Emerging Energy Requirements for Future C4ISR
ARMY NUCLEAR AND CHEMICAL AGENCY FORT BELVOIR VA
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Command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance C4ISR systems already play a fundamental role in todays military operations. Modern C4ISR nodes now process enormous quantities of digital data in real time, allowing all levels of Command to better control the battle space. In future C4ISR, even more sophisticated electronics will be used to acquire, process and distribute information in manned and unmanned platforms and systems. In every case, from the more fixed sites at higher echelons to the very mobile battle space sensors and nodes, C4ISR will have to depend upon an energy source that is safe, reliable, and readily availabletransported worldwide. Desert Storm and the low intensity war in Afghanistan clearly illustrate the enormous logistics costs required to provide readily available hydrocarbon-based fuel to military C4ISR and front line shooters. It would be preferable for the military to carry with them the capability to create all their fuel requirements. Even better, the new energy source should be based upon an inexhaustible natural resource and it should be compatible with current, oil-driven internal combustion engine technology, thus making the transition to the new fuel evolutionary, not revolutionary. The purpose of this article is to identify future military energy requirements, describe how they are driven by fundamental changes in the nations energy policy, and show how the next generation of mobile nuclear power reactors could be used to generate the future energy transfer medium, hydrogen H2, from seawater.
- Non-electrical Energy Conversion
- Nuclear Power Plants and Fission Reactor Engineering