Tech and Military: What Kind of Computers Does the Army Use

By  //  October 27, 2021

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The army uses a wide variety of computers and other technology in its operations. These devices and machines range from very small and simple to large and complex. They can be found on the person of an individual soldier all the way up to massive drones that fly many thousands of feet into the air with deadly payloads attached.

This article looks at some of these computers and how they work together to improve military effectiveness. 

Tower Computers

The tower’s software enables all of these hardware components to communicate with each other by working together in unison. It consists of thousands of pre-installed programs, files, and folders that are organized into an intricate system for quick access when needed by the soldier who is operating it. 

When connected to an external monitor or projector system with a keyboard and mouse, this is the kind of computer that people use to give briefings and presentations for large groups of people as well as for general entertainment (playing movies, video games, etc.).

A soldier will often carry this type of computer with them when on patrol in case they need to lookup any pertinent information such as the time, location of nearby enemies, etc.

Soldiers can share their internet connection with each other via wireless hotspots if they all have their own towers (usually with security and password protection enabled). A tower computer can run all day on its battery without needing a recharge because it is using low-energy electronic parts designed specifically for this purpose.

Storage Arrays

The storage array is used by the military to store all the files and data collected from soldiers’ handheld personal computers (HPCs). The HPC runs on Linux, which is what the whole storage system was designed for. All stored information on these military servers can be accessed online or offline without having any compatibility issues due to file type differences.

A major focus of this model was that it should quickly and reliably be able to identify and categorize different types of files so their content can easily be located when needed.

Hand-Held Personal Computers

The handheld personal computer (HPC) is roughly the size of a human hand and is used by soldiers on patrol for various purposes such as doing reconnaissance, relaying information back to base, collecting intelligence, etc.

The HPC consists of an internal battery that lasts anywhere from 8 hours to 48 hours depending on specific models and how it is being utilized at the time.

It has several touch screen buttons which allow quick access to files containing maps, photos, videos, audio recordings, etc., or direct access to video conferencing software where offsite officials can see what’s happening in real-time and offer up suggestions via face-to-face communication with soldiers on location. 

To save battery life, it is equipped with a sleep mode which dims the screen but allows certain features to remain functional such as GPS and push-to-talk communication.

Soldiers can send photos and videos back to base through email attachments which are then transferred onto servers containing digital distribution software that enables files to be sent quickly and precisely without having to worry about network connectivity or file size restrictions for receiving personnel.

Since the handheld PC is mainly used by soldiers on patrol, it can often get dropped, crushed, etc., so its circuitry must be extremely durable and low energy.

Because of these special requirements, each component inside the device has been carefully selected and tested before being manufactured into this specific model.

The main operating system installed on this kind of computer is Linux, which is very quick and free compared to other more expensive options. Its interface is X11-based and displays all the icons required for each program onto one big screen.

Tactical Embedded Computers

The military uses tactical embedded computers to construct 3D models of the battlefield. This allows for more effective planning and decision-making. Every time a soldier fires their weapon, this data is logged onto permanent storage arrays which can be accessed later on by top-ranking officials to understand what really happened in the heat of battle (weather conditions, terrain, etc.).

Tactically embedded computers are linked to handheld personal computers carried by soldiers so that real-time information feeds can be displayed when needed during patrols. Soldiers can call up any type of file they need directly from these mainframes just like they do at home with regular PCs. 

Optical Computers

An optical computer is capable of performing many calculations in parallel at extremely high speeds. Its internal structure is made up of lasers and mirrors that react to different types of light waves. It’s called an optical computer because it follows the same principles as eyes see things.

Optical computers work in a similar way but instead of translating visual information into signals sent to the brain, they translate these signals into mathematical equations which are solved very quickly through parallel processing. 

The army uses various different types of computers for different purposes. Each one has its own specific design, structure, and function according to the project it’s intended to work on or the task it’s meant to perform.

However, despite their differences in appearance and ability, all of these computers work using some fundamental principles that were developed over time as a reflection of how humans process information and interact with their surroundings.