Quantico Tactical

Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

Warrior East 17 – INVISIO Overview

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

I know it seems a bit odd to post about Warrior East, but this video, with an overview of INVISIO’s offerings, was just released.


AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2017: Panasonic Toughbook and Tablet

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Panasonic’s Toughbook lineup is ubiquitous on the battlefield, dating back to the CF-27 series laptop.  The venerable CF-31 and CF-19 laptops are subcomponents of numerous C4ISR systems fielded by DoD and allied forces.

The new CF-33 and CF-20 are the replacements for the CF-31 and CF-19 and feature detachable screens for use as tablets.  The screens have proprietary Panasonic technology to allow use with almost any sort of glove to include NBC and cold weather gloves.

The FZ-X1 Tough Tablet is a 5″ Android tablet that’s rated to 30 minutes submersion, 10 foot drops, and operation down to -4F.    Both touchscreen and programmable hardware hot-keys allow access to any application. Of particular note is the user replaceable battery, allowing for a long service life.  Business card for scale.





Rear.  Of note, the camera module can be replaced with a bar code scanner.


The CF-20 and CF-33 are 10.1″ and 12″ laptops with detachable screens.  The keyboard base functions as a docking and port base as well as home for additional battery power.  The signature front mount carry handle of the Toughbook line has been moved the rear to serve as a stabilizer when the screen is tilted back now that most of the “guts” have been moved into the detachable screen section.


The CF-31 will remain in legacy production for the near-term to fulfill existing requirements but expect it to be phased out after another hardware refresh cycle.

Finally, the Toughpad FZ-M1 7″ Windows tablet is available along with the larger Toughpad FZ-G1  10″ tablet.  A matching pair of Android based tablets are also available.  The devices are fully ruggedized and targeted at medical and maintenance applications.


A full line of Windows and Linux drivers and APIs are available directly from Panasonic to allow customized application from a single vendor with the complete TDP.

Panasonic Business Solutions


AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2017: Samsung and Juggernaut

Monday, August 14th, 2017


Spotted in the Samsung suite at AFCEA TechNet 2017 were these mounts and cases by Juggernaut for the new ruggedized Samsung lineup.


Wrist Mount

The Wrist Mount can hold most Juggernaut cases and uses a BOA fastener to quickly adjust tension.


Chest Mount

The chest mount uses a hinged polymer PALS panel that allows the device’s viewing angle to be adjusted or fully stowed and closed.  Of note is  that the hinge uses a blackened stainless steel pin for durability.

ChestOpen  ChestClosed

Knee/Thigh Mount

Finally, Juggernaut offers a thigh mount case for tablets.  Here is the ruggedized case for Galaxy Tab series Android tablet.  This would be particularly useful for forward observers, communicators, and during vehicular insertion in low-profile vehicles.


Juggernaut Case

Samsung Knox



INVISIO Awarded Two-Year Contract from the US Department of Defense and Receives First Order of USD 7.4 million

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

INVISIO (IVSO) has been awarded a two-year IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity) contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for communication and hearing protection systems. The award is for up to USD 13 million and the first order has been received for USD 7.4 million. Initial deliveries are expected to take place in 2017. This is the first direct award for the INVISIO US subsidiary since it’s formulation in late 2016.

The DoD has awarded INVISIO a two-year contract for the supply of advanced communications and hearing protection systems to American forces. The INVISIO systems provide enhanced communication capabilities in noisy environments while protecting the users hearing, which gives operational benefits and increased security for the users.


Army bans use of a COTS UAS system

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Urgent operational usage of commercial electronic equipment is nothing new.  Early in the GWOT, FRS “walkie talkie” equipment was frequently purchased by individual troops or with unit funds to address a shortage of comms at the squad level.  Later, theater orders were issued prohibiting their usage due to grievous OPSEC/COMSEC issues and this shortfall was addressed with TPE (theater provided equipment) issue of ICOM and other commercial radio systems.

In a similar vein,  Army organizations have procuring  commercial hobbyist UAV systems to provide situational awareness and ISR capabilities “on the cheap.”   However, such systems introduce a multitude of operational and cyber vulnerabilities.   For the most common systems made by DJI, telemetry, audio, video, and locational data  is sent back by default to the Chinese manufacturer.

