PR--Newton System for Air Force

CobraBoy (
Mon, 18 Nov 1996 08:15:40 -0800

This announcement is from:


ETEs QuickFlight Wireless and GPS Technologies for Newton Help MITRE
Deliver State-of-the-Art Situation Awareness System to the United States
Air Force

TASR, an Interactive Situation Warning System, to be Demonstrated at

San Diego, CA - November 15, 1996 - In one of the more stunning examples
of the leveraging of Apples pioneering Newton technology, ETE and MITRE
will demonstrate the latest in wireless and navigation technologies on
the new, handheld Apple MessagePad 2000 next week at the Comdex96
exposition in Las Vegas. While the MessagePad 2000 may prove to be a
complete mobile computer for the business professional, with core
applications ranging from e-mail and web access to personal productivity
and desktop connectivity, what ETE and MITRE have done with the Newton
platform adds a completely new dimension to the use of Newton-enabled
handheld devices. Applications designed to date, or under development,
could revolutionize how American military personnel receive critical
information during combat or how civilians are warned at times of natural
disaster, such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, or how police
officers respond to a crime scene or receive time critical traffic

ETE and MITRE will demonstrate at the Apple Newton Pavilion (L4852) in
Las Vegas, a prototype hardware and software system known as TASR or
Tactical Automated Situation Receiver. At the core of TASRs innovative
technology is an Apple Newton processor, a Global Positioning System
receiver, a wireless 2-way radio, MITRE proprietary software and ETEs
proprietary QuickFlight wireless communications software. Developed
jointly with ESC, the Electronic Systems Center of the United States Air
Force, TASR, its creators believe, represents the first in a series of
handheld devices that will incorporate the ultimate portable warning
system that has significate potential to improve hazard avoidance
techniques and protect human life in both military and civilian

Tactical Automated Situation Receiver (TASR)

The TASR system will demonstrate a new concept for disseminating warning
and key situation awareness information to in-field forces over hand-held
devices. Key features of the system include: (1) the broadcast of
information directly to in-field personnel, (2) proprietary processing of
this information for improved mission effectiveness, and (3) display of
relevant information both graphically (show relationship to receiver
location) and textually (for event details) with alarm. This approach
results in rapid dissemination of situation information to broadly
dispersed assets but only provides the relevant information to those who
are affected. The use of broadcast also minimizes bandwidth utilization
and allows silent unit operation. Since graphic representation of spatial
situations is key to understanding them, the in-field units will use
moving maps to aid navigation and provide a reference for information
overlays (e.g. areas where threats are imminent).

TASR Mapping Displays

TASR leverages manually scanned maps, DMA Topographic Line Maps, and
other mapping products to provide maps in several scales. TASR Map
display modes include: (1) moving map centered at user GPS derived
location, (2) stationary map with user GPS position and movement history
plotted, and (3) user selected map region without position plotting.
Scale changes preserve the actively displayed map area for continuity of
reference. The map capability supports entry, editing, and display of way
points along routes as well as navigation points of significance to the
user. Distance and heading from one point to another can be calculated by
touching the point locations on the MessagePad 2000s screen. Cross track
distances from a specified route are calculated at defined and
programmable intervals while the unit is navigating. The actual path
traversed may be displayed and stored automatically for later reference
if desired. Map and situation data will be automatically updated from the
server as units move across the affected event area. In future versions
(once expanded storage on the mobile units is incorporated) map data may
reside within the unit, eliminating the need for communications between
unit and server to provide wide area static map data. An Apple Macintosh
PowerPC will act as the situation server. Specially developed software
will implement the functionality. DMA Compressed Digital Raster Graphic
derived and manually scanned maps will be used for the map underlays.

