June Radio Roundup

SATCOM Direct Ku-band Terminal for C-130
Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ku-band SATCOM system has been integrated onboard the Multi-Purpose Hatch System which equips the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules turboprop airlifter.

SATCOM for Hercules

R4 Integration’s Multi-Purpose Hatch System (MPHS) is being enhanced with Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ku-band (14 gigahertz/GHz uplink and 10.9GHz to 12.75GHz downlink) Satellite Communications (SATCOM) terminal. The MPHS is designed to equip Lockheed Martin C-130 series turboprop airlifters. It can be installed on the aircraft’s forward dorsal fuselage and house disparate communications antennas. This lets aircraft thus equipped use communications links beyond the capabilities of their existing radios and SATCOM systems. Satcom Direct said in a press release that its MPHS ensemble includes the Plane Simple antenna and a base station installed inside the aircraft. The system connects with Intelsat’s FlexAir SATCOM network. Hayden Olsen, general manager for the company’s government services, told Armada this capability will be deployed with the US military from August. The company is also working on providing Link-16 tactical datalink connectivity onto the MPHS along with L-band (1.3GHz to 1.7GHz) SATCOM in the future. In addition, “(w)e are developing a ground-deployable version of this capability (that) can be removed from the aircraft and deployed on the ground to maintain connectivity.”

Mettle for Networks

CodeMettle has shared details of its Terminus 3.0 communications management software with Armada. The software can be used with any laptop, desktop or tablet computer managing a communications network, the company said in a written statement: “We integrate the devices/hardware from the network into one common operational picture for monitoring and management.” The company added that Terminus 3.0 is specifically designed for deployed battlefield tactical networks. In such environments available communications “bandwidth can be limited and connectivity can be sporadic.” The technology “has been built from the ground up with real soldier input to ensure the best user experience and smoothest network operations in those challenging environments,” the statement continued. Beyond the land environment, CodeMettle added that the Terminus 3.0 software “is technology agnostic and can manage any type of radio network, whether land, sea, air or space.” Previous versions of Terminus are already in service with the US Department of Defence. As “Terminus 3.0 is very new, the update has not yet been pushed out to existing Terminus users, nor has it been purchased by new users yet.”

The ROIP Trio

Three companies; Cubic, Instant Connect and Rally Tactical Systems announced a partnership in May to offer tactical radio interoperability, according to a press release. The partnership will work to create technologies enabling users to “connect, secure, and analyse mission-critical data with trusted, scalable and intuitive edge technologies for a decisive advantage.” Specifically, this aims to ensure soldiers have Radio-Over-Internet-Protocol (ROIP) technologies at the tactical edge. Cubic’s ROIP software will be integrated with Instant Connect’s interoperable push-to-talk platform. This platform is powered by Rally Tactical Systems’ Engage engine, the press release continued. In terms of ROIP gateways, Cubic is supplying its Vocality, M3X and M3-SE products. Cubic told Armada in a written statement that this combination of technology should help improve interoperability between allies: “This capability fills a quintessential gap in joint and partner nations radio communications by reducing the need for translators during time sensitive, reactive, high-risk operations by tearing down language barriers for operators with an embedded capability running on our ROIP product, easily managed by the user in the field.” Cubic added that “this capability is scalable across the formation … As a standalone solution, the sweet spot is within mounted and dismounted command centres. (As) the main feature of the capability is the extension of radio voice transmissions across IP (Internet Protocol) links, Vocality ROIP devices and their accompanying ‘donor’ radios are typically deployed near the baseband networking element of a unit, for example alongside routing, switching, and computer network elements at a command post, or in a support vehicle with long range radio reach-back or satellite communications capabilities.” Development of this ensemble of systems is continuing: “End-user testing with devices and systems that support the Engage engine (and) the Instant Connect dispatch console is currently ongoing at several key integration labs.” This work is expected to conclude in September.

Cubic Tactical Communications Technology
Cubic has joined forces with Instant Connect and Rally Tactical Systems to develop ROIP capabilities deployable at the tactical edge to help improve allied interoperability.

by Dr. Thomas Withington