On 2 August, the US Army prohibited the use of DJI drones:






WASHINGTON, DC 20310-0400



2 August 2017

SUBJECT: Discontinue Use of Dajiang Innovation (DJI) Corporation Unmmaned Aircraft Systems

1. References:

a. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) report, “DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities,” dated 25 May 2017 (Classified).

b. Navy memorandum, “Operational Risks with Regards to DJI Family of Products,” dated 24 May 2017.

2. Background: DJI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) products are the most widely used non-program of record commercial off-the-shelf UAS employed by the Army. The Army Aviation Engineering Directorate has issued over 300 separate Airworthiness Releases for DJI products in support of multiple organizations with a variety of mission sets. Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products. This guidance applies to all DJI UAS and any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, but not limited to, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GPS units, handheld control stations, or devices with DJI software applications installed.

3. Direction: Cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media from devices, and secure equipment for follow on direction.

4. Point of Contact: Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7 Aviation Directorate, 703-693-3552

Lieutenant General, GS
Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7

Exploitation of data collected by these drones can provide an adversary with a inductive picture of friendly force operations, locations, and tempo.  Much like watching surges in pizza deliveries to headquarters buildings at night, an adversary can infer forward operations by spikes in data traffic.

While the technical specifics are beyond the scope and span of SSD, this decision is still quite relevant to our readership.

For further information, check out this article from our peers at SUASnews.

Warrior East 2017 – Thales Body Conformal Antenna

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Thales developed this Body Conformal Antenna as part of the Soldier Radio program.

It is PALS compatible and the Antenna whip will bend on one axis to conform to your kit. It is safety certified for use worn against the human body and weighs just 9oz.  The Antenna works in 225-450 MHz, 1250-1390 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz. The gain while body worn is -10 to -4 dBi and -5 to 1 dBi in free space. The VSWR < 3.0 for more than 95% of freqs, max < 3.5.

Warrior East 2017 – LBT Vented Comms Pack

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

LBT designed the Vented Comms Pack to help overcome radio overheating. Some radios in hunmid environs have become so hot that they’ve melted fabric. The VCP features two roll down flaps with removable mesh windows. Additionally, the rear panel, constructed of HANK, can be unzipped for additional ventilation.

The zippered top flap incorporates a softshell pocket and cable routing slots. The side panels are also constructed of HANK with laser cut PALS slots. There are two antenna holsters made from softshell along each side panel. Finally, the pack can be worn alone but will fit an ALICE frame for added stability.


Beartooth Radio | Off Grid Squad Comms

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

With Beartooth, users can talk, text, and find their friends on a map, all without cellular service or Wi-Fi. Whether your mission is coordinating a tactical team or skiing fresh powder in the backcountry, you can now reliably stay in contact with your squad in ways that were previously unavailable. Beartooth is available for sale at price of $249 per pair, with discounts for larger squads.

Unlike traditional handheld radios that are cumbersome and difficult to use, Beartooth uses the familiar intuitive graphical user interface of the smartphone to quickly and simply connect with other Beartooth users in range. No need to worry about confusing channel settings, radio protocols, and button sequences. All of Beartooth’s powerful functionality is available at the touch of a finger in a format easily recognizable to the user. Download the app, pair the device, and go explore.

“Beartooth was born in Bozeman on a powder day at the legendary Bridger Bowl Ski Area. My ski partner, company cofounder Kevin Ames, and I were separated with no cell service. After several hours we finally re-connected and immediately started working on a solution,” said Michael Monaghan, Beartooth CEO and cofounder. “Kevin is former smokejumper and radio communications operator who spent his career working in environments with no cellular or Wi-Fi service. It was natural to enable the smartphone carried daily in our pocket to communicate off grid.”

Beartooth has the following specifications:
• 62mm x 101mm x 12mm | 2.43in x 3.98in x 0.49in
• 130g | 4.5oz
• 3000 mAh Li-ion battery.
• USB micro charge port.
• 902 to 928 license-free bands
• Works with iOS and Android Phones.
Beartooth also offers a number of unique features:
• Individual and group push-to-talk voice. Stay connected to your friends without the network, for up to two miles.
• Individual and group text messaging with confirmation notices.
• Automatic or on-demand GPS location sharing to find your friends on a map.
• Offline maps: High quality 24k topographic and street maps, powered by MapBox.
• Battery backup: Beartooth packs enough power to recharge your smartphone and still deliver an entire day of usage.

Beartooth is currently shipping to customers in the US and Canada.