DSEi 2011: SEA reveals latest 3G battlefield technology
SEA will unveil its 3G on-the-battlefield technology at DSEi this year, as it prepares to make it available to forces around the world during 2012.
Designed as part of the UK MoD Applied Research effort, the 3G technology which has yet to be officially named, seeks to ‘gain advantage from technology advances in the telecoms industry’ in order to provide ‘cutting-edge, secure and robust performance’ for the war fighter.
Currently, the solution comprises a 3G base station, equivalent in size to a laptop, which can be networked to four users via smart phones, personal computers, surveillance devices, personal display units, other handsets or ‘anything IP-connected’. This includes an ability to download and upload data at rates of 7.2mbs and 1.5mbs respectively at ranges of up to a single kilometre.
This, officials said, would enable a war fighter to download full motion video and hi-resolution pictures to a smart phone for increased situation awareness. However, officials added that by the end of the year, downlink and uplink rates will have been increased 14.4mbs and 5mbs respectively. Although they conceded that ranges would be reduced in urban environments.
Speaking to Shephard, SEA’s Philip Macey, Programme Manager Research and Consultancy. said: ‘The problem is increased bandwidth demand at the lower tactical levels at the edge. By using COTS, 3G technology with mobile phone technology for the mobile network will provide large bandwidth at reduced costs initially for dismounted operations.’
The technology has already undergone demonstrations on Salisbury Plain in 2010 which involved UGVs, UAVs, EO/IR equipment including camera poles and optics. The solution is also capable of working in tandem with MBITR, Bowman and AN/PRC-117G radio systems.
‘We have supplied limited information to the US Army’s Nett Warrior programme and have briefed PEO Soldiers,’ he continued while describing how CONOPS would continue to be developed over time. He also described how the system had been integrated on board a Warrior IFV, linking together various weapon sights in order to allow troops to ‘dismount with eyes’.
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