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Archive for the ‘Tac Apps’ Category

Army Researchers Developing Heat Illness Mitigation App

Friday, November 16th, 2018

NATICK, Mass. — There is a delicate balance between training Soldiers rigorously and training them safely.

Warfighters can lose valuable training days due to unit leaders taking overzealous safety precautions, and as a result, they cannot learn and practice the necessary skills to become a ready and lethal force. However, warfighters training rigorously while forgoing safety can lead to disastrous consequences such as heat illness. These consequences can cost the U.S. military valuable training time, money and operational readiness.

Heat illness is a particular concern during warmer months, but that does not mean warfighters have beat the heat as soon as summer has ended. Surprisingly, heat illness can happen year round due to a combination of factors, not just heat and humidity.

“Body heat production from physical activity is the number one factor that causes body core temperature to rise,” said Laurie Blanchard, a biomedical engineer from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM. “Hot environments add to body heat gain, and hot and humid environments and heavy clothing make it more difficult to get rid of body heat. Put them all together, and you have a recipe for heat illness.”

To help solve this problem, Blanchard and other USARIEM researchers have been developing a mobile application that can help unit leaders understand how these factors affect military readiness so they can mitigate risk and optimize training.

The Heat Strain Decision Aid, or HSDA, is a tablet- and computer-based app that can help unit leaders and mission planners quickly determine a Soldier’s risk of heat illness during training or operational scenarios. HSDA’s simulations of heat stress, according to Blanchard, support the safe work time tables found in current Army heat injury prevention doctrine, Technical Bulletin Medical 507, or TB Med 507.

By pressing a few buttons and toggling a few settings, unit leaders can use the science-based guidance on the tablet- and computer-based Heat Strain Decision Aid, or HSDA, to quickly determine a troop’s risk of heat illness during training or operational scenarios. HSDA was developed by U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, researchers based on over 30 years of studies on heat illness, hydration and core body temperature in simulated and realistic training environments. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mallory Roussel )

“HSDA contains equations that predict how body core temperature changes during and after training and how changes in clothing, activity and environment affect the specific rise and fall of body core temperature,” Blanchard said. “This mission planning tool gives unit leaders objective, science-based guidance that can be found in TB Med 507, the Army’s current heat illness and hydration guidance, in a way that is easy and useful for developing prevention and mitigation strategies against heat illness.”

When unit leaders open HSDA on a tablet or computer, they can adjust warfighters’ activities, clothing, the environmental conditions and the intensity and duration of the exercise simply by pressing a few buttons and toggling a few switches. HSDA does the rest of the work by displaying a chart to the user that estimates how likely troops will experience heat illness during a training or operational scenario.

HSDA even shows leaders when warfighters would be most likely to experience a heat illness during the span of an exercise. For example, a unit leader using HSDA could see that Soldiers would be most likely to experience a heat illness during the first hour of a three-hour loaded ruck march.

“One of the advantages of using HSDA is that unit leaders have a tool that helps them visualize how different mitigation strategies can affect their risks of heat illness,” Blanchard said. “Users can manipulate HSDA’s settings to see how changing uniforms, the length and pace of an exercise and the load carried can increase or decrease heat illness risk.

“Even in those cases where the distance, pace and load cannot be altered, such as for a required training event at a specialty school, HSDA can help users plan effective treatment strategies for expected heat casualties, like providing extra ice sheets, closely watching trainees and planning medical evacuations in advance.”

USARIEM researchers developed the user-friendly software interface for the app warfighters know today. Yet the math behind HSDA has existed long before apps were even invented. According to Blanchard, USARIEM developed HSDA from over 30 years of research on heat illness, hydration and body core temperature. Researchers were able to build and validate the equations within HSDA by conducting hundreds of field studies on thousands of subjects in a variety of environments.

Researchers conducted even more laboratory studies at Natick Soldier Systems Center in the Doriot Climatic Chambers, a unique facility that can simulate an extreme range of global weather conditions, from hot deserts to the chilly Arctic. Blanchard and other researchers measured Soldiers’ body core temperatures as they marched on treadmills while carrying external loads and wearing a wide range of clothing, from Army physical training uniforms (shorts and a t-shirt), to Army Combat Uniforms, to insulating chemical, biological and ballistic protective gear.

