Thursday, September 10, 2009

Warfighters to Guide Command-and-Control Systems Design in Tactical Vehicles at New Taunton EDGE Innovation Facility

Warfighters to Guide Command-and-Control Systems Design in Tactical
Vehicles at New Taunton EDGE Innovation Facility
September 10, 2009

High-tech equipment within tactical vehicles to be reconfigured to work in concert with warfighters, improving operating efficiency, speeding training

TAUNTON, Mass. -- The EDGE Innovation Network, hosted by General Dynamics C4 Systems, today opened the sixth and largest EDGE facility, the Vehicle C4ISR Innovation Center in Taunton, Mass.

The new EDGE Innovation Center teams industry and academia with warfighters 'fresh from the fight' to design more user-friendly environments inside military vehicles. Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems provide soldiers with information critical to their safety and effectiveness in the battlespace.

The EDGE Innovation Network is a collaborative, open-environment initiative enabling EDGE members from industry and academia, with government customer input, to work together to shorten the delivery cycle of new technologies and innovative capabilities to warfighters and first responders. The first EDGE Innovation Center opened in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2006.

Pete Palmer, director of the EDGE Innovation Network, summarized the focus of the new EDGE Innovation Center by saying, "We're taming the complexity associated with learning and operating C4ISR systems in the battlespace. We call it a clean 'SWEEP' as we overhaul Size, Weight, Ergonomics, Efficiency and Power in the vehicles we work on."

Projects currently underway at the Vehicle C4ISR EDGE include the ergonomic redesign of the C4ISR equipment found in High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles operating as communication hubs in the battlespace. During the redesign process, EDGE members and vehicle users will study every aspect of how soldiers go about routine tasks associated with operating the equipment.

Based on study results and continuous user feedback, the system's layout and design will evolve until the user and the system are in sync. Long-term benefits of this approach include improved personal ergonomics for the warfighter and reduced training and systems costs due to improved operator efficiency.

The Vehicle C4ISR EDGE Innovation Center joins a network comprising more
than 85 members from a wide range of industries, colleges and universities worldwide. EDGE Innovation Centers are currently operating in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Leavenworth, Kan.; Orlando, Fla.; and Oakdale, United Kingdom.

General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:
GD), is a leading integrator of secure communication and information
systems and technology.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies.

Editor's Note: Images of the Vehicle C4ISR EDGE Innovation Center are
available from the General Dynamics C4 Systems Image Gallery.

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