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Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

Gentex Corporation Awarded GSA Contract for Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

GENTEX CORPORATION AWARDED GSA SCHEDULE 84 CONTRACT FOR OPS-CORE AMP™ COMMUNICATION HEADSET

Configurable headset solution delivers 3D Hear-Through and advanced hearing protection for combat operations

August 13, 2019

Carbondale, PA, August 13, 2019. Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defense forces, emergency responders, and industrial personnel announced it has been awarded a Schedule 84 contract by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the procurement arm of the federal government, for its Ops-Core  AMP Communication Headset. GSA Schedule 84 provides federal agencies with security, fire, and law enforcement equipment and services. The contract period is five years, with three separate five-year options.

“This GSA award provides a streamlined contract vehicle for federal customers to purchase our innovative new Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset, a rapid modernization path for those organizations looking to update their situational awareness, communication, and protection capabilities,” said Tom Short, Vice President Ground Systems, Gentex Corporation. “It also allows Gentex Corporation to continue its expansion of its growing communications and hearing protection product portfolio into the federal marketplace and complements existing GSA contracts held by the company.”

Introduced in the fall of 2018, the Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset features 3D Hear-Through Technology, which restores and enhances the operator’s “natural hearing” of the outside environment for improved situational awareness in high noise environments, while also providing robust hearing protection with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22db. With the addition of optional wire-free, battery-free, Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) Earplugs, NRR is increased to 34dB, while maintaining clear-communication audio and ambient hear through. For optimal flexibility and mission performance, the modular headset can be easily configured to meet a wide range of mission needs with options for headband or helmet rail-mounted use, single or double hearing protection, left- and right-handed configurations of headset downlead cable and boom microphone, and single or multi-channel communications. To learn more about the headset, go to www.opscore.com.

Federal customers can access information about the Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset through the GSA Schedules e-Library by searching by contract number (Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) GS-07F-0430K), or other keywords denoting the product or service being sought. They can also place orders on-line through GSA Advantage.

The GSA carefully evaluates companies to determine their capability for providing products to the government. The assessment analyzes a variety of a corporation’s capabilities, including organizational structure, performance history, customer satisfaction, and other source selection criteria.  Holding this contract demonstrates that Gentex Corporation is recognized as a preferred vendor and is fully authorized to conduct business directly with government agencies. To learn more about GSA visit gsa.gov.

German Army Relies On Rohde & Schwarz

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

IDZ-ES and the PUMA infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the VJTF 2023 are making a start on the end-to-end digital command radio link over the first mile using software defined radios from Rohde & Schwarz.

Munich, July 22, 2019 – The seamless command radio link for the PUMA armored infantry system with the infantryman of the future (IdZ-ES) for the Very High Readiness Joint Taskforce (VJTF) 2023 is provided by Rohde & Schwarz. With the Budget Committee of the German Lower House of German Parliament (Bundestag) having given its approval for the armored infantry system service package at the end of June, the necessary contracts for procurement have now also been completed.

“This order is a milestone that we have reached after winning against international competitors in challenging trials and comparative tests set by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in 2018 in Munster, Germany,” explained Hartmut Jäschke, Senior Vice President Market Segments Secure Communications Sales and Projects at Rohde & Schwarz.

Its basis is the intention of the Bundeswehr to be ready with the PUMA IFV/armored infantry system and the latest version of IdZ-ES for NATO VJTF (Land) in 2023. Rohde & Schwarz is a subcontractor of Rheinmetall Electronics, which is responsible for the IdZ-ES system, and will supply the latest tactical software defined radios (SDR) together with suitable waveforms, integration, training and services. The SOVERON family works with the high data rate and interference-immune SOVERON WAVE waveforms for tactical rugged use on the first mile, and is thus an exact match for the spectrum of requirements of a battle group for territorial and collective defense as well as for international crisis management operations. All members of the SOVERON WAVE family of waveforms offer mobile ad hoc network (MANET) functionality. Radios equipped with this capability function as routers within the IP network group, forwarding the information via other communication nodes and thus ensuring that a robust, interference-immune link can be maintained under all circumstances.

Rohde & Schwarz will supply the latest tactical software defined radios of the SOVERON family together with suitable waveforms, integration, training and services to the German Armed Forces for NATO VJTF (Land) in 2023. (Photo: Rohde & Schwarz)

The Rohde & Schwarz VHF/UHF radio systems selected for this project will establish and maintain the command radio link with simultaneous voice and IP data from dismounted troops up to the platoon and company level. The systems concerned are handheld (SDHR/SOVERON HR) and vehicular radios (SDTR/SOVERON VR) that are interoperable with the German Armed Forces joint radio system (SVFuA, series name: SOVERON D) that has already been commissioned by the Bundeswehr and the SDR waveforms procured with it. The first batch of SOVERON D commissioned for command vehicles will be delivered to the troops in the first half of 2020. This interplay is also of great importance for future viability in the context of the Digitalization of Land Based Operations/Tactical Edge Networking (D-LBO/TEN) major project for highly secure and trusted interoperable connections that will only come into effect after VJTF 2023. SOVERON D also provides backward compatibility with the analog SEM radio infrastructure that will be in service for some time yet even though it is obsolete. This capability was also recently demonstrated in further tests.

“With our innovative overall approach – SOVERON – we provide national trusted solutions that can be tailored to the customer’s needs but which, due to their open architecture, are compatible with established radio systems and architectures and, at the same time, will be viable in the future,” Mr. Jäschke continued. “It is an honor for us to bring into operation by the troops the latest state of the art for the VJTF. By doing so, we are not only paving the way for the next steps of D-LBO/TEN and for further strategic projects of the Bundeswehr. There are also significant synergies with the Telecommunications of the Army (TK A) project in Switzerland, comparable to the networking part of D-LBO/TEN. We are in the final round of a multi-year competition here.”

