The Department of Defense (DoD) develops a lot of neat gizmos, gadgets, and software to be used in the defense of our nation. They’re responsible for the invention of many safety and tactical technologies that are used daily to protect us. Some of these technologies might surprise you, like the microwave, GPS, radar, weather forecasting, and even modern air travel.
Our nation’s security is dependent on technology, and the DoD has been integral in producing gadgets and tech to keep us safe. If you’ve ever wondered what those are, here’s a list of just a few items.
Common data link (CDL) radio is an essential part of our nation’s defense efforts. They allow the DoD to communicate across all CDL waveforms, which is invaluable in war efforts and other operations. It provides seamless communication across multiple reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence agencies or operations.
CDL radio is a jam-resistant program that provides more secure and uninterrupted communication waves for all who use it. It’s encrypted and randomized, so it’s virtually impossible to hack. In a word, it makes it so that the DoD and all other entities can communicate on secure wavelengths without compromising the safety of our society.
Did you know that the internet came about in part because of the DoD? U.S. military experts invented the technology during the Cold War to help keep defense leaders connected in case the Soviet Union decided to take it one step further and attack.
Now, the internet is used for much more than U.S. military needs, but it’s still an active part of the DoD’s strategy. They use data that’s collected from user interactions all over the world to monitor potential terrorist activity and to reinforce laws.
Of course, there are certain protections and privacy metrics that people can employ (such as a virtual private network (VPN) to prevent the government from collecting information about them. But the DoD, in conjunction with Homeland Security, has still managed to collect an alarming amount of intelligence that has helped them stop terrorist attacks before they happen. They’ve also collected information that’s invaluable in war efforts.
Their use of the internet to gather intelligence on everyday citizens and immigrants is somewhat controversial, but if you consider the many lives its saved, it seems worthwhile.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is responsible for many defensive strategies. Bots gather information on the internet to alert of security threats or warfare intelligence and drones take photographs and run reconnaissance missions.
Lately, one of the biggest contributors to the DoD’s AI systems is Google. They are providing AI for the US military drone projects so that AI can analyze videos and images to detect objects of interest or raise red flags. From there, human analysts can review the findings to see if there’s a credible threat.
“People and computers will work symbiotically to increase the ability of weapon systems to detect objects,” DoD’s Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Function Team chief, Drew Cukor said in a press release. “Eventually we hope that one analyst will be able to do twice as much work, potentially three times as much, as they’re doing now. That’s our goal.”
Google is also pleased with the opportunity to use technology for the protection of its citizens, but they wanted to make it clear that their technology was in no-way threatening to anyone.
“This specific project is a pilot with the Department of Defense, to provide open source TensorFlow APIs that can assist in object recognition on unclassified data,” a spokesperson said. “The technology flags images for human review and is for non-offensive uses only.”
DoD technology is incredible. It’s come a long way over the years, and they continue to develop useful tech for the defense of our nation and the betterment of our lives.