Security for Android hand-held devices is top priority for real-time software companies

By John Keller
Posted by John Keller

Real-time embedded software companies this year will be turning their attention this year to creating robust security for Android -based smartphones and tablet computers in a big way. Android security is taking top priority to enable deployed military forces to use Android devices on the battlefield for ad-hoc networking to exchange text messaging, voice communications, and even intelligence imagery and video.

It's a fact that military forces are taking their smartphones and tablet computers onto the battlefield with them. It's up to leaders in the Pentagon to create software security so they use these devices securely and safely, and military officials are turning to the high-reliability software companies like Wind River in Alameda, Calif.; Objective Interface Systems, Inc. (OIS) in Herndon, Va.; and Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif., to provide Android security sufficient for battlefield operations.

Wind River, in fact, is standing up an Android team to focus on military Android security issues, says Wind River's director of vertical marketing Joe Wlad when I visited the Wind River offices this week. Wind River is starting some substantial secure Android military projects, which are still too new to talk about, Wlad says.

Android-based smartphones and tablet computers are becoming a fact on the battlefield, and Android-based tablet computers acting as electronic flight bags (EFBs) in commercial airliner cockpits are not far behind.

Just a few months ago software-defined radio (SDR) experts at the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) in Ottawa announced they have ported the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)-compatible P25 emergency public safety radio waveform to an Android hand-held communications device, which may lead the way to running SDR applications on commercial smartphones and rugged tablet computers.

Last summer L-3 Interstate Electronics Corp. (IEC) in Anaheim, Calif., introduced the VideoScout full-motion video collection and intelligence management software as an application for Android-based commercial handheld smartphones and tablets, which enables users to view video from local area network connections and shared intelligence resources such as remote sensors, military computer servers, and intelligence collection nodes.

Panasonic is introducing a rugged Android-based Toughbook tablet computer, General Dynamics C4 Systems is offering an Android-based wearable computer for the battlefield, and the list goes on.

Android for the military is here. Now software security for Android devices has to follow, and that's well in progress.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.

Previous Blog Posts

Capital Hill budget deal could restore tens of billions of dollars to the Pentagon

December 17, 2013

Hacker drone story a cautionary tale about the need for unmanned vehicle data security

December 10, 2013

Lack of money for systems upgrades threatens to maintain wind-farm radar dead spots

December 3, 2013

Engineering support contracts indicate the Pentagon is sinking into the Mothball Strategy

November 26, 2013

The revenge of COTS: an ageing commercial technology base complicates military supply chain

November 19, 2013

Navy's newest destroyers evolve to fill traditional battleship roles

November 12, 2013

International suspicions of U.S. encryption technology putting defense companies in a bind

November 5, 2013

Defense industry left guessing as Army struggles forward with an unclear mission

October 29, 2013

These are tough times for the combat vehicle and vetronics industries

October 22, 2013

Is the government shutdown a harbinger of more ominous things to come?

October 15, 2013

Government shutdown reduces military contracting, increasing pressure on U.S. defense industry

October 7, 2013

Potential good news: has U.S. defense spending finally bottomed-out?

October 1, 2013

Is robotics revolution the first glimpse of a fundamental change in human evolution?

September 24, 2013

Obsolescent parts: are we enhancing military readiness or creating a hollow force?

September 17, 2013

For the high-tech warfighter, the future of electronics-laden uniforms is here

September 10, 2013

New generation of embedded computing thermal management in development at GE

September 3, 2013

Trading bus stops for credit cards: how far embedded computing has come in three decades

August 27, 2013

Unmanned vehicle industry stands at the doorstep of a fundamental transformation

August 20, 2013

AUVSI 2013, one of the biggest unmanned vehicles shows in the world, opens this week in Washington

August 13, 2013

The Washington Post, under Jeff Bezos, could lead the way for media in the 21st Century

August 6, 2013

Are costs and vulnerabilities making military leaders nervous about satellite communications?

July 30, 2013

Unmanned aircraft carrier that travels beneath the waves may be in the Navy's future

July 23, 2013

Electronic warfare programs kick into high gear with a flurry of contract activity

July 16, 2013

How vulnerable are U.S. Navy vessels to advanced anti-ship cruise missiles?

July 9, 2013

First came VHSIC, then came MIMIC, and now comes ACE to push electronics technology

July 2, 2013

The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

December 2013
Volume 24, Issue 12

All Access Sponsors

Download Our Apps




Connect with Us


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles