The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will soon begin testing new devices that can house and share information on multiple security levels.
The devices are part of the Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge (SHARE) program, which aims to solve three issues with information-sharing specific to the Defense Department: housing multiple security levels on a single device, improving tactical network technology to support those levels at scale and deploying software to auto-configure the network and speed up provisioning devices.
Joseph Evans, SHARE program manager for DARPA’s strategic technology office, told FCW that the Army and Marines will being testing approximately 100 devices in June . The goal is to begin transitioning a finished capability to the services by 2020.
Through the testing exercises this summer, Evans expects to get operational feedback regarding the devices and the interface with the primary GPS mapping app, called Android Windows Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK or TAK). The Google Maps-like app is used by both DOD and the State Department and helps with visualizing the environment and soldier or coalition partner positioning shared over the network.
The SHARE program, now in Phase II, was born out of challenges discovered during DARPA’s Remote, Advise, and Assist initiative, which helped special forces operators to talk to coalition partners as part of the Islamic State counterterrorism effort.