Contractors Testing Army Comm, ISR Networks

U.S. Army photo

The U.S. Army has increasingly tested communications networks as it looks to upgrade its capabilities, and three contracting firms have helped the service branch conduct exercises.

ITT Exelis, recently spun-off from former parent ITT Corp., is currently demonstrating several communications at the Army’s Network Integration Exercise, according to a company release.

Exelis is demonstrating the Global Network On-the-Move Active Distribution and SideHat. GNMOAD is designed to allow for on-the-go, over-the-horizion satellite communications with both data and voice. This is accomplished by using a low-profile broadband antenna and a baseband solution, which is both modem- and radio-agnostic.

SideHat provides a second radio channel to more than 350,000 single channel ground and airborne radio systems. Exelis said it designed SideHat to run the soldier radio waveform and to deliver voice, data and high-speed network capabilities to soldiers in the field.

At a demonstration conducted in September, Northrop Grumman‘s team for integrated air and missile defense battle command system capabilities demonstrated a platform for real-time data exchange from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force to form a single integrated air picture.

As we previously covered, the Army and Sotera Defense Solutions tested the backbone of the Army’s WIN-T network at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Currently, this network can provide high-speed and high-capacity voice, data and video to stationary battlefield units. The goal is to expand the network to soldiers in motion.

A nationwide test is scheduled for May 2012, which will employ all of the system’s elements.

We also covered an experiment by Raytheon at Fort Benning, Ga., with the company’s One Force communications solution transmitting data, voice and video between mobile devices over both 3G and tactical radio networks.

During the test, soldiers were able to access feeds from unmanned aerial vehicles on their mobile devices, according to Aviation Week‘s account of the test. The One Force system is designed to also function as a virtual “white-board,” allowing soldiers to draw on digital maps and send them across the network.


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