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New DOCK StreamCaster promises to boost tactical connectivity for SOF

4th May 2024 - 18:00 GMT | by Andrew White in Tampa


The DOCK StreamCaster has been designed as a ‘compact and lightweight’ solution which is rugged with a low SWaP profile. (Photo: Silvus)

The latest DOCK StreamCaster system enhances situational awareness for combat forces with advanced networking capabilities, supporting secure and resilient communications across challenging environments.

Silvus Technologies and Kägwerks unveiled the latest member in their family of Dismounted Operator’s Combat Kit (DOCK) ecosystem ahead of SOF Week in Tampa, Florida.

Publicly announced on 16 April, the DOCK StreamCaster tactical networking system comprises a chest-mounted Samsung S23TE end-user device (EUD) directly connected to Silvus’ SC4240P or SL4210P StreamCaster mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) software-defined radios (SDRs).

This latest solution has been designed to provide modern and ‘universally connected’ warfighters with secure and resilient connectivity and enhanced situational awareness, no matter where they are operating and when, company officials explained.

Speaking to Shephard, a company official at Silvus described how the MANET-enabled DOCK system could support special operations forces (SOF) and other forward-deployed personnel who are heavily reliant upon C4 equipment to maintain maximum levels of situational awareness, even in congested and contested areas of operation.

According to Silvus, the DOCK StreamCaster has been designed as a ‘compact and lightweight’ solution which is ‘rugged [with a] low SWaP profile, modular design with streamlined cabling and unified power that reduces operator load-out while increasing mobility and mission effectiveness’.

Photo: Silvus

All DOCK StreamCasters run the company’s Mobile Networked Multiple Input Multiple Output (MN-MIMO) waveform technology at a power output up to 4W (8W with Eigen Beamforming techniques) and data throughput up to 100 Mbps for low latency video, voice, and IP data communications.

The MN-MIMO waveform allows the automatic connection of ‘hundreds’ of nodes across a self-forming and adaptive mesh network with ‘unmatched range, throughput, EW resiliency and scalability’, a company official confirmed to Shephard.

End users deploying with the DOCK StreamCaster solution will also benefit from access to Silvus’ suite of licensable Spectrum Dominance solutions which includes low probability of intercept/low probability of detection (LPI/LPD) and anti-jamming resiliency capabilities.

The S23TE EUD, which provides the DOCK ensemble with on-board processing, security and MilSpec features, is capable of supporting a variety of software packages, including the Department of Defense’s Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK), to optimise levels in situational awareness and mission.

In addition, SDR integrated Intra-Soldier Wireless and Nett Warrior software enables instant connectivity to networked devices and soldier-worn peripherals.

‘DOCK integrates the radio functionality by consolidating it directly into the chest rig. Prior to that, EUDs had to be connected to radios located elsewhere in the kit, which requires additional cables and logistics.

‘ATAK users can access specialised plug-ins (based on their mission requirements), including Silvus’ advanced radio and configurable PTT [push to talk] settings which enable you to customise the DOCK StreamCaster Radio settings directly from the EUD device,’ the official explained.

Dependent upon customer requirements, select DOCK StreamCaster models also include the NVIDIA Jetson Nano AI module which supports the autonomous creation of common operational pictures at the tactical edge – a critical tool for SOF and other combat units in understanding rapidly evolving situations and compressing decision-making cycles.

Kägwerks and Silvus now offer customers a series of DOCK StreamCaster ensembles as part of the wider ecosystem. Additional options include the DOCK ULTRA SL4210P, which is capable of running soldier-worn AI.

According to Silvus, a series of ‘field experiments’ have already been conducted with US DoD and partner force units across multiple environments including deserts and jungles.

‘We worked with SOCOM early on for test and evaluation but can’t discuss due to security concerns,’ the official concluded.

The DOCK StreamCaster Tactical Networking System is being demonstrated at SOF Week connected to a variety of sensor devices. Silvus already supports US SOF with an undisclosed number of StreamCaster MANET SDRs although details remain undisclosed due to operational security concerns.

Andrew White


Andrew White

Andrew is a former editor of Digital Battlespace and Unmanned Vehicles magazines. Andrew joined Shephard …

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