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Leveraging Tech in National Defense and National Security

From leveraging unmanned aerial drones to gather data about a battlefield to managing very expensive and specialized military vehicles and equipment to protecting against cyberattacks, the IoT (Internet of Things) and related technologies are helping the U.S. government and the U.S. military shore up the nation’s defenses (physical and cyber) while simultaneously tightening up and enhancing operations. Precedence Research estimates the market for the IoT in aerospace and defense will reach $156.27 billion by 2030, which is up from $42.4 billion in 2021. The research firm says factors fueling this growth will include the sectors’ drive to achieve operational efficiency with the help of the IoT-enabled solutions in the realms of predictive maintenance, data analytics, and smart surveillance. 

A newly expanded computer portfolio designed specifically for defense use cases will also help the U.S. military leverage technology to the fullest. GMS (General Micro Systems), a rugged server company known for its modular, SFF (small form factor) embedded computing systems, servers, and switches, recently announced its expanded Army-specific rugged computer portfolio. GMS says its systems are used in shipboard, ground vehicle, and other joint service and U.S. Army deployments, and the company supplies vehicle platforms like the WIN-T (Warfighter Information Network-Tactical) on Stryker combat vehicles.

GMS’s enhanced portfolio offers the Army next-generation deployed processing and bandwidth. The company says its portfolio expansion includes added capabilities from Dell Technologies OEM (original-equipment manufacturer). Adding Dell’s rackmount servers to GMS’s existing rugged servers offers a one-stop shop for the Army’s computing needs, according to GMS chief architect and CEO Ben Sharfi. What kind of solutions are the servers running? It could be in-vehicle AI (artificial intelligence), image-processing systems, or secure, high-bandwidth networking at the edge—essentially anything that needs realtime transmission and/or analysis of high-resolution sensor and video data.

In the past year, there have been some exciting new or expanded partnerships in the IoT military sector designed to support the U.S. DoD (Dept. of Defense), including the Northrop Grumman and AT&T agreement to research and develop a digital battle network powered by AT&T 5G and Northrop Grumman’s advanced mission systems. Intel and Lockheed Martin also announced a new evolution of their relationship that will leverage 5G to deliver on the promise of connectivity, reliable networks, and “new data capabilities” to the DoD. These partnerships are among those that will continue to push the technological limits of the IoT and related technologies in national-defense applications.

In the past couple of months, one move by the U.S. government—the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, or H.R.7535—may also help move the needle in this sector, but in this case by defending against cyber threats. Whether it’s tech to protect against cyber threats or tech to protect against physical threats, the common denominator is the importance of leveraging technology. What’s more, the benefits of data-driven decisionmaking span all sectors—from retail to healthcare to national defense, and in the latter case, the ability to make decisions based on realtime data can have a direct and important impact on national security.   

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