Archive for the ‘Digitization’ Category

‘Can’t Miss’ Tactical Assault Kit Event Kicks Off Nov. 30

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 22, 2021) — The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)-led Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) Product Center, in partnership with the Army, will host the eighth annual TAK Offsite in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

TAK is a map-based software application that enables coordination among operational users in the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with features such as positioning data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows.

“The TAK offsite is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with mission partners across various operational use cases to share feedback, to expand the capability, and to continuously make the products better,” said Bill Newmeyer of the Army’s Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, where the TAK Product Center resides.

The C5ISR Center, part of Army Futures Command, supports the TAK development and user community by providing engineering expertise for the development and technical management of the core TAK software platforms as well as through participation in a Configuration Steering Board (CSB). Program Executive Office – SOF Digital Applications, part of USSOCOM, funds the product center, chairs the Configuration Steering Board and sponsors the TAK Offsite.

“The TAK community has grown from a dozen users to a hundred users to now over 200,000 users,” said Ryan McLean, TAK Product Center director. “As more users adopt TAK, we’ve continued to make TAK products more widely available. The TAK CSB amplifies and extends that growth through events such as the TAK Offsite.”

The TAK Offsite brings value to all stakeholders – users, developers, program managers, and even to people and organizations new to TAK. Real-world users attend and learn about new features and integration possibilities within TAK, while developers learn about how the TAK application programming interface (API) and core capabilities are constantly improving. Many program managers also attend the event to promote their initiatives that use TAK.

“TAK has been successful largely due to our open-architecture, open-source model that’s very developer-friendly,” said McLean. “That means staying synchronized with industry and listening to the needs of equipment providers and solution builders. TAK grows and improves not because of TAK alone, but because of TAK’s ability to break down the old barriers to system integration.”

As with previous years, the 2021 TAK Offsite will foster efforts to get more feedback to improve platforms and generate cross-team collaboration. This confluence of minds spurs the new waves of innovation in TAK development, integration, and use cases.

“This is a can’t-miss event for anyone developing situational awareness and geospatial capabilities. Anyone who attends should expect full immersion in the TAK community across four days packed with content,” said McLean. “If you use TAK, if you develop TAK, if you field capabilities that use TAK, or if you just want to learn about TAK, this is where you need to be.”

To register, attendees must create a TAK.gov account at tak.gov. Attendees may then register for the event under the Events page of TAK.gov. Questions should be directed to [email protected] with questions.

Draper Tapped by US Department of Defense to Provide Services and Support for Tactical Assault Kit

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Engineering company awarded DTRA contract to expand its role from R&D to maintenance and operation of the TAK communications platform

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Draper, one of the nation’s leading technology developers for national security, will build on its support for the warfighter under a new contract to operate and maintain the Tactical Assault Kit, or TAK, a widely used communications system for the military. The company recently received a sole-source contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense.

TAK is a mobile computing solution which gives users a map-based common operating picture on a shared network and provides enhanced situational awareness for command and control. The app is designed for installation on tablets and other lightweight handheld devices, and employs a plug-in structure, which allows users to design applications specific to their mission needs. TAK has been used through years of real-world situations, including the U.S. presidential inauguration, by more than 10,000 active warfighters.

The $415,000 contract calls for Draper to provide maintenance support, technical services, testing, evaluation and training for TAK. The TAK application supports the Nuclear Enterprise Contingency Operations Department’s (NE-COs) various chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detector systems.

Draper has developed software for every version of TAK since it was first developed by the Department of Defense. The software is available as ATAK for Android devices, WinTAK for Windows and WebTAK for the web. The company’s long experience with the application and with warfighter systems overall were major reasons Draper will expand its role from research and development to operation and maintenance of the TAK platform, according to Brian Alligood, Draper’s program manager for TAK.

“Draper is building stronger ties with our government customer and demonstrating the value we bring as an engineering innovation company which can integrate technology development with global maintenance and deployment,” Alligood said. “Our goal with this contract is to ensure TAK continues to deliver situational awareness at the tactical edge.”

TAK’s versatility means it can accommodate military personnel on the battlefield, homeland security officers working along the border and first responders during rescue-and-recovery operations. The map-based interface enables users to share information and maintain constant situational awareness, by allowing the addition of context to raw video feeds, such as labelling buildings as schools or hospitals to protect them against strikes, or designation of pickup points for evacuation. Fire and rescue crews have been trained to use the app for location tracking of fire equipment, establishing fire perimeters from aircraft and building fire model forecasts.

The contract is expected to last five years and will be performed primarily at Draper’s offices in Cambridge, Mass. and St. Petersburg, Fla., with additional support from the company’s regional offices.

AUSA 21 – Fischer Connectors

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Fischer Connectors offered a sneak peek of their new six port hub which showcases their cables with NETT Warrior standard connectors. This hub features dedicated ports for radio, EUD, and battery as well as three additional ports for the personal area network. It is IP68 rated and PALS compatible.

AUSA 21 – T-Worx Intelligent Rail

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

You may have heard of a Picatinny Smart Rail or Powered Rail which is the NATO STANAG 4740/AEP-90.

