Delivering a truly effective Soldier Worn Power & Data (SWPD) solution requires two crucial elements: a hub to control the “Power & Data” and a packaged cable & connector assembly to manage the “Soldier Worn” aspect.
SHArc is Thales’ innovative SWPD solution: Soldier Harness Architecture. In priority order, the name itself highlights the three major considerations that were designed into SHArc:
Soldier: understand their collective and individual tasks and needs;
Harness: recognise this is part of their load and integrate it seamlessly;
Architecture: provide an open system conforming with relevant power & data standards and be capable of meeting future demands.
Thales understand that combat soldiers have an extremely difficult job and that they are not 'platforms' onto which we can pile technology. Whilst technology can bring decisive advantage on the battlefield it must also be applied intelligently and the burden (cognitive or physical) must be overmatched by the benefit. Thales believe that for a Soldier System to be adopted today it must be minimalistic; it must also be flexible otherwise it will have no application to the infinitely flexible roles and activities of the Soldier themselves.
The art of “Soldier System Engineering” is to recognise that which is absolutely needed for any given set of users and to ensure they can be given just that, whilst being flexible enough to allow future changes as well as being the most cost-effective (where “cost” covers weight, power, bulk, cognitive load, as well as finance). This is how Thales have approached our Soldier Worn Power and Data solution.
You can find out more about ‘The Challenge of Integration’ here.
Powering the Future
The rapid and ever increasing expansion of new technology in the commercial world is providing the means to offer very significant enhancements in the capabilities of the dismounted soldier, especially in the information domain. This is commonly referred to as the “Future Soldier System”, but there is a power requirement cost. To this end technology offers major benefits but also brings additional challenges in the dismounted domain. The Internet of Things, Digital Identity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomy all benefit from data sharing whilst contributing to powermanagement requirements. A smart battery that can send updates about its status, linked to an individual or unit, and utilising at various points along the chain of communications AI to support logistics, resupply, and operational planning (based on GPS locations as shared on a data enabled network) where options are presented to commanders is a new reality that can be brought into being by the adoption of a soldier system which is both power and data sharing.
You can find out more about how we're helping to power the modern soldier here.
A Thales Vision
Thales have a vision for the future of soldiering. We call it Collaborative Combat. Imagine a world where commanders at every level have access to power status information for all relevant users presented in an intuitive way which provides them with an instant understanding of the limitations each user/sub-unit will face from diminishing power and all the options for modifying consumption or redistributing power. Where data flows from attached devices through the soldier system, and out through software defined radios to inform commanders of real-time locations, observations, and threats. That is our vision for the future and it starts with a Soldier Worn Power and Data solution. It starts with the Thales SHArc.