In recent years, you’ve probably seen a couple of photos of tablets and smartphones strapped to the armour of soldiers, especially US Special Forces. The primary app loaded on most of those devices is ATAK or Android Tactical Assault Kit. It allows the soldier to view and share geospatial information, like friendly and enemy positions, danger areas, casualties, etc.
As a way of working with geospatial information, its civilian applications became apparent, such as firefighting and law-enforcement, so CivTAK/ATAK-Civ was created and open sourced in 2020. Since ATAK-Civ was intended for those not carrying military-issued weapons, the acronym magically become the Android Team Awareness Kit.
Many of the currently available plugins are not open source and are only available through the TAK.gov website after agreeing to terms and conditions from the US federal government. Fortunately, this means there is a lot of space for open source alternatives to grow.
A popular option for multicast communication is to set up a free ZeroTier VPN, or any other VPN. For client-server topologies, there are several open source TAK servers available that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi or any other machine, including the official TAK server that was recently open sourced on GitHub.
See The TAK Ecosystem: Military Coordination Goes Open Source
In recent years you’ve probably seen a couple of photos of tablets and smartphones strapped to the armor of soldiers, especially US Special Forces. The primary app loaded on most of those dev…