The T-Worx Intelligent Rail offers centralized weapon enabler power and control. The intelligent rail is Mil Std 1913 compatible but features an embedded, ruggedized printed circuit board (PCB). The battery is located in the butstock and connects to the rail via jumpers which follow contours of the lower receiver. Alternatives include a pistol grip battery or a mount directly to the rail.

Technically, it’s a power AND data rail but most users have concentrated on the ability to centrally power their enablers. The new Gateway Node seen in this photo, attached to the 3 o’clock rail position allows all of the enablers attached to the rail to communicate with other item’s in the Soldier’s network like an End User Device. It is compatible with the U.S. Army’s Intra-Soldier Wireless (ISW) protocol.

Army Assesses IVAS Network Capability at NetModX

Friday, October 1st, 2021


JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — The Army is continuing to inform  Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) network integration by evaluating  emerging commercial radio technology that enables data exchange among Soldiers.

A series of experiments this summer at the Army’s annual Network Modernization Experimentation (NetModX) allowed engineers of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center — a component of Army Futures Command (AFC)’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) — to help inform Army program offices of potential capability by providing a technical assessment and analysis on the state of available industry radio communication solutions.

IVAS enables greater situational understanding and decision making through high resolution display of sensor, target, and target engagement data. The system provides Soldiers with a single platform to fight, rehearse and train. These unique characteristics require a tactical radio that can provide Soldier-wearable connectivity for the IVAS platform, according to Dan Ku, a C5ISR Center electronics engineer.

“Events like NetModX enable the Army to assess commercial-off-the-shelf radios’ ability to support the IVAS system in terms of scalability and resiliency,” Ku said. “The data from the field event informs the design of the network to support IVAS.”

The C5ISR Center provides engineering support to Army organizations — Project Manager Tactical Radios (PM TR) and PM IVAS — that are making network design considerations by incorporating NetModX results. The event helps the Army validate and verify which performance metrics and requirements are most important leading to the procurement process.

The radios enable Soldiers to pass IVAS data helping to establish a common operating picture (COP) among the unit during a mission. The real-time COP is displayed on the IVAS heads-up display for improved situational awareness.

Engineers are evaluating the performance of each vendor’s radio system for transmitting differing network traffic loads in benign and contested environments, Ku said. Each type of radio must be able to scale to a specific number of units while transmitting data among a team of Soldiers.

“Experimentation gives the Army a holistic picture on how radios perform initially in a lab setting and then during a large-scale field environment like NetModX,” said James Koh, chief of the Center’s Commercial Technology and Integration Branch. “With these complementary experiments, we’re able to produce a comprehensive set of data and radio system characteristics to support Army acquisition decisions. NetModX also serves as a forum for industry partner collaboration.”

By Dan Lafontaine, DEVCOM C5ISR Center Public Affairs

Additional photos by SGT Robert Whitlow, 49th Public Affairs Detachment

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK N1 Tactical End User Device

Friday, September 24th, 2021

The Panasonic TOUGHBOOK N1 Tactical End User Device is a great solution for anyone running one of the various versions of Tactical Awareness Kit.

It offers five programmable buttons capable of launching any local application, and a 4.7” anti-reflective, daylight-readable, 500 NIT display also features rain-sensing and glove touch modes.

In addition to being able to connect to your own comms backbone, the TOUGHBOOK N1 features built-in 4G LTE WWAN with GPS – and cellular voice capabilities with 100db speakers, three noise suppressing microphones, and Dual Nano SIM cards as well as Bluetooth with Low Energy.

The device will also handle the environment, certified to MIL-STD-810G, (7′ drop. IP66 and IP68 dust and water-resistant certification).

Finally, expect about 12-hours (up to 27 hours depending on user profile) continuous data use with a user-replaceable battery that is warm swap capable or power via hub.

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK products are available for unit and agency purchase through ADS, Inc.

DSEi 21 – Molliflex

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Sometimes at a trade show you zig instead of zag? and when I turned left instead of right on my last say at DSEi I ran smack dab into the Intelligent Textiles Limited stand and their Molliflex cables.

The lady in the stand read my badge aloud, “soldier systems” and as she did it I looked at what they were doing and replied?, “you’re right in my wheelhouse.” Turns out, this is the gem I was searching for at DSEi, that one product I didn’t expect to find, but has great potential.

They’ve done such a good job with their Molliflex cable, that you probably didn’t even notice it in the photo at first or maybe even second glance.

The cable is just 2mm thick and can be woven into PALS compatible platforms. Due to how things it is, pouches can be added over Molliflex. Molliflex lays flat even when folded for 90 degree turns. In fact, it can be folded over two million times before the internal connection is broken. Additionally, it is IP68 rated. The connector is a standard Glenair Mighty Mouse which is Nett Warrior compliant.

Attachments to devices include an Ejector QD plug and Hardpoint attachment plate.

It is rated for power at 5amps,<50voltsDC1 and data at USB 2.0, 480 Mbps.

The outer material is DWR coated nylons me available in Multicam, Coyote, Flecktarn, CADPAT, and Black.

ORSM 21 – Juggernaut.Case Forearm Phone Mount

Friday, August 13th, 2021

Juggernaut has updated their ForeArm Phone Mount for their cases with an enclosed Boa construction. The previous version had an exposed line for the Boa tightener which could snag.