June 2012 Edition - Emergency Communications...
Dispatches Part II
Information & News, by the editors
Link Sim Makes It To Market
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS) has announced that its RT Logic subsidiary has launched its newest, most powerful and widest bandwidth RF Channel Simulator.
Now shipping, the 250 MHz T400CS Wideband Channel Simulator precisely replicates the real-time RF conditions that can be expected in wideband SATCOM, aircraft, missile, and UAV missions. Its use in testing and training applications can prevent expensive and dangerous mission communication failures.
The T400CS is a hardware-in-the-loop instrument that can be quickly inserted between modems, receivers and transmitters, or other communications devices. It recreates the exact, real world, complex RF signal conditions that will exist between these communications devices when they will be in motion or separated by distance.
The T400CS can simulate unintentional interference or deliberate jamming that can be expected on live mission flights. Because it can simulate a wide range of nominal and worst-case RF signal scenarios, the T400CS can dramatically cut costs and reduce risk by enabling ground-based hardware-in-the-loop testing prior to operational missions and live fire testing.
The T400CS enables thorough test coverage for demanding wideband commercial, government, and military uses that require high-capacity throughputs, such as broadband IP and broadcast quality video.
This offering is the latest addition to RT Logics established family of Channel Simulators and is already being used in the field by customers including O3b Networks, whose fleet of commercial satellites is designed to provide voice and Internet coverage to the three billion people throughout emerging markets in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Given the complex architecture of its next generation network with a large number of satellites, their rate of movement, the required handoff between satellites and ground stations, and high data rates, O3b Networks was able to test and ensure the continuous operation of ground stations under all conditions, prior to live flight.
O3b has validated throughput and seamless handover for its MEO satellite services using an advanced Channel Simulation capability from RT Logic, said Gary Mattie, Chief Ground System Engineer for O3b Networks.
The RT Logic 250MHz Wideband Channel Simulator, including phase coherent Doppler Shift, variable propagation delay, and dynamic amplitude profiles, has been invaluable to O3bs performance verification test campaign. RT Logic makes the widest bandwidth, most realistic channel simulation products available, and their engineering team has been very responsive to our needs.
Showing Off SOTM
ITT Exelis is introducing GNOMAD, a mobile, on-the-move satellite communications (SATCOM) system that provides over the horizon, satellite communications for data and voice while on the move using a low profile broadband antenna and baseband solution which is modem and radio agnostic.
The system was recently evaluated by the U.S. Army at the Network Integration Exercise (NIE) 12.1 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The NIE is a series of semiannual evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Armys tactical network so that it can provide soldiers, civilians and mission partners with the information they need in any environment.
The system provides Global Ku-band SATCOM on-the-move (SOTM), supplying a mobile network for an array of military and government agency vehicles. The system employs encryption devices currently in use by military and commercial users, supporting secure networks (SIPRNET, NIPRNET) as well as commercial internet, and client/server applications such as C2PC/Blue-Force Tracker, medical records and biometrics. The GNOMAD enables modern soldier radios to connect to IP networks, providing beyond-line-of-sight communications to radios such as AN/VRC-92, -104, and -110 as well as transferring Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services where supported.
Iron Thunder Roars
Network Integration Exercise 12.2 is currently being conducted on White Sands Missile Range and 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
The 1st Armored Division is one of the units assigned with evaluating the next level of the Armys tactical network.
NIE assesses the tactical networks potential in an environment designed to determine whether it will perform as needed and is interoperable with the Armys existing systems. For field artillery soldiers, this bring the ability to communicate on the move beyond line-of-sight.
According to Capt. Shawn Williams, battle captain for 4-27 FA, the WIN-T network will allow better coordination between the tactical operations center and the line batteries when the call for fire missions comes in to his station.
The older system would require one of the line units to stay back to help relay information from the TOC to the batteries that would be firing, thus limiting the distance that the line batteries could move forward. The WIN-T network gives the field artillery soldier a greater, almost unlimited range.