SOFWERX – Next Generation PEO-RW Cockpit Capability Collaboration Event

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

USSOCOM PEO-Rotary Wing (RW) is interested in the next generation Special Operations Aviation (SOA) Cockpit. Join subject matter experts to ideate on potential solutions. This event will help participants understand the operational needs of the RW user community.

Focus areas include:
• Controls
• Voice Activation
• Heads Up Eyes Out Display
• Windscreen
• Display
• Communication/ICS
• Operational Flight Program (Operating System)

The event will ensure exposure to any technology that could increase aviator capability from the cockpit.

SOFWERX will hold an event on 16 July 2019 and the RSVP Deadline: 09 July 11:59 PM EST (sic).

For additional details, visit www.sofwerx.org/cockpit.

Marco Refill Kits Now Available from Blue Force Gear

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Blue Force Gear’s revolutionary Marking And Recognition Chemstick Organization dispenser – MARCO – just got better with the introduction of MARCO Refill Kits.

MARCO streamlines the pre-mission preparation of marking lights that are in use by top tier military and law enforcement units that Blue Force Gear is proud to support. Our new refill kits are being brought to market at the request of these end-users, who desire the ability to quickly top-off, or completely refill, dispensers when used in a training environment.

Each MARCO Refill Kit contains 30 individual 2-inch disposable marking sticks housed in a resealable bag and are available in red, blue, green or infrared hues. Miniature marking sticks provide the equivalent lumen output of 4-inch taped ChemLights, as seen through Night Vision Devices and are impervious to the elements; continuing to glow rain or shine, hot or cold.

About MARCO

MARCO is the simplest, most efficient means of carrying multiple marking lights, and reliably dispensing them, during complex room clearing operations. Using the MARCO dispenser and refillable packs in place of the traditional time-consuming method of prepping, taping and bundling chemlights, will save users critical time during pre- mission preparation.

While the MARCO was originally intended for use during urban tactical operations, it has proven to have crossover applications in the hunting, outdoor and off-road segments for marking trails, intersections or trailing downed game during reduced lighting conditions. It’s compactness, durability and ease of use is unrivaled in these applications.

For more information, technical specs or to view a video demonstration of Blue Force Gear’s MARCO Dispenser and other Blue Force Gear products, visit us at www.blueforcegear.com/marco-refill-packs.

Kits will ship Monday, when the crew gets back to work.

Ask SSD – What’s This Antenna?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

A friend sent me this photo and asked me to identify the two X shaped antennas in the rear. I am unfamiliar with them. But perhaps an SSD reader will know what they are.

If they turn out to be sensitive, go ahead and shoot me an email. The requester is legit.

OR Summer Market – Garmin GPSMAP 66i

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

The Garmin GPSMAP 66i combines GPS Mapping and Satellite Communications into a single unit.

Currently available exclusively from REI, it comes preloaded with TOPO maps and inReach technology (subscription required) for 2-way messaging and SOS.

Features:

• Button-operated GPS handheld and satellite communicator with interactive SOS alerts

• Large 3 in. sunlight-readable color display is easy to view

• Buttons provide simple operation even with gloves or in the rain

• Trigger an interactive SOS to the GEOS 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center; exchange 2-way messages via the 100% global Iridium® satellite network (subscription required)

• Preloaded Garmin TOPO mapping with direct-to-device BirdsEye Satellite Imagery downloads (no annual subscription)

• Includes multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) support and navigation sensors

• Cellular connectivity lets you access Active Weather forecasts and Geocaching Live

• Compatible with the Garmin Explore™ website and app to help you manage waypoints, routes, activities and collections, use tracks and review trip data from the field

• Internal, rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 35 hrs. of battery life in 10 min. tracking mode (and 1 min. tracking mode with display off

• Expedition mode (30 min. tracking intervals) provides up to 200 hrs. of battery life

• IPX7 rating means the GPSMAP 66i is considered waterproof; it can withstand submersion in water up to 1m deep for up to 30 min.

US Army Ground Robots to Integrate Persistent Systems Network

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Wave Relay® MANET to serve as communication network on QinetiQ robot for CRS(I) program of record

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK, New York. – June 12, 2019 – Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today that it will be supplying its Wave Relay® mobile ad hoc networking technology to the QinetiQ North America (“QNA”) team chosen for the U.S. Army’s Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS(I)) program of record.

CRS(I) is a backpackable robot, less than 25 pounds, that dismount users can carry with sensor suites for viewing and detecting threats, providing greater situational awareness in the field.

In March, QNA won the Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, valued at up to $164 million. And the company has already begun placing Low Rate Initial Production orders for Persistent’s Wave Relay®-enabling Embedded Module, which will be fitted into each new ground robot.

“We’re excited to, once again, deliver the Wave Relay® MANET to the U.S. Army and help lead the drive towards networking the battlefield,” said Leslie Hulser, Director of Programs for Persistent. “We are also very proud of our partnership with QinetiQ and congratulate them on this award.”

QNA was one of the first members of the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, an industry alliance of unmanned system and sensor companies putting their platforms on a common Wave Relay network—with the ultimate goal of giving the warfighter easy access to every unmanned vehicle, sensor and camera.

The Persistent Systems Embedded Module form-factor is QNA’s MANET radio of choice for CRS(I), providing secure, long-range data communication for the small ground robots.

For information on the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, visit www.persistentsystems.com/ecosystem

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.