Computers and the Military
Originally posted to wibc.com on 04/02/2012
There are many types of small computers used in the military. Recently there has been an increase in the implementation of thin client (A thin client (sometimes also called a lean or slim client) is a computer or a computer program which depends heavily on some other computer (its server) to fulfill its traditional computational roles. This stands in contrast to the traditional fat client, a computer designed to take on these roles by itself.) technology in many applications that don’t require full computing capability. Thin client technology reduces costs and eliminates some of the risks of placing more complex computers in rugged situations.
Embedded computers are being integrated into more applications. These computers are generally fixed-function computers that are robust and bring additional capabilities to machines or complex equipment.
Notebooks and laptops have become more rugged since the turn of the century, and more portable computers are being placed into warrior’s hands than ever before. A number of manufacturers are specializing in creating ultra-rugged notebooks for the military. Now, some of these advances created for the military are finding their way backward into the home and business markets.
Wireless communications technology has also improved in recent years. High-speed data transfers over secure, encrypted frequencies is consider a new standard for standard-security-level communications. The new wireless radio networking devices can establish a link between systems that could otherwise not physically communicate or be involved in command and control. Some thin clients and portable computers employ these recent advances.
Future computer use in the military
In the last 20 years, wide acceptance of small-scale computer technology in the military has occurred, and is likely to increase greatly. Confidence has improved in the ability of equipment to withstand combat and extreme environment conditions. Most importantly, modern combat has become a duel of speed. We continually see that faster and more technologically advanced weaponry demonstrates first-strike capability in current combat situations, which is likely only to encourage further implementation of computer technology into systems used in the US Armed Forces in the future.