This year, USARIEM briefed the HSDA app to the Training and Doctrine Command’s Heat Illness and Prevention Subcommittee. USARIEM received several requests for a copy and is now working with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity to make HSDA available to download.

Since spring 2018, USARIEM has transitioned a current version of HSDA to the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and to the U.S. Air Force 352nd Battlefield Airmen Training Squadron, who both specifically requested to use the app to mitigate heat illness during training. Under an international agreement, USARIEM has also developed a version of HSDA for the U.K. Institute of Naval Medicine, who incorporated the app into their training centers as a tool to reduce the incidence of heat injuries.

“Unit readiness is dependent on rigorous military training,” Blanchard said. “However, training without taking safety precautions, especially during warmer months, can lead to heat illness, heat stroke and even death. These injuries can have significant medical costs, can have long-term medical implications and can force lost training days, impacting unit readiness and individual Soldier careers.

“We have been able to design current versions of HSDA for specific military groups at their sites. Transitioning the app to U.S. and international warfare training groups has allowed us to collect valuable feedback that we can incorporate into HSDA to make it a more robust app that all warfighters can use.”

By Mallory Roussel (USARIEM)

Widget Wednesday: PTX SAT-P Android App

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

The latest Widget created by the Brainboxes at Protonex is the PTX Situational Awareness Tool for Power (PTX SAT-P). The SAT-P provides an all-in-one solution for managing your PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager from your Android phone or tablet.

The app allows users to easily monitor their energy usage in real time and to quickly see key information such as:
• What devices are connected and consuming power?
• What power source is connected and in use?
• How long will the battery last at present rate?

The app also allows users to monitor and update their Power Manager firmware version.

The PTX SAT-P App requires a phone or tablet that will accept an external keypad and is running Android 5.0 or higher, and is available on the Google Play Store at: play.google.com/store/apps/details

For more information about PTX power management systems from Protonex, visit: www.PTXnomad.com

Federal Ammunition Unveils New Enhanced Mobile Ballistics App

Monday, July 9th, 2018

ANOKA, Minnesota – July 9, 2018 – Federal Ammunition’s new enhanced mobile app is a powerful tool to help hunters and shooters streamline and maximize all facets of the shooting experience.

“Technology drives everything at Federal Ammunition,” said Federal Senior Digital Marketing Manager Angie Sullivan. “This all-new app brings a range of advanced tools to one convenient place and allows you to access them even while offline.”

Compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, the new ballistics app features updated ballistic calculator data and the ability to save ballistics, plus updated ammo recommendations and a fresh, new, user-friendly design.

“With the new Federal Ammunition app, hunters and shooters can quickly and easily determine the trajectory for any rifle or handgun load, and save the data for future reference,” Sullivan continued. “Plus, the app allows you to identify which ammunition to use in a variety of shooting situations, locate your closest Federal dealer and find a nearby shooting range where you can enjoy all the benefits of Federal’s industry leading products.”

The ballistics app also offers detailed information on the components and technology that set Federal Premium products apart from other ammunition.

Consumers can get the app through the iTunes Store or Google Play.

Bushnell Launches New Ballistics Calculator App

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

img_6988.jpgOVERLAND PARK, Kansas – March 9, 2018 – Bushnell, an industry leader in high-performance sport optics, announces the release of a new Bushnell Ballistics App powered by the proven and powerful Applied Ballistics Ultralite Engine.

The new Bushnell Ballistics App is a companion app to use with Bushnell riflescopes to calculate firing solutions for ammunition and rifle combinations. The app allows users to use current atmospheric data and AB Laboratory bullet data to calculate the hold-overs needed to make precise shooting solutions.

“The new Bushnell Ballistics App is powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite engine, the most trusted ballistics data-cruncher in the industry,” said Bushnell Marketing Manager Matt Rice. “With a clean and user-friendly interface, this app allows users to easily build and modify gun profiles and build range cards to calculate firing solutions based on their specific scope and ammunition choices. All of our Bushnell scopes and reticles have been pre-loaded, giving users simple ballistic solutions anywhere they go.”

