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Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

ACR Bivy Stick

Monday, August 30th, 2021

The ACR Bivy Stick connects your cell phone to satellites for off grid communications.

Weighing in at 100 grams, it’s about half the size and weight of a cell phone?. Subscription plan required. You’ll have to set it up before you need it.?. You’ll get two-way text? and location sharing from your phone. Plus, there’s a check-in button on the Stick which sends unlimited free preset messages and your location without using your phone. There’s also an SOS button on the device with emergency service provided by Global Rescue.


Purple Orange Media Event

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

The evening before Outdoor Retailer Summer Market kicked off, PR company Purple Orange held a private media event at a local venue for the various brands the represent*.

It was very well attended and I didn’t get to speak with every company there because the lines were too long. So instead, I’m going to mention just a few brands and products.

Sea to Summit

Sea to Summit makes some great lightweight camping gear with welcome news that we’ll start to see more subdued colors as they begin to push into the hunting market. Their Stretch-Loc TPU straps are 12mm wide come in multiple lengths from 300mm to 750mm. The straps function like a belt with a bit of inherent stretch so you can crank down a bit for a snug fit. They are offered in Grey, Black and Yellow.


The big new from BioLite is that they are introducing the Basecharge 600 and 1500. They incorporate ISB ports and DC sockets. The Basecharge can be recharged via shore power or solar panel.?

SomeWear Labs

SomeWear Pabs was the most interesting conversation I had at this event and it’s not just because they had heard of SSD. The company which specializes in satellite data services via this puck which connects your end user device to the web. It weighs just 4 oz and has been approved for DoD use with ATAK.

Gnarly Sports Nutrition

Fuel2O is like a powdered version of the gummies so many endurance athletes use so that the nutrients can be drunk while rehydrating. You’ll also get dextrose and sucrose (100 cal per 12 oz) as well as HMB (280 mg).

*Purple Orange represents the following companies:
Peak Design
Sea to Summit
Jack Wolfskin
Somewear Labs
Swiftwick Socks

Ibex Wear
Gnarly Nutrition
Oru Kayak
Climate Neutral

New Marine Corps Headset Protects Hearing, Enhances Voice Communication in Combat Zones

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.—In July, Marine Corps Systems Command began fielding new hearing enhancement devices to support infantry Marines in various training and combat environments.

The HED protects the warfighter’s hearing and enhances voice communication in loud environments. The capability increases Marines’ situational awareness by enabling them to communicate messages more safely and efficiently during combat.

“This hearing enhancement device protects Marines from noise levels that are above safe hearing levels,” said CWO4 David Tomlinson, MCSC’s infantry weapons officer. “It also allows for sound localization, which means you can tell where a voice or noise is coming from.”

The ruggedized headset is adaptable to challenging environments ranging from the cold weather of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the intense heat of Pacific jungles. Marines can wear the system with the Marine Corps Enhanced Combat Helmet.

MCSC is fielding both a communication-enabled and non-communication-enabled version. The non-communication version allows Marines to hear audible messages. The communication-enabled model includes a push-to-talk adapter and cables to connect to Marine Corps ground tactical radios, said Tomlinson. As a result, Marines can listen to radio transmissions even when the system is powered off.

“A major goal of this system is to increase communication in loud, noisy environments so Marines can continue to do their job,” said Tomlinson. “The hearing enhancement device supports this concept.”

The system also includes an adjustable volume option. CWO4 Mark Erhardt, infantry weapons officer with the Infantry Officers Course in Quantico, said Marines could decrease volume to better hear radio traffic or increase it for external voices nearby.

“It’s a common understanding that the battlefield is loud, and the fog of war includes many distractions,” said Erhardt. “The new hearing enhancement device will aid Marines in any situations involving sending or receiving messages, which increases overall awareness.”

Hearing protection is a pillar characteristic of the system. The HED complements the Combat Arms Earplug Generation IV—the Marine Corps’ current hearing protection system—by offering a secondary level of protection to further avoid hearing damage.

The HED comprises a setting for inner ear protection, which assists in maintaining device quality and capability. Marines can use this setting in situations where noise levels exceed a certain threshold, said Tomlinson.

Previously, Marines commonly used foam earplugs to block noise and protect their hearing on the battlefield. Tomlinson said the plugs sufficiently reduced noise decibels heard by Marines but did not allow them to vocalize messages to one another.

“Traditional earplugs block all noise, where this new system filters noise and still allows for situational awareness,” said Tomlinson. “Marines receiving the new HED have never had a capability like this before.”

