Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

Spectra Group (UK) Ltd to exhibit SlingShot tactical communications system for the first time at IDEX 2019

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Spectra Group (UK) Ltd is an internationally renowned specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, specifically optimized for use in remote and challenging environments.  Following significant interest from the Middle East and Asia, particularly regarding their battle-winning SlingShot tactical communications system, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd will this year be exhibiting at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, for the first time.  

IDEX is the only international defence exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and takes place 17-21 February 2019 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).  IDEX showcases the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defence, providing a strategically important opportunity for Spectra to exhibit their unique SlingShot tactical communications system.  Spectra Group (UK) Ltd will be located at stand number 05-C03 in the British Pavilion.

Spectra’s SlingShot is a small appliqué that provides in-service tactical VHF and UHF radios with a Beyond Line of Sight Communications on The Move capability (BLOS COTM).  In addition to standard voice and data C2, SlingShot can facilitate a wide range of capabilities such as remote biometric analysis, fire mission planning, remote tracking, border security and inter-agency operations.  Man-portable or vehicle-borne (land sea and air), useable on the move, delivering flexible channel leasing and with minimal increase in training-burden, SlingShot redefines tactical communication capabilities.

Recent world-wide exhibits of SlingShot have been met with substantial international interest. Considerable excitement has been generated over SlingShot’s capability to significantly extend the range of in-service tactical radio systems, without the need for users to buy new radio systems, carry additional bulky equipment or conduct extensive additional training.

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group said: “Spectra is very excited to be exhibiting for the first time at IDEX 2019.  We intend to maximize this fantastic opportunity to establish and deepen relationships with Partners, regional government departments, defence and security agencies and international businesses.” He added, “We are especially delighted to be able to exhibit SlingShot in the MENA region as a further opportunity to follow up on the significant amount of interest that has already been generated in the system.”

Spectra will be showcasing the SlingShot tactical communications system on Stand 05-C03 in the British Pavilion.

www.spectra-group.co.uk

Persistent Systems And Partners Launch Wave Relay Ecosystem

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Wave Relay® Ecosystem is first industry alliance to deliver a networked battlefield to the warfighter

NEW YORK, N.Y.— Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today the launch of the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, an alliance of unmanned systems and sensor companies working together to deliver a true networked battlefield to warfighters.

Ecosystem partners, such as Insitu (a Boeing Company), QinetiQ North America, Endeavor Robotics, MartinUAV, and many more, are building products that seamlessly operate on the Wave Relay® mobile ad hoc network (MANET), allowing warfighters to carry less equipment and do more through connected devices on a single, unified network.

In the past, unmanned systems were stove-piped with unique datalinks, modems, and controllers, which soldiers had to carry and operate. This created unnecessary burden and complexity and limited the information flow from the unmanned system solely to the system operator. By integrating all of these systems onto a common network, the information produced by the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) can be consumed by anyone on the team. This is essentially the definition of a “capability multiplier.”

“The needs of the warfighter are at the center of the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, and furthermore the networked battlefield,” said Nick Naioti, Vice President of Business Development for Persistent. “Our product portfolio heavily focuses on reducing SWaP and lowering the burden on the warfighter, so they can focus on the mission at hand. The Ecosystem furthers that effort by reducing information overload, enabling the systems and sensors to talk to each other on a common network. This creates a foundation to support machine-to-machine communication where data can be fused into actionable intelligence.”

Industry leaders have come together to meet the long-standing need to have people, unmanned systems, and sensors operating on a common battlefield network. All products available in the Ecosystem operate on the Wave Relay® MANET, the only network that has been demonstrated to scale beyond 320 nodes. The Wave Relay® Ecosystem website provides information on which products are supported, making it extremely easy for users to find products they know will seamlessly operate on their existing Wave Relay® MANET.

The Wave Relay® Ecosystem has six formally announced partners as of today. Partners receive unprecedented support from Persistent to ensure proper integration as well as programmatic support in pursuit of government programs of record.