TASR Field Data Reporting

Two-way communications capabilities permit hand-held units to collect and
report changes (e.g., damaged areas, critical asset locations,
operational status) and key events (e.g., threat position and activity,
chemical/biological events) on the affected region. In addition, unit
position and movement may be monitored at the server and redistributed to
other in-field units. Standard report forms are supported with basic
information already filled in (e.g., unit identity, unit position and
time of report). Event locations distant from the user are specified
using drawing techniques based on map, heading and distance, or known
object selection techniques.

The TASR project contains many integrated, off-the-shelf features of ETEs
QuickFlight Wireless software and its proprietary MobileTrak Automatic
Vehicle Location System, including the QuickFlight Wireless Server, the
MobileTrak Mapping Display Server software, the QuickFlight Wireless
Client for Newton, customized moving map display software as well as
other customized software developed specifically for the TASR/ISR (TASR
Interactive Situation Reporting) project.

ETE's QuickFlight

ETEs QuickFlight Wireless Architecture is the focal point of a
cross-platform wireless software offering which includes software
development kits (SDKs), wireless Transport tools, device drivers, and
wireless agents. ETEs QuickFlight application programming interfaces
(APIs) which promote rapid wireless application development have been
defined for, and an SDK is available for, Macintosh and Newton. A Windows
NT release is expected in early 1997. The commonality of ETEs
cross-platform services promotes the development of wireless applications
for peer-to-peer or client-server environments using todays mixed
hardware systems. QuickFlight allows mobile users to have Internet
access, "direct to desktop" wireless electronic mail, as well as provides
a simple means of access to other business information and interaction
with existing desktop applications. Additionally, the network independent
nature of the QuickFlight API allows desktop computers and mobile devices
to easily transmit and receive data over various wireless data networks.

The Comdex demonstration will take place over the RAM Mobile Data
wireless network using Megahertz Allpoints Wireless PC Cards, a GARMIN
GPS receiver and Apples MessagePad 2000.

MITRE: The MITRE Corporation is an independent, not-for-profit company,
established in 1958, that provides technical support to the federal
government. MITRE Corporation is a systems engineering company dedicated
to serving the public interest. MITRE applies leading edge technology to
some of the most important systems in the world, including our nation's
military command and control, and commercial air traffic control systems.
MITRE employs approximately 4,500 technical and support staff at its
headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts, and northern Virginia, and at
more than 60 sites throughout the world. Website: <>

ESC/USAF: The Electronic Systems Center (ESC) is the Air Force's center
of excellence for the development and acquisition of command, control,
communications, computer, and intelligence systems. ESC is a product
organization of the Air Force Material Command (AFMC) and is located at
Hanscom Air Force Base, MA. ESC develops and acquires systems that
combine computers, radars, information displays, and communication gear.
These systems monitor enemy forces and allow U.S. commanders to make
quick decisions based on the latest information and quickly transmit
those decisions to troops in the field. Among the systems developed by
ESC are the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), the Ballistic
Missile Early Warning System, the North American Aerospace Defense
command center in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, and the Joint Surveillance
Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS). Website:

ETE: Founded in 1993, ETE, Inc., is an integrator, manufacturer and
supplier of software products and patented hardware technology for use in
advanced wireless communications systems worldwide. The companys
activities embrace wireless computing, navigation and communications over
wireless wide area networks (WWAN). The ETE Wireless family of products
includes the QuickFlight wireless software development tools and
applications and MobileTrak, an autonomous automatic vehicle location
(AVL) system. ETE has been developing wireless navigation solutions for
the Newton operating system for over 3 years. Website:

Megahertz, a division of US Robotics, provided the the Allpoints Wireless
PC Cards (wireless radio modems) used in TASR demonstration. Website:

RAM Mobile Data. Data was transmitted wirelessly over the RAM Mobile Data
network, a nationwide, public digital packet data network. Website:

QuickFlight and MobileTrak are trademarks of ETE, Inc. Apple, Newton, and
MessagePad are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other
brand and product names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks
of their respective companies.


"The future masters of technology will have to be lighthearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb." - Marshall McLuhan 1969

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