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Lightweight Tactical Client: A Capability-Based Approach to Command Post Computing

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Technical Report

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ARDEC, WSEC, RDAR-WSF-M Picatinny Arsenal

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The technical terms thin client and light client are frequently referenced within the U.S. Army as a means by which to describe the future direction of command post computing architecture. However, the tactical capability of fully disconnected operations a critical Command Post Client requirement cannot be realized through use of a traditional thin client. It is, therefore, critical to extract key capabilities from the definition of a thin client and propose a new term that is not bound to the thin client terminology. This report opens with two definitions of a thin client one offered by industry and another by the U.S. Army. The thin client capabilities that meet the needs of a Command Post Client are then extracted from these definitions. These capabilities are paired with tactical capabilities incompatible with thin client architecture. A new term that bundles these capabilities together is proposed a lightweight tactical client. In order to avoid miscommunication in the future, it is recommended that the term thin client be phased out in favor of the new term or an acceptable equivalent.

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