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Corps Begins Fielding Mobile Satellite Communication System

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

The Corps recently began fielding a next-generation narrowband satellite communication system that assists warfighters in connecting to networks on the battlefield.

Fielded in the first quarter of 2019, the Mobile User Objective System provides satellite communication capabilities to mobile or stationary Marines. The system enables the warfighter to leverage cellular technology to increase access to voice and data communication while using the MUOS network.

“MUOS is another way for warfighters to communicate in a tactical environment,” said Eddie Young, project officer of Multiband Radio II Family of Systems at Marine Corps Systems Command. “The system brings SATCOM capabilities in various formats to Marines.”

The MUOS capability encompasses updated firmware to the AN/PRC-117G radio system and one of three antenna kits. The antennas help Marines simultaneously access SATCOM networks and gives them secure and nonsecure internet access. MUOS also improves overall reliability in urban environments, challenging vegetation and other arduous conditions.

“MUOS is essentially software and an antenna capability augmenting existing hardware,” said Noah Slemp, systems engineer at MCSC. “It’s similar to adding an application to a cellphone.”

The first service to widely employ MUOS, the Corps is deploying thousands of antenna kits for the AN/PRC-117G radio system and hundreds of diplexers that enable vehicular systems to access MUOS satellites.

“The Marine Corps is leading all services in terms of getting MUOS to warfighters,” said Young.

Satellite communication has become increasingly important for the Corps in the 21st century. According to the Department of Defense, more than 50 percent of DOD satellite communication involves narrowband communication. Yet, this form of communication accounts for less than 2 percent of the DOD’s bandwidth, making it an efficient way to transmit information.

MUOS is particularly important because the SATCOM infrastructure of the legacy system is nearing its expiration, said Slemp. As a result, the Corps intends to incrementally replace the older capabilities with the MUOS waveform, enabling more Marines to access ultra-high frequency tactical satellite communications.

Prior to fielding MUOS, MCSC had to demonstrate to the Milestone Decision Authority that the system was safe, met technical performance and was ready to use by the warfighter. Since MUOS’s Field User Evaluation in 2017, Marines have raved about the benefits of the system.

“Our Marines find MUOS useful in completing their missions,” said Young. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback thus far.”

The efforts of Young’s team in getting the system out to the warfighter have not gone unnoticed. In May 2018, at a Narrowband Working Group conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Joint Staff J6 and the DOD Chief Information Officer recognized Young and Slemp for leading the services in employing MUOS.

The J6 and DOD CIO also emphasized the joint effort between the Multiband Radio II team and the Naval Information Warfare Center in using the Multiple Reconfigurable Training Systems, an interactive training aid that will be used to assist in the rapid fielding of MUOS.

“It was motivating to see that we were recognized for our efforts, because the team had put in a considerable amount of time and effort to make this happen,” said Young. “We recognize the warfighter needs this capability, and we’ve done everything we can to get it to them in a timely manner.”

Story by Matt Gonzales, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

Photos by LCpl Jason Monty, LCpl Tawanya Norwood & Eddie Young.

Cubic Awarded Contract to Develop Small Form Factor Radio for US Air Force

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Cubic Mission Solutions to deliver and demonstrate low-risk solution for Data Link Enterprise small form factor radio capability 

SAN DIEGO – June 10, 2019 – Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) today announced its Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS) business division was awarded a delivery order from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for the development and demonstration of a Small Form Factor (SFF) Radio prototype for the Data Link Enterprise (DLE). The system is composed of one ground and one air component for improved communications capability, providing ground-to-air and air-to-ground real-time communications.

Cubic’s state-of-the-art solution is a lightweight, airborne and ground radio system delivering SFF capability in the most compact tactical radio prototype. In addition to a number of standard waveforms, Cubic’s system will demonstrate an internally developed, protected waveform known as “Boomslang.”

“We are very pleased to have been competitively selected by the USAF to develop and demonstrate our cutting-edge small form factor radio solution for the DLE,” said Mike Twyman, president, Cubic Mission Solutions. “Our system design is based on proven and mature technologies which we have implemented for a number of successful Department of Defense programs. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to provide the lowest risk and most capable solution for the DLE.”

Cubic’s SFF technical approach focuses on an architecture maximizing functionality and performance while minimizing the system’s size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) for both the ground and airborne systems. Cubic’s offering is modular, scalable and affordable with plug and play, open standard interfaces meeting Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) requirements.

“With decades of experience in developing systems for airborne and ground platforms, we are able to deliver a cost-effective solution, leveraging enhanced off-the-shelf technologies to build a prototype that will be ready for fielding in future follow on efforts,” said James Parys, program director, Cubic Mission Solutions.

CANSEC 19 – ICOM Common Operational Awareness Situational Application for Use with ATAK

Friday, May 31st, 2019

The new Common Operational Awareness Plug-In App for the Android Tactical Assault Kit From ICOM enhances situational awareness with Coalition Forces.

