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The Defense Department’s need for unmanned aircraft continues to increase but the technology to operate them is reaching its limitation.
The automation will increase the number of platforms and missions while minimizing the number of personnel. Fewer pilots will be able to manage several unmanned aircrafts on missions using autonomous fight software. The new technology will also allow large amounts of data to be transmitted to personnel in the US instead of needing onsite analysts.
Initial reports estimate total spending over the next 10 years to be approximately $80 billion.
The military has tested many new technologies in the past and the most recent are iPads and e-books. The main reasons to test these specific types of technologies are for the field manuals. If there any updates in the manuals the iPads or e-books would directly receive the updates reducing printing costs and distribution time.
The military is also testing smart phones. Smart phones have lots of memory, reception, applications and new operating systems. The smart phones are used in during basic training as a learning tool. There are also military affiliated contests for new iPhone Apps. The top 5 winning Apps are: a physical training program, a telehealth mood tracker, a disaster relief application, a movement projection tool for mapping routes and a program to provide information to prospective soldiers.
A huge drawback is the potential risk that the iPads, e-book and Smart Phones could get hacked as other military equipment has in the past.
On November 17th, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) hosted an event to develop stronger working relationship between OSDBU’s Financial Assistance Division, Participating Lenders and Small Business Transportation Resource Centers (SBTRCs).
“We are very excited to have our SBTRCs and Participating Lenders from all over the country here at DOT Headquarters to learn and share ideas to help small businesses obtain working capital. The energy and enthusiasm of today’s event will be channeled to each region, increasing opportunities for small businesses to grow,” remarked Brandon Neal, OSDBU Director.
DOT OSDBU’s Short-Term Lending Program (STLP) helps small businesses gain access to the financing they need to participate in transportation-related contracts. STLP provides certified DBE's and other certified small businesses short term working capital financing at competitive interest rates for DOT or DOT funded contracts and subcontracts. The loan guarantee provides a revolving line of credit for work on transportation-related contracts.