“The Wave Relay® Ecosystem is a massive initiative at Persistent, supported by internal funding and organizational structure. People come to work every day to ensure that our Ecosystem partners are successful. We are working diligently with the leading manufacturers of unmanned systems and sensors to create the future,” said Dr. Herbert Rubens, CEO of Persistent Systems.

The Ecosystem facilitates the needs of the future-friendly networked battlefield where everyone and everything operates on the same network. Teams have access to every platform’s capabilities through the integrated Android™ computer available on every Wave Relay®-enabled device, providing users with the option to drive any UGV, fly any UAV, steer any camera, and operate any sensor from a single device.

The Wave Relay® Ecosystem website houses all partner’s available Wave Relay®-enabled products, highlighting key features such as externally accessible RF modules and Wave Relay® as standard equipment. Users can see all partner products that will seamlessly integrate into their existing Wave Relay® MANET.

For information on available Wave Relay®-enabled UGVs, UAVs, sensors or joining the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, please visit:www.persistentsystems.com/ecosystem

SHOT Show 19 – Team Wendy C2 Comms Controller

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Team Wendy has introduced a new communications system called C2 or Comms Controller.

They partnered with a leader in the communications industry to create a proprietary designed in-ear communications system that serves as a solid complement to their helmet system. The initial focus of the system will be for SAR communities.

C2 consists of in-ear headset, control box, dual comm splitter, Motorola APX adapter, and Smartphone adapter.

C2 not only offers dual comm capability with independant volume and push-to-talk, but also a noise re-education rating of 25dB. It also incorporates impulse noise protection and extended sound localization.

It operates for 40 hours on a AAA battery as well as drawing power from the radio.

C2 is intended for use by LE, first responder and SAR teams. As you can see, it is available with a PALS compatible chest rig which will carry a radio as well as other items.

The front can easily be dropped forward to access checklists, admin items or even smartphones.

The rear yoke offers attachment for other items as well.

Hi-Threat Headset Price Reduction from TEA Headsets – Booth 7008

Monday, January 21st, 2019

TEA Headsets is excited to announce that we are now offering a price reduction for our most popular headset, the Hi-Threat (HTH) while continuing to provide our Special Operation Customers the same outstanding quality and performance!

Hi-Threat (HTH) – Tier 1

The HTH or Hi-Threat Headset is specifically designed to meet the demands and intensity of Tier 1 operators and special operations teams. For over a decade the HTH continues to be one of our most popular dual ear boom headsets.

The HTH features Combat Noise Suppression technology that protects the operator’s hearing against damaging noises they’re exposed to during combat. In addition to providing certified hearing protection, the HTH has adjustable and amplifiable electronic hearing that allows operators to maintain 360° battlefield awareness.

Our Tier 1 version of the HTH also includes a ballistic and submersible Noise Canceling boom microphone that can provide compatibility with multiple communication platforms such as 2-way radios, vehicle/aircraft/watercraft ICS systems. Depending on your requirement we offer a variety of microphone options to choose from.

The new version of the Hi-Threat Headset provides users the broadest compatibility with new and legacy helmets on the market. The new slim headband design allows for standalone use, wear underneath helmets and can easily be removed and replaced with an adapter for mounting to rail on helmets.

FEATURES

Enhanced 360° electronic hearing

Headband version fits under new or legacy helmets

Can be adapted to mount directly to the helmet

Provides certified hearing protection

Multiple boom mic options

Available in multiple colors, including Multicam

Single or dual cable down-leads

Submersible versions available

www.teaheadsets.com

Persistent Systems and Partners launch Wave Relay Ecosystem

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Wave Relay® Ecosystem is first industry alliance to deliver a networked battlefield to the warfighter

NEW YORK, N.Y.—January 15, 2019—Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today the launch of the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, an alliance of unmanned systems and sensor companies working together to deliver a true networked battlefield to warfighters.

Ecosystem partners, such as Insitu (a Boeing Company), QinetiQ North America, Endeavor Robotics, MartinUAV, and many more, are building products that seamlessly operate on the Wave Relay® mobile ad hoc network (MANET), allowing warfighters to carry less equipment and do more through connected devices on a single, unified network.

