back to article DARPA to build military App Store, battlefield 3G

Not content with merely soliciting bids for smartphone apps useful to the military "and the national security community more generally", the Pentagon's tech hothouse now plans something resembling a military App Store - and has unveiled plans to deploy civilian mobile coverage onto the battlefield. In an announcement issued …

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Most popular apps

SpotAFriendly(tm)

FriendOrFoe(tm)

WhichWaysTheFight(tm)

Who'sFlagIsThat(tm)

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Unhappy

@Owen

You forgot IEDWobble(tm)

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Black Helicopters

A title is required

You forgot the top seller:

iCallAirSupport™

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Anonymous Coward

A ™ ? Seriously?

Just because you people put a ™ on everything and anything doesnt mean you have a ™. Please.

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Putting a base station in the field = bad idea

I remember talking to a chap, I think it was about the Falklands. He (and his team) spent a day or so sneaking/fighting to the top of a hill to plant a rebroadcaster to get radio comms from the commanders at the back to the front line troops. Within about half an hour of switching it on it was blown into lots of very small pieces, several times.

So, try that with a 3G/GSM mast and you're going to get the same problem.

I can see the error message now :

"Network connection cannot be established, please check your nearest transmitter hasn't been shot to bits"

(NB while GSM signal can go a long way, it's only useful for about 30Km, apparently due to some timing delay issue. So I've been told.)

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gsm 30km cell radius

Indeed, GSM cells are limited to ~35km; in practice cell sizes tend to be much smaller, even in rural areas (remember: 8 concurrent calls per cell).

If the military were to base comms on GSM, they'd define their own variant, just like the railways did. GSM-R allows handsets to reliably move at 300 km/h relative to base stations, by increasing the guard intervals or somesuch.

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Go

Mosey on

I can't help but think that this one act will save the nexus one phone in its own right as the apps that get developed will no doubt be pretty cool as a result of this contract.

In an earlier article I had said I thought this phone was going to crash and burn. I would like to retract this opinion :)

Still - I have only seen 1 person with the new android phone and it looks pretty nice. still not sure if Id get one though.

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Pint

So Our Troops...

..would be relying in chinese built kit?

We could also save a lot of money by outsourcing A-bomb production to North Korea.

Better have two.

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Outsourcing = Economic Cancer

The ONLY thing that has brought national economies down is outsourcing of manufacturing and jobs. Period.

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Grenade

Also, given the terrain...

... in Afghanistan, that would mean an awful lot of base stations.

Moreover, how would you power them? Solar panels? A battery would not last long enough.

To me, it looks like another job for a blimd...

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FAIL

Well

They already stated ways to possibly power these base stations: stick them on a mobile unit. So, if an alternater in a vehicle isn't good enough, I'm sure sticking an antenna on the back of a Paladin for some good'ol tank grunt should both protect the tower and power it sufficiently. When all else fails, mobile generators in on a trailer should do nicely. Probably the base ballist to keep it upright in high winds....

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Bronze badge

All Your Base Station Are Belong To Us

A base station in an aerostat (blimp) at 10Km altitude would be safe (from the taleban). However, it doesn't appear DARPA are seeking that...

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Jobs Horns

Want to eliminate a high-value target?

There's an app for that!!

How much do you want to bet that resourceful troopers will not find a way to order pizza or call their girls?

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I like the camo skin

You could probably make good money selling iPhone sleeves in a range of camo patterns.

And charge double if you could make each one unique.

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Gold badge
FAIL

Drone vdeo feeds anyone?

Security not a high priority in development.

What could go wrong.

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Nokia got there first

Didn't some Scandinavians do this years ago?

Drop a bunch of battery powered cell towers over the area, they mesh network themselves together and the troops just have Nokia/whoever cell phones to call in.

Cheap, quick, easy. And the amount of RF flying around from the towers meant the enemy couldn't tell if there were any actual troops in the area.

Of course a bit of a problem if your fire control is a call centre in Bombay: press 1 to request an airstrike - you are in a queue, your target is very important to us etc. meanwhile here is some music.....

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@Nokia got there first

"Of course a bit of a problem if your fire control is a call centre in Bombay: press 1 to request an airstrike - you are in a queue, your target is very important to us etc. meanwhile here is some music....."

:) Brilliant :)

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Gold badge

So, one jammer and it's closing time..

Wonderful idea. A decent triple mode jammer costs you something like USD 29 from a Chinese website, and will nuke all that fun stuff.

BTW; I like the Justabloke1 call centre idea :-)

Dial 1 for an airstrike, 2 for backup or enter hash plus launch codes to call a suicide nuke to your geo location. Do not forget to allow the application to read use your current location because we don't quite know what will happen otherwise. Thank you for calling in the suicide nuke, have a nice but brief day.

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Terminator

James Cameron anyone???

Is it just me or is Judgement day around the corner. Google already have a strong hold on the internet and have their helping hands in certain governments pockets now they are working with DARPA with the NEXUS ONE...

The endo of the world is nigh!!!

Where's my sign board and tramp attire

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Unhappy

....and

Mum! How did you get this number. Look I am a bit busy at the moment....yes I am have my vest on....

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