Story by Marine Corps Systems Command Office of Public Affairs & Communication

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Tonya Smith

Soldiers Test New Army System to Increase Command Post Mobility

Sunday, August 8th, 2021

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), conducted a Command Post Modernization Operational Assessment July 22-26, at the Kinnard Mission Training Complex on post.

Command Post Integrated Infrastructure, better known as CPI2, is a major modernization line of effort. It integrates emerging technologies and capabilities with mobile mission command platforms and command post support vehicles as a means of increasing agility and improving survivability on the battlefield.

“CIP2 will help units succeed in combat by providing mobility of the command post and getting after the signature aspects, like the electromagnetic and physical signature by reducing the number of vehicles and providing the workspace for units to be successful in their mission set,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Rogers, product manager for CPI2.

The previous program that CPI2 is attempting to replace typically took between four and eight hours to set up and displace, says Rogers. The goal is to reduce this time down to approximately 30 minutes.

Utilizing this program has knocked placement and displacement times down to between an hour and an hour and a half, approximately 80% faster than before. This is done by reducing the footprint that the tactical command post, or TOC, normally creates.

“The TOC tents that we were used to in the past were a large footprint,” said Staff Sergeant Michael Prater, an operations and plans Noncommissioned officer for 3 BCT and battle NCO for the operation. “This is a more mobile, smaller, diverse footprint that creates a better way of getting into the fight and getting out of the fight.”

Prater’s focus, as the operational NCO, has been teaching the Soldiers, officers and other NCOs of his unit how to use, set up and tear down the equipment, focusing on increasing efficiency over time.

Being more mobile enables Soldiers to move, shoot and communicate with the efficiency they need to accomplish the mission. So far, other units that have tested this innovative system include, 2nd Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry Division; and Headquarters, 4th Infantry Division, each with different command post configurations.

“As we take the unit feedback from both of our operational assessments, it will help inform not only our future requirements, but the baseline of the command post moving forward,” said Rogers.

Spc. Lance Lee, brigade air defense valve management systems operator for HHC, 3 BCT, says that CPI2 makes his life a lot easier because he is able to fall in on a pre-made shelter with network connectivity ports already allotted to him, eliminating time previously spent searching for a spot on the switch.

“CPI2 is a valuable asset for us because we’re able to fall in on an experimental software location where we can try new ideas, and essentially game plan to create new ways for us to affect the fight for the brigade commander,” said Lee. “I serve in the Army to make a difference, to innovate, and to get out there and try to find a new solution to currently existing problems. If I can be at the forefront of finding something that can affect the fight for the future, then I will be.”

By SPC Andrea Notter, 40th Public Affairs Detachment

General Dynamics Mission Systems Introduces Badger Software-Defined Radio

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

New 2-channel radio provides multi-level security for voice and data communications in a small, compact form factor

Fairfax, Va – General Dynamics Mission Systems introduced the new Badger software-defined radio today at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Symposium in National Harbor, Maryland. Produced at the company’s Scottsdale, Arizona facility, the Badger is a compact, 2-channel software-defined radio that provides Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore voice and data communications. It is the only radio available that provides High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and SATCOM Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) waveform capability. The integration of MUOS significantly enhances beyond line-of-sight, or satellite voice and data communications.

Badger’s software-defined, flexible open architecture enables future next-generation communications including waveforms, encryption algorithms and advanced network connectivity to be easily incorporated without redesign. Similar to a commercial smartphone, this approach simplifies the incorporation of new features and functions by enabling the radio to be upgraded in the field without having to take it out of service, resulting in significant time and cost savings. In addition, the Badger’s Voice over IP (VoIP) audio capability modernizes and simplifies platform audio distribution using network connectivity.

The Badger is based on the long history of General Dynamics’ Digital Modular Radio (DMR). With over 900 radios delivered, DMR provides secure communications aboard U.S. Navy surface and sub surface vessels, as well as fixed sites. At a quarter of the size of DMR, Badger provides the waveforms and flexibility of the DMR in a compact platform.

“The Badger was developed in collaboration with our customer to meet their requirements for smaller ships and platforms,“ said Stan Kordana, Vice President of Surface Systems at General Dynamics Mission Systems. Badger offers many of the same capabilities that have made DMR a communications standard for the U.S. Navy, in a much smaller form factor. The reduced size, weight and power make it ideal for smaller platforms across multiple domains that only require two channels, and at the same time simplifies logistics and reduces costs.”

