Cloud Computing for the Battlefield

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly interested in having soldiers carry handheld mobile computing devices to support their mission needs. Soldiers can use handheld devices to help with various tasks, such as speech and image recognition, natural-language processing, decision making, and mission planning. Three challenges, however, present obstacles to achieving these capabilities.

  1. Mobile devices offer less computational power than a conventional desktop or server computer.
  2. Computation-intensive tasks, such as image recognition or use of a global positioning system (GPS), take a heavy toll on battery power.
  3. Networks and bandwidth are unreliable.

This post at the SEI Blog by Grace Lewis explores SEI research in overcoming these challenges by using cloudlets. Cloudlets are localized, lightweight servers running one or more virtual machines (VMs) on which soldiers can offload expensive computations from their handheld mobile devices, thereby providing greater processing capacity and helping conserve battery power.

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