It integrates seamlessly into ATAK, offering real-time S/A as well as AES Encryption. Additionally, COA is compatible with Icom’s F3400D / F4400D Series, radios by US and Coalition Forces.

www.icomamerica.com

Rampart Range Day 19 – Hyperspike Acoustic Hailing Device

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

The Hyperspike Acoustic Hailing Device is a self-contained, lightweight (37 lbs), portable acoustic hailer for communicating long distances and penetrating high background noice. In fact, the 148 dB SPL peak acoustic output offers a range of up to 1500m with a beam width of +/- 12 deg. The frequency range is 300 Hz – 8 kHz, optimized for human voice. The user has the option of pre-recording a message of up to 16 GB in size or use a patch cable for external storage devices.

Hyperspike is available in Canada from Rampart International.

SOFIC 19 – Power Reaper Scavenging System from Black Diamond Advanced Technology

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

The BDATech Power Reaper allows users to recharge system batteries while simultaneously powering a BDATech hub system. The Power Reaper can charge the main battery under a variety of different conditions from multiple types of power sources including vehicle, battery, solar cell, or wall adapter.

www.bdatech.com

SOF Select 19 – AMP Fixed Downlead by Ops-Core

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

The Ops-Core Adaptive mission platform communications headset was recently selected by USSOCOM for issue (left in photo).

There’s a new version now available. It features a permanently fixed downlead and comes with a headband installed making it the first effect replacement for many legacy comms headsets.

Offered in all AMP colors, with or without Near Field Magnetic Induction earplugs and different cable connectors.

shop.gentexcorp.com/ops-core-amp-communication-headset-fixed-downlead

SOFIC: Persistent Systems Announces Hands-Free Full Duplex Audio

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

MPU5 users can now communicate continuously without having to push-to-talk

NEW YORK, New York. – May 21, 2019 – Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today that it has introduced a Full Duplex Audio capability to its MPU5 mobile ad hoc network radio, which will be exhibited at the upcoming Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), in Tampa, Fla.

With this new Full Duplex Audio capability, MPU5 users can now speak freely to each other, as if on intercom system, without having to push-to-talk each time they want to communicate. The Full Duplex Audio is multicast across the MANET enabling users to communicate continuously even in complex multi-hop topologies.

“MPU5 users are often in situations that require the use of both hands, such as holding a weapon, operating a vehicle, working with tools, and communicating with their team, all at the same time,” said Eric Stern, Director of Engineering for Persistent. “We built the Full Duplex Audio capability so users can communicate with their team hands-free and maintain functionality for other critical tasks.”

To activate the Full Duplex Audio capability, MPU5 users need only double-tap both buttons on Persistent’s Dual Push-to-Talk (PTT), and they are good to go until the capability is similarly turned off. While Full Duplex is enabled, users can still Push-to-Talk on the Dual-PTT to communicate on other talk groups. The Full Duplex capability works alongside the traditional push-to-talk functionality (not in place of it).

The Full Duplex Audio capability works best with stereo headsets from TEA (Television Equipment Associates, Inc.), which has collaborated with Persistent in developing a fully supported product for MPU5 users.

“For 50 years now, our mission at TEA has been to provide customers with the best communication ancillaries available anywhere in the market today,” said Jeffrey L. Norment, President of TEA Headsets. “By partnering with Persistent Systems and leveraging their vast capabilities and experience within the tactical radio networking arena, TEA continues to supply military personnel with the customized hearing protection they need while being able to maintain communications.” 

The Full Duplex functionality is available as a Technology Preview in Persistent’s 19.4 firmware which is available to all MPU5 customers. For more information on Full Duplex Audio, come by Persistent’s SOFIC booth (1712) at the Tampa Convention Center, on May 20-23, or visit our website: www.persistentsystems.com.

Persistent Systems Uses TEA Headsets For MPU5 Radios

Monday, May 20th, 2019

The Persistent Systems – TEA Headsets collaboration combines TEA’s long history of providing advanced tactical headsets and communication products to specialized teams in the  Department of Defense with Persistent Systems ®cutting-edge Wave Relay MANET Technology®. We are proud to provide these advanced tactical headset solutions in support of the SOF mission.

The unique HTH T1-Auto Switching- O2 customized headset can be used for a number of tactical scenarios and can take advantage of the Full Duplex capability of the MPU5 radio. The Auto switching function incorporates specially designed circuitry that allows the user to seamlessly switch between the boom microphone or O2 gas mask microphone without having to change, disconnect and reconnect the boom microphone.

“For 50 years now, our mission at TEA has been to provide customers with the best communication ancillaries available anywhere in the market today. By collaborating with Persistent Systems, leveraging their vast capabilities and experience within the tactical radio networking arena TEA continues to supply military personnel with the customized hearing protection they need while being able to maintain communications,” says Jeffrey L. Norment, President of TEA Headsets.