The Badger has programmable embedded NSA certified Type 1 encryption that secures communications and simplifies the system architecture. It has MILS capability which enables it to communicate simultaneously at multiple levels of security, on each of the radio’s two channels.

For additional information or to purchase a Badger, please visit www.gdmissionsystems.com/Badger.

General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), provides mission-critical solutions to defense, intelligence and cyber-security customers across all domains. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, General Dynamics Mission Systems employs more than 12,000 people worldwide. For more information about General Dynamics Mission Systems’ broad portfolio of capabilities, visit gdmissionsystems.com or follow @GDMS on Twitter.

Warrior East 21 – FalCom GN Headset

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

FalCom GN finds its roots in hearing aids. Their goal is to provide noise protection, while giving 360 degree sound identification and integration with military radio technology. Based on the demonstration I participated in during the show, they’ve done it. In addition to being able to identify the location of stationary noises both in compass direction and height, the system can assign different radios to appear to sit in certain quadrants relative to the wearer. For example, the air net could sound like it’s up and to the left while the command push is down and to the right. What’s more, certain channels can be prioritized over others so that the priority will be heard while other nets are lowered in volume so they don’t talk over one another.

One of their design cues is the shape of the human ear which they mimic with the location and shape of their microphone at the side of the ear cup. This also helps mitigate noise from wind. The OTE2000, seen here, has an IP67 rating and is powered by the radio it is attached to.

They also provide in the ear headsets as well as control units.

Units and agencies can procure FalCom GN gear by contacting Atlantic Diving Supply.

ALTI Selects Silvus StreamCasters as Primary Radio for All Medium and Large Aircraft

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Silvus Chosen for Ability to Provide Reliable Video Feed and Flight Data from Extended Ranges
Los Angeles, California (July 21, 2021) – Silvus Technologies, Inc. (“Silvus”) today announced the company has been selected as ALTI UAS’ (“ALTI”) primary radio, providing high-quality video and flight data for all medium and large unmanned aircraft. The radios were selected for their proven performance at extended ranges and their ability to reliably maintain a data link in austere environments – an essential requirement due to the surveillance and security applications of ALTI’s aircraft.

“As a leading VTOL unmanned aircraft manufacturer, we are constantly improving the quality of our platforms,” said Duran De Villiers, Director of ALTI. “After extensive testing, Silvus radios excelled at greater ranges than all other radios that we tested. Silvus’ performance, coupled with the hardware quality and functionality of the radios, is a critical addition to our platform and brings tremendous value to our customers,” added Development Manager Jaco Horn.

StreamCaster radios, which ALTI has previously used for demonstration and development platforms, were also selected for their sophisticated eigen beamforming technique. As ALTI continues development of their largest aircraft and corresponding data link, StreamCaster radios will be essential to maintaining the same level of performance and reliability at extended ranges.

“We strive to provide a single-radio solution for the toughest unmanned systems communications scenarios,” said Jimi Henderson, Silvus Vice President of Sales. “ALTI is a leader in the unmanned space, and we are proud to be selected as the primary radio for their aircraft, delivering unrivaled performance and unmatched range.”

OTTO Engineering Providing Noizebarrier Tactical Communication Suite To Federal Agents

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

OTTO Engineering is proud to be providing our elite Federal agents with our Noizebarrier Tactical Communication Suite. The OTTO suite of products was selected over currently fielded solutions and provides agents with unparallel Audio clarity, Situational Awareness / hear through, ruggedized solutions for any environment. OTTO Noizebarrier TAC provides increased communication intelligibility in all environments.

OTTO is working on several new technologies to increase operational awareness including their Lynq Pro handheld Position Location device.

Most ATAK enabled EUDs require a cellular connection or RF comms between radios that have been pre-programmed taking hours to set up. The Lynq Pro system works with or without an EUD but you can easily pair to your EUD via BLE or hardwire, providing a real time encrypted data link between your squad members even when networks are denied.

Core technology is an intelligent network well suited for comms denied contested environments that’s low power, RF quiet and rapidly deployable, 256 encrypted and peer to peer with jamming resistant with chirp spread spectrum frequency hopping. A next gen squad level blue force tracker — capable of secure location and LPI/LPD comms that drastically enhance situational awareness and ensure no personnel is left behind.

Come visit OTTO Engineering in VA Beach July 28th & 29th at Bad Ass Coffee across from the Virginia Beach Convention Center.