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September 29, 2007: Another of the spin-offs from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is the rapid development of satellite communications. A few years ago, it took 5-10 hours for troops to get satellite communications set up for a brigade headquarters. And all that gave you was some voice (telephone) capability, and the equivalent of a dial-up (56 kbs) Internet connection. Meanwhile, there was commercial equipment available, that provided the equivalent of broadband, and could be set up in 30-60 minutes, or less. This stuff was often on display, in war zones, by TV news crews. The troops were jealous. Because of the war, the U.S. Army quickly got that gear, painted it green and shipped it off to the war zones. The need for better digital

communications, especially vids and still pictures from UAVs, has kept the flow of commercial innovations coming. Military signal people are grabbing all the new gear they can, because they know that, once the shooting stops, so does such quick access to the latest and greatest equipment, and the cash to pay for it.




 


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