What this means is that we will be able to decentralize our guns away from our fire assistance centers at an unlimited distance and across a greater spectrum of mission capabilities, said Williams, The WIN-T network will extend our digital capabilities far past line of sight.
Once in the field, the new systems capabilities come under more intense evaluation and assessment. Integrated into vehicles, the system works through a series of small satellite dishes and radios to communicate. This gives the field artillery units the other half of the networks proposed advantages, on-the-move fires capability.
Maj. Victor Scharstein, operations officer for 4-27 FA, stated that the system allows him to talk over an Internet connection, in a way similar to a voice-over-internet-protocol phone would operate.
I have this whether I am stationary or on the move, which helps keep our fires synchronized across the brigade, said Scharstein.
This capability allowed Scharstein to conduct a fire mission rehearsal at a distance of over a 35-kilometer radius, linking 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored divisions fire control team with his battalions fire team and himself.
Movement and control continues downward to the line units, eventually ending up in the hands of the line battery leaders and soldiers. Battery commanders receive fire mission, movement orders and other tactical information through the network, giving them the ability to support other mission elements from a far greater distance.
The WIN-T allows us to get firing data from units that dont have line of sight to us, somewhere they wouldnt normally be able to get support from us before, now they can get that support, that indirect fire they need, said Capt. Joshua Grubbs, commanding officer of Alpha Battery, 4-27 FA.
Grubbs battery provided fire support for other units in the brigade using information passed through the new digital network, giving smoke cover for the continuation of the brigades attack.
Select soldiers in the brigade were given a two-week training block to get them up to speed with the new system. System operations, limited troubleshooting techniques and system capabilities were some of the areas covered.
The system gives us different, additional methods beyond our traditional radios to call for fires, said Spc. Matthew Snyder, a fire control specialist with Alpha Battery, Anybody can call us through the phone and request fire support.
Snyder said that the system does have value down-range by giving additional ways for units to communicate on the battlefield beyond those already in place.
It gives us a back-up to the more traditional communication systems, said Snyder.
An integrated tactical network is beneficial to the Army as a whole. Being able to shoot, move and communicate is essential to our modern fighting force. With the WIN-T networks newest increment in place, improvements in tactical communication can be heard all over the battlefield. This includes those seen and heard by 4-27s Iron Thunder soldiers.
Story by Sgt. Robert Larson, 24th Press Camp Headquarters
Through ST Electronics renowned Agilis brand, the company has launched a new line of compact 80W, 100W, 150W, 200W and 250W Ku- Band Block Up Converters (BUC) .
Raising the innovation bar, ST Electronics (SATCOM & Sensor Systems) has designed and developed the Agilis ALB 229 Series of Compact Ku-Band High Power BUC to offer reliability, choice and innovation.
The dimensions of the 80W/100W models (360L x 200W x 140H mm) make it the smallest of their kind in the market today. The new generation of Ku-BUCs offers the widest flexibility of Monitoring and Control (M&C) software interfaces as RS232/RS485/RS422, Ethernet (SNMP & HTTP) and WiFi connectivity are built-in.
All high power Ku-BUCs are incorporated with highly intuitive M&C software with a data logging feature which enables performance reports to be generated for analysis.
The M&C software runs on PCs, iPhone and tablets, offering greater mobility and accessibility to organizations with installations anywhere in the world.
A Seamless Switch
Its a good thing... new redundancy technology seamless switching of virtually any active radio frequency component on the companys fixed and transportable Earth station antennas.
ASC Signal has released new redundancy technology and product options designed to provide simplified, seamless switching of virtually any active radio frequency component on the companys fixed and transportable Earth station antennas. Additionally, these new capabilities support virtually any antenna system, regardless of manufacturer, when used in conjunction with ASCs antenna controller products.
