By: Lee Kaplan
In the harsh and ever-evolving battlefield, situational awareness is the key to victory. But what is situational awareness, and why are militaries pouring so many resources into advancing this strategy? Situational awareness is the ability to understand one’s surroundings and anticipate future events based on the multiple streams of incoming data from an integrated web of networks, storage devices and servers that construct a unified model for decision-making on the battlefield.
Imagine hours before engaging in a dangerous operation within enemy territory, the unity deploys a drone that films the surrounding area and relays a real-time feed of enemy positions, assets and terrain. Once sufficient information is collected, whether it be reconnaissance, intelligence or surveillance information that allows leaders to make data-driven decisions that optimizes unit efficiency, lethality and survivability.
According to Modeling Human and Organizational Behavior (1998) there are three levels of situational awareness in relation to combat decision making:
Level 1 Situational Awareness: Observing environmental elements such as enemy numbers, vehicles, bases and terrain to achieve a higher level of abstraction when processing individual situations.
Level 2 Situational Awareness: Comprehension of the situation, based on level 1 observations. Is the enemy organizing an offensive or defensive operation? Is the enemy centralized or decentralized? Is the enemy using high tech or low tech solutions? Is the enemy planning a head or do they improvise? These are all important questions one must think about before boots hit the ground.
Level 3 Situational Awareness: Prediction of future events, based on level 2 comprehension of current events on the ground. This allows for preparation based on the enemies resources and intentions, preparing oneself for enemy tactics and behavior on the battlefield.
Edgybees brings unprecedented real-time situational awareness with accurate geo-information layers from any video source. The company is working diligently with the United States Airforce to integrate their groundbreaking augmented reality solution with military networks to provide that crucial situational awareness to units engaged in armed conflict with the enemy. For more on situational awareness and augmented reality, visit our military page