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.

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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 ernestob@pennwell.com 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 Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

June 2015
Volume 26, Issue 6
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