In the past, unmanned systems were stove-piped with unique datalinks, modems, and controllers, which soldiers had to carry and operate. This created unnecessary burden and complexity and limited the information flow from the unmanned system solely to the system operator. By integrating all of these systems onto a common network, the information produced by the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) can be consumed by anyone on the team. This is essentially the definition of a “capability multiplier.”

“The needs of the warfighter are at the center of the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, and furthermore the networked battlefield,” said Nick Naioti, Vice President of Business Development for Persistent. “Our product portfolio heavily focuses on reducing SWaP and lowering the burden on the warfighter, so they can focus on the mission at hand. The Ecosystem furthers that effort by reducing information overload, enabling the systems and sensors to talk to each other on a common network. This creates a foundation to support machine-to-machine communication where data can be fused into actionable intelligence.”

Industry leaders have come together to meet the long-standing need to have people, unmanned systems, and sensors operating on a common battlefield network. All products available in the Ecosystem operate on the Wave Relay® MANET, the only network that has been demonstrated to scale beyond 320 nodes. The Wave Relay® Ecosystem website provides information on which products are supported, making it extremely easy for users to find products they know will seamlessly operate on their existing Wave Relay® MANET.

The Wave Relay® Ecosystem has six formally announced partners as of today. Partners receive unprecedented support from Persistent to ensure proper integration as well as programmatic support in pursuit of government programs of record.

“The Wave Relay® Ecosystem is a massive initiative at Persistent, supported by internal funding and organizational structure. People come to work every day to ensure that our Ecosystem partners are successful. We are working diligently with the leading manufacturers of unmanned systems and sensors to create the future,” said Dr. Herbert Rubens, CEO of Persistent Systems.    

The Ecosystem facilitates the needs of the future-friendly networked battlefield where everyone and everything operates on the same network. Teams have access to every platform’s capabilities through the integrated Android™ computer available on every Wave Relay®-enabled device, providing users with the option to drive any UGV, fly any UAV, steer any camera, and operate any sensor from a single device.

The Wave Relay® Ecosystem website houses all partner’s available Wave Relay®-enabled products, highlighting key features such as externally accessible RF modules and Wave Relay® as standard equipment. Users can see all partner products that will seamlessly integrate into their existing Wave Relay® MANET.

For information on available Wave Relay®-enabled UGVs, UAVs, sensors or joining the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, please visit: www.persistentsystems.com/ecosystem

 

The Digital Message Device Group

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Not long after ET used a modified Speak & Spell to phone home, select units within the US Army were using the OA-8990/P Digital Message Device Group (aka KY-879/P) to communicate.

I used the DMDG from the late 80s up until the mid-90s while assigned to both 3rd ID LRS and in 3rd SFG(A) on a SOT-A.

Manufactured by Racal Communications, it was a burst transmission device. Messages were formatted and encrypted via one-time pad and then entered into the device via the keyboard. The dot matrix screen could be backlit but was used only with caution so as not to give away the user’s location at night. Although, the nylon cover could be configured to partially conceal the screen from three sides, the glow reflecting off of the user’s face was noticeable, especially if he was wearing glasses.

The DMDG sent a digital burst signal when used primarily in conjunction with HF radios. Initially these were the AN-PRC-74 and 70, but I only ever used the device with the AN/PRC-104A and 132. It could also used with SATCOM systems such as the AN/PSC-3, AN/LST-5 and AN/MST-20.

In the photo at the top, you can see the cables used to connect the DMDG to the radio as well as an external battery such as the Magnesium BA-4386 (also used in the AN/PRC-77) which only provided about four hours of power.

The combination of burst transmission and HF comms was intended to thwart threat radio direction finding efforts but the baud rate was so slow (266.6 baud), messages took a really long time to transmit. At that speed, you could only transmit 27 characters a second on HF. For SATCOM shots, you could speed it up to 1200 baud but satellite time wasn’t as prevalent during the 80s and 90s.

