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Posts Tagged ‘Combat ID’

London Bridge Trading Reflective/IR ID Patches

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

LBT has been producing some very trick IR ID patches for military customers for some time now. We have not seen anything quite like this on a commercial level.

LBT ID panel

The patch is reversible and consists of a sandwich of several materials mounted to a stiffened backing. One side is solely IR reflective and the other combines Glow in the Dark alpha-numerics with an IR reflective cut out. They laser cut the ID’s alpha-numerics from the face fabric whether Cordura or IR tape. The outer edges of both sides are color matched hook tape so that the panel may be affixed to uniforms.

They are accustomed to producing small numbers of different panels and a variety of colors are available. This is a very much a custom product and LBT’s staff will work with you to give you the right combination for your application. Due to the high cost of raw materials LBT is willing to work with organizations that wish to supply their own materials. Contact LBT for more information.

Supply Captain IR ID Devices

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Supply Captain

Supply Captain is run by a Veteran US Army Quartermaster officer Mark Ciaglia. Frustration in finding Soldier Systems items inspired Mark to open his own business with his wife Melinda. They specialize in products such as 550 cord, custom pouches, as well IR Infrared patches and badges. They are manufacturers of an entire gamut of IR Combat ID devices including squares, flags, MP, unit patches, blood tapes, and unit ID’s. That’s right, unit patches, and what’s more, they will do custom items. All of their IR products have been tested and approved by Natick Labs for use by US Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy units. One important issue is that these devices are covered by ITAR and you must be a registered Military or LE user with Supply Captain in order to purchase their IR products.

Unit PatchesBlood TapesSupply Captain IR Flags

For more information contact .

Cejay Engineering Combat ID Markers

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Phoenix Jr Light

If you have been around the US military for awhile you are probably familiar with the issue strobe light. Originally designed for use by downed Airmen and other isolated personnel, it is bulky and early versions were more suited to Civil Search and Rescue than Combat Search and Rescue. However, it does the job; marking friendly troops. In 1984 the Phoenix light came along, a no frills IR beacon that attached directly to a common 9-volt battery and a flash rate intentionally designed to avoid confusion with small arms fire. Weighing in at 1 ounce, the Phoenix light has seen duty marking personnel, perimeters, drop zones, and vehicles. Due to its low cost and simplicity, the Phoenix Jr is still the most widely used electronic combat ID marker in the world.

Pegasus 2

Later, a certain user community required a beacon with multiple pre-programmed flash patterns including an option to program unique patterns in the field. The Pegasus 2 was born. The form factor hasn’t changed much, but the capability has. The Pegasus 2 has three user-selectable six second flash patterns; the first code pattern is a fixed flash rate code identical to the Phoenix Jr., the second code pattern is a International Morse Code signal (S – O – S) and the third is installed as needed by the user in the field. Note the pins along the top of the beacon. By shorting across these pins the user can select pre-programmed patterns or input new ones.

Pegasus K9 Warrior

So what’s next in the world of beacons? Cejay has just released a new beacon for working dogs, the K-9 Pegasus Warrior beacon. Designed to be worn on the dog’s collar, it is intended to help track working dogs while they are off-leash. In many situations, it is a major relief to know who the friendly K-9s are.

There are three models: Red, NVG Green, and IR.

You’ll be seeing a lot more of Cejay Engineering’s products in future articles here at Soldier Systems Blog.

For more information on the Phoenix Light as well as other products visit Cejay Engineering.

All photos are courtesy of Cejay Engineering. Note: Export Notification: Infrared Variants of the described products are regulated by the U.S. State Department in accordance with the guidelines of the International Traffic in Arms Regulation [ITAR] per title 22 code of federal regulations parts 120 – 130. Some Cejay products are available only to military and Law Enforcement personnel.

Tron, Part II

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Apparently my post from last week on Tron has created quite a buzz. Some folks are “getting” it and can see the utility of the system.

For anyone what wants even more background data here is a great story from Air Force Research Laboratory: AFRL develops friend versus foe identification system.

The manufacturer is Lumitex.

Tron is available to qualified Government customers through GSA.


Saturday, June 14th, 2008


My first exposure to TRON was at SOFIC in conjunction with BAE’s Corona system. Since then I have been doing some research on this revolutionary Combat ID system. I post the article from February of this year from Associated Press as a backgrounder.

Originally published by Associated Press February 20, 2008

DAYTON, Ohio – When Taliban forces attacked a police checkpoint in central Afghanistan under dark of night in late 2006, special-operations Master Sgt. Andrew Martin called in air support and then slapped a high-tech cloth-like device on his helmet for protection.

Fresh from labs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the device transmitted light from a powerful light-emitting diode, or LED, that pulsed through a fiber optic bundle, giving off infrared signals visible to pilots wearing night-vision goggles.

“The pilots were able to very quickly pick it up,” recalled Martin, who has since retired from the Air Force. “What didn’t happen was additional questions from the pilots asking me my location.”

The new technology – called Target Recognition Operator Notification system – was designed to easily identify friendly forces and avoid casualties from friendly fire.

Martin liked the equipment so much he used it on about 35 missions over six months. He said it is better than strobe lights, which can be mistaken for machine-gun fire, or reflective tape, which is difficult to see from the air.

“U.S. forces have been dogged by the difficulty of finding each other in the fog of battle,” said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va. “What this new innovation allows is easy identification of friendly forces without helping the enemy do the same thing.”

Brian Hunt, an engineer with the Air Force Research Lab, said he and his team were approached in 2004 and asked to develop such a system. Working with Lumitex Inc. of Strongsville, the effort was part of a rapid-reaction program where researchers were given up to $100,000 and one year to come up with a product.

“A lot of different units saw the need for something like this, to be able to clearly determine friend or foe,” Hunt said.

The group produced 108 prototypes in six months. Each unit costs about $100.

Built in to the nylon-like cloth is a circuit board and a battery pack. The woven nature of the cloth emits light in a controlled way, creating a uniform surface.

The system can run 200 hours on two double-A batteries and weighs less than three ounces. It can be worn on tactical vests, around an arm or mounted to a helmet.

“You can put it anywhere,” Hunt said. “It’s got Velcro on the back. It sticks to everything.”

The circuitry also allows the system to flash at different speeds. That enables pilots to identify different groups of friendly forces and see which group is under attack, which group is trying to circle the enemy, and who the reinforcements are, among other things.

Mike Sedillo, support contractor at the research lab, said he would like to see the system in the hands of all U.S. forces in the battlefield and become standard equipment in air-crew survival kits.

Sedillo said researchers are working to upgrade the system so it will transmit light in other parts of the spectrum, making it more difficult for enemy forces to detect with conventional night vision technology.

“Friendly fire incidents in general are declining, but in counterinsurgency or counter-terror warfare it’s much harder to sort out our people from the other side because there are no front lines,” Thompson said. “This invention is well-suited to a world in which all the old features of battlefield like secure areas and front lines are missing.”

Copyright AP 2008, Photo Copyright AP 2008