Technological Areas to Improve Soldier Decisiveness: Insights From the Soldier-System Design Perspective

Report No. ARL-TN-475
Authors: W. David Hairston; Jesse Chen; Michael Barnes; Ivan Martinez; Michael LaFiandra; Mary Binseel; Angelique Scharine; Mark Ericson; Barry Vaughan; Brent Lance; Kaleb McDowell
Date/Pages: March 2012; 28 pages
Abstract: The Board on Army Science and Technology has commissioned a committee on Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields with the overarching goal of identifying areas where our dismounted Soldiers have the potential for overmatch capability, particularly when operating in small units, and the technologies that will aide in realizing an overmatch. To supplement this effort, this report discusses five high-potential areas of technology from the realm of the human dimension, considering the integrative nature between the Soldier and the systems with which they interact.
We first discuss technologies that show promise within the realm of training, by helping to better prepare the individual Soldier for potentially volatile situations, followed by a description of technologies for predicting a users intent via physiological assessment techniques. Then we discuss improved human-robot interactions gained through recent advances in control design, yielding increased throughput of the total unit. Next is a description of some examples where sense-heightening capability will provide superior quality information to the Soldier. Finally, we illustrate how a novel "whole system"design approach can improve the impact of new technologies when fielded and conclude with a discussion of how all of these topics amplify an ideal pairing between user and technology.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2012