Quantum3D Thermite computer selected for Future Force Warrior Increment 2
Officials at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Command, looking to cut down on weight and gain ruggedization for the Future Force Warrior (FFW) Increment 2, selected the Thermite wearable tactical visual computer (TVC) from Quantum3D in San Jose, Calif.
By John McHale
WASHINGTON - Officials at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Command, looking to cut down on weight and gain ruggedization for the Future Force Warrior (FFW) Increment 2, selected the Thermite wearable tactical visual computer (TVC) from Quantum3D in San Jose, Calif.
Quantum3D executives made the announcement last month at the Association of U.S. Army (AUSA) 2007 Annual Conference in Washington.
The Quantum3D Thermite computer enabled a reduction in weight of about four pounds from the system’s previous computer, says Jean-Louis “Dutch” DeGay, outreach team leader, equipment specialist at the Soldier Center in Natick, Mass. Before the Thermite, the program used a Panasonic Toughbook, which weighed seven pounds while the Thermite only weighs about three, he adds.
The Thermite also is more rugged than the Toughbook because it does not have a display; it is just the computer itself and Quantum3D designed it to be inherently rugged.
The Quantum3D Thermite Tactical Visual Computer is in the upper mesh pouch on the U.S. Army’s Future Force Warrior system.
The Panasonic device was originally chosen to test a Falcon operating system from the Air Force, but was not the right form factor for the next stage of the program, DeGay explains.
Overall carry weight for the soldier was reduced in FFW Increment 2 from about 120 pounds to approximately 85 pounds, DeGay says.
The FFW Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) helps the U.S. Army reduce soldier fighting load and power requirements while improving soldier protection, lethality, and situational awareness.
The FFW ATD will create a lightweight, integrated individual combat system-including weapon, head-to-toe individual protection, networked communications, soldier-worn power sources, and enhanced human performance. Capabilities will be distributed across the team to optimize warfighting performance of small combat units. The soldier of the future’s backpack will have an electronic chassis that will make him a node on the battlefield network, in what the Army is calling a soldier-centric force, DeGay says.
The FFW ATD will move in 2007 to PM Soldier Warrior’s (PM SWAR) Ground Soldier System (GSS) program with fielding to begin in 2010.
DeGay’s team will submit a list of 25 systems to the Program Executive Office (PEO), which will choose a mix of different technologies based on performance and needs of the program, DeGay says.
Designed to support graphics, video, and network-centric command and control, the Thermite TVC family includes man-wearable and vehicle-based models. For FFW, the Thermite TVC-2.0 man-wearable computer acts as the soldier system’s central communications and processing hub that provides the soldier with navigation, C4ISR, IP Radio-based communications, live video display, and other mission-critical information via the soldier’s head-mounted-display and two-way audio subsystem.
“One of the main reasons we built Thermite was to address the growing need for COTS, open-architecture, man-wearable deployed visual computing applications, and FFW is one of the most important man-wearable systems in development today,” says Ross Q. Smith, Quantum3D co-founder and president.
The Thermite TVC is for PC-based 2D/3D graphics, network-centric command and control, unmanned vehicle operator control unit, embedded-training, maintenance, and mission-rehearsal in vehicle-based and man-wearable applications in harsh environments.
Quantum3D’s Thermite TVC supports commercial and military I/O options including GPS, wireless network, and tactical radio support. The unit is packaged in a lightweight, conduction-cooled, alloy enclosure that meets Mil-Std-810F, Mil-Std-461E, and Mil-Std-1275.
For more information, visit Quantum3D Inc. online at www.quantum3d.com.