieu of tactical terrestrial radios (Kwan 2011). This will give a backup system in the case of the failure of military SATCOM for any reason.

Steps in the Technical Realization of Red Force Tracking Telematics

Galileo is a joint project initiative between the European Space Agency (ESA)1 and the EU for a European, civilian, global navigation system to be a part of GNSS-22. In July 1999 the EU Transport Council asked the European Commission (EC) to begin the Galileo definition phase and report the results by the end of 2000. By 2000, the Council considered whether to develop a European, civilian satellite navigation system as an alternative to a U.S. dominated GPS regime (Galileo). Early on, the EU realized that in a pinch, it needed to be able to stand technologically on its own. At first, this mandate was only for civilian applications (The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 2000, 1). It only later took on a military aspect as NATO forces became involved in the War on Terror.

In 2008, the European Space Agency (ESA) realized fully the military applications for the Galileo Masters satellite program for the first time. An 18-month survey completed for the Galileo Supervisory Authority found that half of all of the users of the Galileo encrypted signal would be military customers with the other half made up of law enforcement agencies and emergency response agencies. This survey also found that over two-thirds of the possible users of Galileo’s Public Regulated Service (PRS) either possessed or were expected to possess access to the military code of the U.S. GPS network (Cameron 2008).

Obviously, the military is a natural customer for a Blue Force Tracking/Red Force Tracking Telematics system. Since the beginning of the War on Terror, European countries have been providing increasing support to the U.S. military in its operations, especially in Afghanistan and more recently in Libya against Muaamar Qaddafi. They need to have their own stand alone redundant satellite telematic capability independent of the U.S. military forces.

The European military establishments have a natural need for this type of application and this marketing strategy will involve the portrayal of developing a European capability akin to the American systems. In other words, European pride will be a factor. The market exists. It is necessary to point out that European military doctrine is simply evolving to catch up with the need.

As mentioned above, the European needs are much more paramilitary in nature. Due to the diverse nature of the security needs of Europe, it will not be possible for a military centered telematics approach such as used in Blue and Red Force Telematics in U.S. military situations (Single and Remuss 2010, 72). Therefore, the potential customers will not simply be those of the European military establishments, but also police forces, paramilitary police and naval forces engaged in activities such as anti-piracy and anti-narcotics missions. The continual trend of the replacement of hardware components by software applications will make it easier to market a software application that will Red Force Telematics reporting more accessible to lower echelon units.

The primary marketing lever that this author sees are the most recent conflict mission scenarios that European and NATO forces have found themselves, including Somalia, the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently the humanitarian protection in North Africa in Libya against Muammar Qaddafi. In this scenario, telematics applications have been increasingly prominent as small, highly mobile forces increase their lethality with high tech satellite guided and controlled systems (“Predator Drones…” 2011).

Especially in the most recent of the cases, Libya, the majority of ground forces that were on the ground helping the rebels were European, such as British Special Forces troops that were training, leading and in command and control of these forces (Elite UK Forces 2011). In addition, French forces have been involved in the assault on Sirte, Libya Certainly, their kit included gear that involved satellite telematic coordination of battlefield assets. While military leaders rue fighting the last war all over again, the trends of the last decade and a half are clear. Small, mobile forces that field high-tech gear that use satellite coordination is now the rule. To ignore it is futile and would leave European security and military forces unable to perform the basic missions that now confront them.

Describe The Marketing Strategy

The idea definitely is without a doubt patentable in its initial and follow-on versions. Obviously, other developers can come along due to the multiple use of the Android platform. However, this is the nature of the procurement beast. AU.S. company by the name of ViaSat is launching its second generation Blue Force Tracking GNSS solutions. As stated above, our Red Force Telematic software has the advantage of being able to run missions in paramilitary types of enforcement scenarios which deal with military, anti-narcotic and anti-piracy types of security missions. This is our primary advantage over companies such as ViaSat. We will bring more real-time situational awareness and better networking capabilities to the war fighter by having a wider coverage of the potential threat environment. This software system will deliver improved network efficiency because is will be able to download and be operated from any device a soldier has that will take an SMS. The software package will then be compatible with any soldier’s Android Smartphone. This will give it a complete deployability with the advantage that it will be more capable of executing missions that are not exclusively of a military nature. Such deployment options. The Red Force Tracking Telematics application is a location messaging solution providing a universal location inbox and GUI on the mobile device and a two-way communications channel outside of SMS, MMS, and E-mail (Clark 2011)..

The non-technical issues are how will the U.S. GPS systems rule space. Due to fears over attack on U.S. satellites from China, they have linked the GPS system to Galileo. In this way, we can portray Galileo as a more stable platform, especially to European security and military organizations (Wolf 2010).

Also, the patent application issues in the EU are complicated. The Android Smartphone is a great uniter of technology. It also presents a nightmare in terms of patenting, attribution and awarding of financial benefits for intellectual property. Whenever you have a collaborative piece of technology, it is not always clear where the efforts of one developer begins and another ends.

For instance, as we saw above, many sub-applications will be added as time goes on and not by professional developers. Rather, individual soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and paramilitary personnel will now be encouraged (or ordered) to hack their own applications under field conditions. Will it be possible to track what has been added (or subtracted) in terms of code and who did it when? Will it even be possible if the application itself is classified and can only be talked about on a need to know basis?

This series of questions are very new in the history of intellectual property and may need to be answered as the arise without the benefit of any legal precedent. While previously patentable inventions and technology have been profitable for the developers, the Android Smartphone presents a much more complicated environment and will need modifications to patent laws and regulations as they attempt to catch up with the advances in technology. To make matters worse, if a patent is filed in one part of the EU, it is not necessarily protected in other nations of Europe.

Therefore, it is necessary to make the patent applications in every nation of Europe (Intellectual Property Office 2011). So much for one big European Union. Obviously there are major legal hurdles that have to be crossed before one size fits all in the quest for intellectual property protection in the EU and national laws are harmonized to match EU laws. Unfortunately for the developer, as of May of 2011, EU officials at the highest levels were still working out the fine details of implementing these acts of the Lisbon Treaty and application developers must deal with it the best way they can. Hedging their bets and applying with all of the national patent office as well as with the EU Patent Office is advisable, at least for the near future (Taylor Wessing 2011).

In addition, it would seem that the marketing strategy will also have to be to at least the key militaries of the larges EU states (Germany, France, Britain etc.) and to the NATO offices as well. While this complicates the marketing strategy, it is certainly better to be safe than sorry in the way of guarding patents and intellectual property.


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