Combat medicine can occur on the battlefield, where immediate lifesaving measures are required, to stateside, where more extensive and longer-term care is available. Each of these requires systems for the display of medical imaging data or the display of data for education and training. While many of the systems used are commercially available, others are developed to meet the unique needs of the military in terms of mobility and durability.
Traditionally the level of care in the battlefield is limited to a “buddy system” where medical personnel are not present. This practice is rapidly changing as advances in technology are providing greater capability in medical care closer to the battlefield. For example, advanced imaging systems have become more portable, making more detailed medical data of an injured soldier available to be transmitted rearward and allow clinicians to assist in medical decision- making. These advances will continue to expand the need for glasses-free 3D volumetric displays that can more accurately represent the data available.
The most commonly observed role of homeland security is at airports, where agents screen millions of passengers each year for potential threats before they board planes. Homeland security also monitors passengers using other forms of transportation, screens millions of cargo containers transported by air, ground and sea each day, monitors the borders by land, sea, and air, monitors critical infrastructure, and coordinates a federal response to domestic disasters.
This breadth of responsibilities requires the use of screening, surveillance, and modeling & simulation systems that can often provide data that is most difficult to comprehend when displayed in 2D.
For example, the ability to scan a vehicle for improvised explosive devices (IED) is highly desired. While 2D scanning capability exists today, it can be difficult to discern where an IED is located once detected. Once developed, 3D volumetric scanning will provide data on the specific location of the IED, allowing a security officer to more rapidly and reliably observe the presence and location of the IED and develop the appropriate response.
The importance to innovate and increase preparedness within the defense sector is crucial, and much of that hinges upon the data currently available and how it can be viewed. These technologies have the potential to transform communications on all fronts, and should see further development as the US continues its defense innovations.
- Guy Eastman, Analysis: US No Longer Spends More on Defense than Next 10 Biggest Countries Combined. http://www.janes.com/article/40083/ 25 June 2014