CDA is an application
built for militarized personal digital assistant (PDA), which
provides situational awareness and mission planning capabilities
for field commanders. The pocket PC application runs on a militarized
version of an IPAQ, and is intended for the battalion commander
and staff, company commanders and platoon leaders. CDA provides
dismounted troops the same functionality of the US Army Battle
Command, Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2) command and control system,
which was sofar available only at stationary command posts or
command vehicles. FBCB2 is the principal element in the "Blue
Force Tracking" situational awareness system, and this
is where CDA becomes a key element, as it integrates dismounted
elements into the complete situational picture. (more...)
2003 and early 2004, the U.S. Army initially deployed few systems
for operational field testing. In 2004 and more significantly
2005, hundreds more CDAs (2005 models) will be deployed in support
of dismounted troops in Iraq. The new model CDAs are based on
the initial positive experience gained with earlier models.
Due to the fast evolution of commercial PC and PDA technology,
the Army is planning to deploy new versions of the system every
year. The current version uses satellite phone capability and
is able to download maps with overlaid graphics. For extended
communications, the CDA is connected to a SINCGARS ASIP radio.
Other radios may be incorporated in the future, such as the
MBITR, the PRC-117F or L-band and Iridium satellite systems.
The CDA is designed form automatic communication with other
CDAs or supported communications devices, in a peer-to-peer
formation. It can also operate in a network when required. Other
communications features support “Blue Force Tracking”
facility to support situational awareness of all friendly troops.
In 2006, a new version of Commander's Digital
Assistant (CDA) was introduced by General Dynamics' for the
Land Warrior program. The system is currently available as Version
5, offering a larger color touch screen, hard disk, integral
GPS and built-in satellite voice communications, offering the
capability to exchange voice messaging with other CDAs. The
system uses U.S. Army Standard Battle Command software to provide
dismounted leaders with situational awareness picture, derived
by FBCB2. The system also maintains constant position reporting
for non-line-of-sight blue force tracking.
system enables battalion commanders to pass orders within their
staff and migrate orders to company and platoon leaders. When
deployed with dismounted teams, CDA is providing access to sensors,
intelligence and tactical data not available in the past at
such tactical levels. This capability is essential in low intensity
warfare scenarios, where small forces must contain and manage
situations before they escalate into crisis. Situational and
intelligence displays also compute the center of mass for a
particular units by the aggregation of its individual soldier's
positions, reported by GPS. For reporting, the system is equipped
with joint variable message format (JVMF) database into the
CDA system for open communications with other units, services
and coalition forces.
AUSA 2007 Raytheon unveiled some details about its Commander's
Digital Assistant (CDA). A product originally introduced as
a 'spin off' from FCS has now evolved separately from the program.
Raytheon is working on a new version of the Commander's Digital
Assistant (CDA). The new device establishes the smallest, lightest
package currently available for dismounted 'blue force tracking'
applications. The new device weighs 4.5 – 5.6 pounds (depending
on configuration) using an internal, rechargeable 10.8 VDC Lithium-ion
battery pack sustaining five hours of operation. CDA also offers
improved commonality with the Army's Air Warrior Electronic
Data Manager. Further improving its application for aviators
and ground troops, the new CDA is designed to be sunlight readable
and compatible with night vision devices (ANVIS/NVG). CDA communicates
with existing networks such as the FBCB2 or Interactive Situational
Awareness System (ISAS), using an integral satellite communications
L band transceiver and GPS receiver set with anti-spoofing capability
(SAASM). Both antennae are combined into a single, external
device. It will also interface smoothly with most tactical radios.
Raytheon designed the CDA to integrate with its Microlight radio
currently configured for the Enhanced Position Location Reporting
System (EPLRS) waveform and tied into the tactical internet,
carrying standard Joint Variable Message Format (JVNF) digital
messages to users across the network. The system also supports
Voice over IP communications. The CDA uses removable hard drive
to ease data transfer and management of classified information.
It runs on Linux RedHat or Windows 2000/XP operating systems.