As user requirements for increasingly complex Earth station transmission systems expand, ASC Signal has focused on designing less-complicated and more robust and beneficial features for its Next Generation Controller (NGC). ASCs new technology incorporates complex redundancy switching with 1:1 and 1:2 capabilities within the active RF chain in a simplified, integrated and easy-to-deploy architecture. This provides a smoothly interfaced, highly integrated and cost-effective package that gives users expanded access, control and monitoring of their RF equipment operation, along with enhanced remote accessibility.
ASCs design philosophy ensures that the NGC provides a growing number of features within a unified control architecture. This gives NGC users the unique capability of adding features and optionssuch as this new redundancy technologythat simplify design requirements, provide enhanced control and functional capabilities, and reduce system complexity, all while lowering hardware and implementation outlays.
The advanced technology of our latest NGC option quickly and easily provides redundancy packages for LNAs, LNBs, BUCs, BDCs and other active electronics, and builds upon our already feature-rich Next Generation Controller, said Keith Buckley, President and CEO of ASC Signal. The ASC team understands that customers need cutting-edge antenna technology that is cost-effective, flexible and adaptable to their changing requirements.
Todays government and commercial users are keenly focused on budgetary and cost issues; they will benefit the most from these expanded and simplified technological capabilities that support reliable, critical communications around the world.
NexGen Of Birds Are Backbone For Multi-Missions
Harris Corporation has introduced the next generation of the combat-proven Falcon III® RF-7800W High-Capacity Line-of-Sight radio.
The new RF-7800W-OU500 provides the backbone for delivering command and control and situational awareness information between headquarters and the lowest echelons of the battlefieldallowing warfighters to use mission-critical applications such as real-time video, biometrics, IP telephony and teleconferencing.
The new RF-7800W serves as the backbone of the Harris tactical Internet by creating wide-area battlefield networks that connect brigade and battalion headquarters to forward-deployed units at company level and below. The radio offers several significant technical advances, such as dual-band capability that extends the operational frequency range to 5.8 GHz and increased data throughput to more than 400 Megabits per second.
The Falcon III RF-7800W radio provides commanders and front-line personnel alike with a robust common operational picture based on improved intelligence and communications connectivity, said Brendan OConnell, president, International Business, Harris RF Communications. This radio, acting as the IP backbone, expands networking services on the battlefield that broaden the use of applications such as video and situational awareness through tactical edge devices.
The Harris RF-7800W system has been deployed by more than 20 countries worldwide, including the U.S. Department of Defense. It is in use by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps and has been an integral part of the U.S. Army Network Integration Evaluation exercises.
Built on the success of the existing system, the new RF-7800W dramatically extends ranges for wireless IP connectivity and leverages multiple input/multiple output antenna technology to establish and maintain robust data links. Operating over the 4.45.875 GHz frequency band, the RF-7800W is extremely versatile for use in all deployments. The dual-band operation, in addition to a market leading size, weight and power profile, is unmatched in the high capacity line-of-sight market, resulting in a radio system that is multi-mission capable in a single platform.
The Company has also debuted their Falcon III® RF-7800H wideband manpack.
The RF-7800H dramatically improves HF tactical communications by transmitting video clips, images, maps and other large data files from beyond-line-of-sight environments for the first time. The new RF-7800H from Harris offers data rates that are 10 times greater than current HF manpacks.
This is significant because HF radios play a unique role in the success of military missions by providing assured long-distance tactical communications to warfighters operating in mountainous or urban terrain.
Current HF radios only provide enough bandwidth for voice and limited data communication such as text messaging. The new RF-7800H is also 20 percent smaller and lighter than previous HF manpacks and operates on a single battery and features a Software Communications Architecture-based operating environment that allows for easy upgrades to deliver new features and address emerging requirements.
The RF-7800H offers the first highly reliable alternative to satellite communications for beyond line-of-sight data communications.
The wider bandwidth waveform in the RF-7800H provides more robust communications than traditional narrowband tactical communications environments.
