For actual classified applications, the NSA (which provides solutions downstream to DoD and other groups) is already trying to standardize on a highly customized version of Windows CE built by General Dynamics that runs on XScale processors with NSA specific modifications. Some publicly visible applications of this stack are the Sectera Edge (the phone that replaced Obamas Blackberry) and the DTD2000.
Windows CE will become the very dominant winner in the mobile platform space because of this. :)
What I would be surprised about is whether it's usable without needing 7 different contractor apps installed, or less than 3 years behind the times.
What they typically do is write the specs to an existing product sometimes it is laughable really, you can tell exactly the product they mean without them actually mentioning its name. That is one way to put out bids that on paper look open and not tied to a particular vendor but in practice they are.
The other way is to do a pie in the sky kind of write-up. We want something that does everything and we're requesting quotes for it. That is silly as well.
And I was under the impression that Apps 4 Army was built for iOS first. Does that mean iOS will now 'win' ?
The US navy wants to use (near) commercial android devices. These might be used to display confidential reports (as in a normal buisness), but may also be used to control the ship.
The navy already have secure versions of Linux and Windows, and want something similar for android.
This will take the form of additional security layers, similar to the ones the NSA did for Linux.
Some of them will be made commercially available, hopefully increasing security to the whole platform. If this included e.g. application sandboxing, you can see that it would be of general interest, particularly to people with similar needs (Android based control terminal for a power station, or sys admin wants to roll out policy to coorp devices).
Android is becoming the default embedded OS for a lot of UI, so it's really nice to see this.
Clearly it is a good idea, but I don't think it really makes sense for the Navy to do it for themselves. Isn't this more the sort of thing the NSA should be doing on the behalf of everyone else in government?
They named a ship after Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, after all, and even today their Virginia-class SSNs already use Linux in some areas.
And God only forbid you drop one of those mobiles in the bilge...
There are just so damn many things that need to be logged and tracked on paper and that don't have anything to do with [reactor operations, SUBSAFE, emergency/DC procedures]. If you can reduce the stacks of binders and/or manuals, and also improve process compliance, it would be well worth the effort.
In all seriousness though, I forgot how premium physical space is on a submarine, this makes sense to me!
I would be curious to hear the results of Phase I and of course look at the framework they use to extend the Android OS.
Why not try to commit the Security extensions into the Android project?
It can happen, but is rare, that they would fund nothing on a topic in the solicitation.
And as you say, compelling results out of the SBIR work can lead to follow-on work that is >> $1MM.
The short of it is, the Navy is interested in this topic, and if you have a small tech business with innovative ideas in this space there is a great funding opportunity here for you to advance your tech and grow your business.
I'd be surprised if they didn't have access to all of the code for pretty much every Windows product for example.
The intent of the program is to drive technology development and new business creation and spur innovation in areas to meet identified national needs (in this case a need by the Navy).
The higher the level of the customer (the more authority they have) the more flexible they are. Some lower level labs don't really have much of a choice but accept a standard boiler plate set of certification stamps.
I can't speak to ERP but I'd be surprised if it were any worse than our existing menagerie of mainframe-based "corporate data" systems that run batch transactions once a day and require tedious manual correction seemingly all the time.