The free app works on both Android and iOS operating systems, and is available on Google Play and the App Store. It is optimized for Bushnell riflescopes and reticles, but is compatible with all optics. Once downloaded, the app functions off the grid, with no cell service required.

The app features AB Connect, which gives users a live library of G1/G7 data as well as the Applied Ballistics Bullet Library with more than 740 pre-loaded bullets. The Bushnell scope library features more than 150 scopes and 30 reticle options. Gun profile management provides up to five saved profiles with reticle-based firing solutions. Plus, multiple target engagement saves up to five targets. Atmospheric data can be updated manually or from the internet when connected. Angle range compensation is also calculated. Range cards can be shared or printed using the Email Range Card Function.

“The new Bushnell Ballistic App puts the power of long-range, first-shot accuracy into the hands of any shooter,” Rice said. “Like all of our products, it was designed to perform in any condition and to offer our consumers true value, with features that far exceed the price—which, in this case, is free!”

To download the app, simply go to Google Play or the App Store and search “Bushnell Ballistics” to get started.

Bushnell, a Vista Outdoor brand, is one of the most recognizable and trusted names in precision hunting, tactical and recreational optics and accessories. For more information, visit www.bushnell.com

NTOA 17 – LeadNav Systems

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

LeadNav Systems Offers off-the-grid navigation to Off-Road Race teams, Search and Rescue Teams, Military and Law Enforcement, as well as Bikers, Hikers and Off-roaders.

The heart of their system is their app. It allows the user to quickly build and edit routes, import existing tracks, and add audio waypoints. In addition to Map Overlays, the system offers access to mensurated offline Aerial Imagery. Current location, along with that of the other members of the team is via a data linked Iridium satellite phone.

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In addition to full equipment packages, LeadNav also offers training.

leadnavsystems.com

Kickstarter – BackCountry Navigator XE: Outdoor GPS On iOS & Android

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

BackCountry Navigator XE is a Kickstarter project for mobile outdoor navigation software. The creator, Nathan Mellor, developed the original BackCountry Navigator app, which has been the #1 Maps & Navigation app on the Google Play Store for the past 6 years. In addition to improving the BackCountry Navigator app with the XE version, it will also be available on both iOS and the Web, in addition to Android.

Feature wise, the BackCountry Navigator XE app will feature a wide selection of maps, including topo maps, marine charts, and aerial photography. Overlays will also be provided, such as BLM Boundary maps, property maps, trail maps, and lake map contours, and offline storage of maps will be facilitated with a grid-based organization.

Additional features will include vector topo maps, cloud-based editing, and sharing of routes via links. Plus, as GPS isn’t tied to cellular and data coverage, users can download required maps and use their mobile devices’ on-board GPS to provide location tracking.

www.kickstarter.com/projects/2016384643/backcountry-navigator-xe-outdoor-gps-on-ios-and-an

SPARTANAT – RangePack – iMessage Sticker Pack

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Range Pack

The “RangePack” is an iMessage Sticker Pack for iOS devices made by TACTICALMEASUREMENTS known from their first app MyRPM. It contains useful stickers for the use at the range. This variety of different calibers, targets and sights are allowing you an easy communication with your friends at the range, your gunsmith or local gun dealer. Just DRAG the sticker into your conversation or on a picture, a other sticker or just to show or point something out. The “RangePack” is an iMessage Sticker Pack for iOS devices made by TACTICALMEASUREMENTS known MyRPM.

Range Pack 2

How it works

After downloading the iMessage Sticker Pack called “RangePack” from the App Store it shows up in your iMessenger. After opening the iMessenger presse the Application button to open your iMessage Sticker Packs and select the RangePack. “explain” – Take a picture of your target, mark your shots and show your problem/score to your friend or gunsmith.

Range Pack 3

RANGEPACK on Facebook: www.facebook.com/iOSRANGEPACK
RANGEPACK on Instagram: www.instagram.com/rangepack
RANGEPACK on iTunes: appsto.re/at/WFEeib.i

tacticalmeasurements.com

www.spartanat.com

TacApps – US Army’s PS Magazine Gets An App

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

The Army has relied on PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly (known as PS Magazine) since 1951 to publish a monthly technical bulletin small enough for Soldiers to carry in their uniform pockets. The magazine delivers concise maintenance information, reports on changes in national stock numbers for repair parts, and sometimes preventive maintenance information that is not yet available in other technical publications.


