To help streamline logistics around maintenance and repairs in combat situations, the U.S. Army is about to start field testing Enigma Inc.s 3C software with its eight-wheeled, armored Stryker vehicles.
"The Army wants to reduce its logistics footprint," said John Snow, Enigma vice president of marketing and business development, in an interview with eWEEK.com. "Through use of our software, guys operating the vehicles will be able to perform in-service diagnostics and maintenance, which should lessen the number of times that the vehicle needs to be taken to the logistics depot.
"But if theres an emergency and a part needs to be replaced, a judgment can be made as to whether to send a mechanic out into the field, or whether to bring the vehicle back to the supply depot. It the vehicle is going back to the depot, mechanics there can be ready to go, with the parts already requisitioned."
The Army hopes that Enigmas software will be useful in bringing down a misordered parts rate that currently totals $80 million annually, and in meeting a goal to reduce the number of mechanics by 66 percent, according to Snow.
"Mechanics and field engineers can be very expensive. Anything you can do to make their operations more efficient will have a big financial impact," he said.
Also used by commercial auto making, aerospace, semiconductor and telecommunications firms, Enigmas XML- and SGML-enabled software is designed to aggregate, normalize and index data from PDF, ASCII, RTF and other files, letting customers to pull together Web-assisted electronic "encyclopedias."
Updates to these encyclopedias can be made by DVD, CD-ROM, Web downloads over wireless networks, and through e-mail, Snow said.
In the Stryker, the Enigma-based encyclopedia will initially run on an onboard handheld computer featuring a touch-screen controller and plug-in capability for diagnostic buses.
The Strykers encyclopedia will draw information on parts and maintenance from 50 different technical manuals.
Taking place under the Armys Tactical Logistics Data Digitization (TLDD) Project, the Stryker test represents the third deployment of Enigmas product in a military setting. It will be the first to use version 8 of the software, which introduces a J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition)-enabled n-tier architecture.
The Stryker test will be followed by field tests on the Armys Humvee, HEMTT, and FMTV vehicles, according to Snow. "Were also getting significant interest from other branches of the military," he said.
Editors Note: This story was updated to correct the name and title of John Snow.