During an International (NATO) LRRP exercise in the late 80s, I learned that the Dutch 104th Reconnaissance Co used the MA-4450 Message Entry and Read-Out Device. The MEROD looked like the DMDG, but offered onboard encryption.

By the mid-90s we began to transition to the AN/PRC-137 Special Mission Radio System which was much smaller and lighter than earlier radios and used a palmtop Data Messaging Device to transmit messages via a radio which could be queried by a base station for message traffic. When used for Special Reconnaissance missions this allowed to communicator to leave the radio a safe distance from the element. This combined with much faster data transfer rates greatly lowered the risk of threat direction finding.

The DMDG is now a relic of the Cold War. Today, handheld cellular devices provide more capability than we could carry just two decades ago. Communicators use a variety of multi-band devices which offer onboard encryption as well as data transfer rates high enough to provide live video feeds using waveforms which boast low probability of detection and intercept.

What Do You Bet He’s A Lieutenant?

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

OSS Detachment 202 radio crew with hand-crank generator and hash pipe. China, 1944.

Joint Communications Support Element Provides Support To Global Response Force

Friday, December 21st, 2018

CHITOSE, Japan — Whether on a hill, in a dale or on a dusty trail, battlefield communications are essential to every service member no matter their location. Be it the individual service member in the field to the pilot flying the jet, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely is extremely important during times of conflict.

Not doing so could be the difference between life or death.

IC1 Jonathan Kelly and IC1, 1st Squadron, Joint Communications Support Element check a communications satallite dish on Camp Higashi-Chitose, Japan during exercise Yama Sakura, Dec. 12, 2018

As communication technologies advance and the tools used to intercept these technologies grow more elaborate, the need for proper battlefield-communications techniques becomes evermore important

Established units have specific processes already in place to meet their communications needs, however, when it comes to deploying units to locations lacking an established communication framework, many call upon outside agencies to supplement these needs.

One team commanders call on to do this is the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), part of Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC), which falls under the U.S. Transportation Command and provides mission-specific, joint capabilities to combatant commanders needed to facilitate accelerated establishment of joint force headquarters, fulfill Global Response Force execution and bridge joint operational requirements.

“What sets us apart here at the JCSE, is that we provide an essential skill set that allows commands to work efficiently and effectively until they are able to bring up their own capabilities in order to sustain themselves,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Jonathan L. Kelly, 1st Joint Communications Squadron Team Chief.

Comprised of both an active and reserve components – of three active duty squadrons, two Air-National Guard squadrons and one Army reserve squadron – the JCSE enables both tactical and strategic communications. This is done by providing rapidly deployable, scalable, en-route and early-entry communications capabilities across the full gamut of operations enabling increased action of the joint force in support of the 10 combatant commands, special operations commands and other agencies, as directed.

“We are the embodiment of the total force and for this reason our units routinely exercise and deploy together, making for an effective team capable of meeting a wide range of mission-critical demands and tasks,” said Kelly.

At the heart of the unit’s core competency is its communications support for contingency operations. Using the latest technologies, JCSE is a tactical unit with the ability to operate at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. In addition, the element has the skill sets needed to support broader Joint Task Force operations ranging anywhere from 40 to 1500 network users.

“Here at the JCSE, we use the latest technologies in order to meet today’s operational requirements while also keeping up with the units’ wide-range mission requirements,” said Kelly. “We ensure our members are well trained communicators ready to deploy at any given moment.”

Today, the element has service members deployed to locations all around the world, covering a wide range of missions, including a team currently deployed to Higashi-Chitose, Japan, supporting exercise Yama Sakura 75.

Yama Sakura is an annual bilateral exercise involving the U.S. Military and the JGSDF with the purpose of enhancing U.S. and Japanese combat readiness and interoperability while strengthening relationships and demonstrating U.S. resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Just as in other exercises, the JCSE team at Yama Sakura, used their expertise to provide the real world capability for both NIPR and SIPR communications requirements, to support simulated battlefield communications.

By Petty Officer 1st Class Kiona Miller