Military situational awareness is essential for allowing armed forces to execute missions and battlefield maneuvers more effectively and efficiently, and a wide variety of different technologies are used to help achieve this. Situational awareness is related to a number of other tactical concepts including ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), GEOINT (geo-intelligence), and SIGINT (signals intelligence).
Tactical Situational Awareness
Situational awareness is the process of observing the environment, perceiving events, understanding the ramifications of these events, and using this information to predict how future events might unfold. Data used for situational awareness includes the whereabouts and numbers of friendly forces and enemy threats, weather information, local terrain, the radio spectrum environment, and more. High-accuracy GNSS positioning data is also essential.
Information for tactical situational awareness can be gathered from a wide variety of sources, including satellite feeds, soldier- and vehicle-mounted cameras and sensors, manned aircraft, and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
Dismounted Situational Awareness
Situational awareness data can be delivered to soldiers and vehicles in the field via a range of different devices. Rugged mobile phones, laptops and tablets are typically used by infantry for dismounted situational awareness, as well as goggles that feature AR (augmented reality) displays. Vehicle operators and aircraft pilots may also have helmet displays that relay tactical information.
Tactical datalinks are also crucial for situational awareness. These may take the form of radios, cellular devices, or SATCOM (satellite communications), and disseminate audio, recorded or live streaming video, sensor data and other information.
Situational awareness is also essential in the cybersecurity domain, as threats from hostile forces employing hackers and other forms of cyber-warfare are always increasing. Solutions for cyber situational awareness include software suites that actively monitor tactical networks, assess vulnerabilities, and provide threat response.
Solutions are also available that provide soldiers and personnel with situational awareness training. These can include tactical wargame and scenario software as well as immersive virtual reality (VR) simulation environments.