Weighing just under 4kg, the RF-7800H provides continuous coverage in the 1.5 to 60MHz frequency band. It is fully backwards compatible with the Harris Falcon II HF product line and accessories. The RF-7800H has an internal GPS and offers both Citadel and AES encryption.
Harris has also introduced a powerful new handheld radio that connects dismounted warfighters to emerging wideband tactical networks.
Lightweight and portable, the Falcon III® RF-7800M-HH provides unprecedented access to information by allowing warfighters to communicate by voice, video and data anywhere on the battlefield. The 7800M wideband handheld supports network-enabled missions through applications such as video, collaborative chat and situational awareness. It uses the field-proven Harris Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2), which is used in more than 20,000 radios.
The newest Falcon III® radio delivers the power of a wideband tactical internet down to the dismounted soldier, said Brendan OConnell, president, international business, Harris RF Communications.
Leveraging the success of the Falcon III® family, this radio extends end-to-end tactical connectivity and delivers instantaneous access to command-and-control capabilities to the edge of the network. Our complete family of wideband networking tactical communication products and systems address the networking needs of the entire force, from operations center to the squad level.
The RF-7800M-HH handheld is fully interoperable with the RF-7800M-MP wideband manpack radio, which has been providing a vehicular-based wideband solution to international militaries in more than 30 countries since 2007.
The RF-7800M manpack provides a wideband backbone architecture that can now be seamlessly extended to the soldier level with the RF-7800M-HH to deliver secure voice and high-speed networked data services, including the use of common applications, across all levels of the battlefield. The new Falcon III handheld operates at up to 5 watts of output power over an extended frequency range of 30 MHz to 512 MHz and runs both narrowband and wideband waveforms.
Harris has delivered more than 100,000 Falcon II high-frequency manpack radios, providing significant leadership in development of state-of-the-art in HF.
Harris innovations include introducing the first and only Type-1 HF manpack, MELP digital voice, embedded Internet Protocol and third-generation Automatic Link Establishment.
The Company played a lead role in designing and developing wideband HF technology for the U.S. government, which is now standardized in US MIL-STD-188-110C. The RF-7800H embedded wideband modem is designed in accordance with this standard.
Makin It Work
The Marines of the Communications Electronic Maintenance platoon from Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 open and maintain the lines of communication for fellow Marines both aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, and overseas.
Each Marine is tasked with ensuring all communications gear is fully operational, from the installation of new gear to the diagnosis and repair of older.
The Marines complete a 13 month-long school located aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. All Marines attend training to become a basic electrician attend the Marine Corps Electronics School and then continue to follow-on schools for training in a specific military occupational specialty.
Aboard MCAS Miramar, California, there are three primary sub-shops and one administrative section within the CEM platoon. These sections are the ground radio repair section, the AN/TRC-170 radio and lightweight multi-band satellite terminal repair and the telephone and computer repair section.
This group of technicians consists of nearly 100 Marines and is a one-stop maintenance shop dedicated to supporting the Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 mission of providing expeditionary communications for the aviation combat element of I Marine Expeditionary Force.
We support the commanding officer by ensuring the gear remains in a serviceable status, or returning it to a serviceable status if its not, said Staff Sgt. Kyle Schimer, an electronics maintenance technician and a Fairoaks, California, native.
The unit must ensure readiness remains high on all pieces of equipment and the Marines of CEM spend each day ensuring that this is accomplished through preventative and corrective maintenance.
Marines do not leave work stations until every piece of gear is repaired and accounted for. These Marines are always on the go; whether or not a training event is going on, combat readiness is the goal at all times, explained Schimer.
We train everyday as if its for combat, said Schirmer. Back here [aboard the air station], we train to be more proficient, so that in combat we are more efficient.
Communication is a vital asset in the Marine Corps, and the Marines of CEM ensure the equipment needed is ready and able. There are multiple moving parts to CEM and all play a critical role in ensuring the overall mission is accomplished.
Story by Sgt. Lauren Henson
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