The US Navy has had enough of having shedloads of remote controls to run all its weapons and wants to develop a universal remote so it does not have to keep looking down the back of the sofa every time it wants to unleash a particular type of missile.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has developed something similar to a master remote control for military ground, air and undersea unmanned systems that will work across the services,
Apparently it is a piece of software which uses a Common Control System, which is comprised of many different common control services.
Dubbed the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Control Segment (UCS) the software can be added to any unmanned system to enable it to communicate and work with any other.
It will run on any type of platform or hardware, and it can overlay existing systems running on propriety software to make them work with any others.
Basically it means that a soldier can control an entire unmanned system, from the vehicle itself to its payload.
Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said that in the future you will have a sailor controlling an Air Force unit's unmanned system, or an airman sitting at a desk controlling a naval unmanned system or a Marine controlling an Army platform.
The code does mean that the days of unmanned systems being developed and fielded as individual items built by different vendors are over. This system has led to increased spending, from $284 million in 2002 to more than $3 billion in fiscal year 2010.
It means that all are uniquely controlled by proprietary software created by numerous vendors, and the data they provide is sent out in unique formats, making it very difficult to control various systems with one master control or sift through all of the information being transmitted.
Having a common controller will change this and allow systems to work with one another. It will also get rid of custom-built components and systems will simplify the systems themselves, as well as purchasing and training processes, thereby reducing costs.
According to Navy magazine all of the data captured by the systems will be saved on the cloud which will be transparent across the military and easily accessible to and quickly navigable by all service members.