MSG Half-Mast McCanick shares some PS Magazine facts.

PS Magazine has printed 767 issues in 65 years. But today, the magazine’s readers prefer mobile media over printed publications. That is why PS Magazine has created a mobile app to connect with readers.

The app was demonstrated during the Spring Association of the United States Army symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, where readers were able to access PDFs of January 2014 through March 2016 issues through Apple and Android mobile apps. In June, interactive issues from March through June were added, and issues continue to be added to the app as they are published. The PDF issues within the app load to digital devices much faster than the PDFs from the magazine’s website. Links to URLs and email addresses for points of contact are active, and some articles link to videos.

Information that needs to get to the field fast will be in the app’s hot topics within days of its availability. Other resources that contain long-lasting, useful information, such as ground and aviation guide signals, will be available in app resources.

EMPHASIS ON MAINTENANCE
During the Army’s numerous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, maintenance was often a task performed by civilian contractors. This freed up mechanics and maintainers to increase unit combat power. Now units are spending more time at their home stations, and maintenance is once again the task of the Soldiers who are trained as mechanics, armorers, and communication repairers.

Mid-grade Soldiers may not have much experience in their maintenance specialties. Their company and battalion commanders may not have held weekly battalion maintenance meetings. The Army is pushing to bring maintenance back as a fundamental task for operators, unit maintainers, senior noncommissioned officers, warrant officers, lieutenants, and commanders.

The goal of unit maintenance and sustainment actions is operational readiness, equipment availability, Soldier safety, and maintenance cost reductions. Company and battalion commanders must wrestle with maintenance daily and report on it monthly. Maintenance occurs despite the unit training, formations, taskers from higher headquarters, and the awards, promotions, and disciplinary actions that enhance esprit de corps and unit cohesion. The Army helps maintainers by providing technical manuals (TMs) and bulletins, lubrication orders, modification work orders, and safety of use messages.

However, commanders cannot read all of the TMs for their units’ weapons, vehicles, gear, and equipment. For many maintainers, the length of an operator-level TM is daunting. Further exasperating the efforts of Soldiers returning to a maintenance environment are out-of-date technical publications for which print funding is unavailable.

Worse, some publications have incorrect or missing information. Additionally, Army equipment TMs can be complex. Besides electrical, drive train, and engine components of a vehicle chassis, a separate TM may be required for the main weapon system.

REMAINING RELEVANT
While the magazine is reducing the number of copies it prints, there are no immediate plans to cease printing the publication.

Anecdotal comments by general officers tell us that PS Magazine played an essential role in helping them when they served as platoon leaders and company commanders. Some would read the magazine and then use the information to inspect unit equipment, leaving mechanics to wonder how their leaders knew so much. Others have insisted that operators and maintainers read the magazine not only to help them in their current work but also as a continuing education opportunity.

Experienced maintainers know preventive maintenance cannot be done by memory. Hidden lube points are often overlooked, and there are things that look like lube points but are not supposed to be lubed. There are also drain plugs that should be open sometimes, but not other times. Getting the right tension for tracks on combat vehicles requires specific procedures so that the track is not too loose or too tight.

TMs have more specific information in them than PS Magazine could publish in a year. Nevertheless, the magazine is a tool that can help keep your maintenance know-how current, your equipment running, and your passengers and cargo safe. And Soldiers will find PS to be an easy read; it is direct, concise, and often humorous.

PS Magazine is a tool that belongs in your toolkit. Its information is official and has been approved by equipment proponents. In print or in the mobile app, PS Magazine can go with you wherever you go. The mobile app is available in the Apple App Store and through Google Play.

Jonathan W. Pierce is the supervisory editor of PS Magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland and a master’s of fine arts degree in creative writing from Wilkes University. He is a retired Army master sergeant and a graduate of the Defense Information School Basic Journalism Course, Newspaper Editors Course, and Intermediate Photojournalism Course.

This article was published in the November-December 2016 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.