12 Mar 18. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold visited the SMI Future Soldier Technology 2018 Conference, held in London from 12 -14 March 2018.
BATTLESPACE was given an exclusive ‘world first’ demonstration by Qioptiq, Persistent Systems and Steatite, of networked images from the Qioptiq DRAGON C Thermal sight to the Persistent Systems MPU 5, the world’s first smart radio.
Once the systems were matched the DRAGON C image was linked to two MPU 5 radios, one on the ‘dummy’ soldier on the Steatite Booth(UK agents for Persistent Systems), through to another MPU 5 radio and on to a central display.
“This demonstration clearly shows that a soldier equipped with a DRAGON C or similar thermal sight, can network his images around the battlefield, not only to fellow soldiers in the field, who do not have a thermal sight, but back to HQ through the MPU 5 and ISTAR systems including UAVs to Headquarters for analysis and distribution to give the targeting order, if required. We can build networked systems with ranges up to 150kms using the MPU radios.” Chris Harrington of Steatite told the Editor.
Persistent Systems MPU 5
MPU 5 is the most advanced, most scalable, and most efficient Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) radio in the world. Built to create powerful, secure networks anywhere, the MPU5 unites all your critical data sources in real time – giving you and your team the confidence to make difficult decisions in the heat of the moment. Data, video, voice, and a fully integrated AndroidTM computer system makes the MPU5 the world’s first Smart Radio.
As a Smart Radio, the MPU5 significantly decreases the amount of gear you have to carry. Having one fully capable Smart Radio platform frees up valuable space and weight so you can focus more on the task at hand. Fewer cables, fewer batteries, fewer worries – without ever sacrificing capability.
1 GHz Quad Core Processor
128 GB Flash
HD Video Encoder
3G-SDI, Composite, HDMI Inputs
HD Video Decoder
Hardware based H.264 Decoding
16 Channels of Voice
RoIP Radio Interface
Tether Legacy Radios
into the Network
(3) USB Ports
Qioptiq DRAGON C Thermal Weapon Sight
This ultra lightweight multi purpose Thermal Weapon/Surveillance Sight provides all round capability for the dismounted close combat user. DRAGON COMPACT is fitted with Qioptiq LO
GLINT™ Coating Technology to reduce sunlight glint and reflection.
RIGIDITY – All aluminum construction for structural rigidity and EMC sealing properties ensures good integration and compatibility with surrounding systems.
STABILITY – Boresight Stability guaranteed through state of the art optical
design and lens mounting techniques.
SIMPLICITY – Controls have been designed and positioned for ease of access
and MMI designed for ease of use across all 3 roles. No focus control is required
FUNCTIONALITY – Polarity, NUC, Auto / Manual settings, Zoom, Boresight,
DRAGON COMPACT – Clip On Role
In the CLIP ON Configuration, DRAGON C can be integrated with a wide
range of Optical Day Sights in the range of x1 – x4 magnification. Light and
Dust shields can be provided to suit most common sight units.
DRAGON COMPACT – Stand Alone Role
In the STAND ALONE Configuration, DRAGON C provides a thermal weapon
sight capability with on board text and graphics providing graticules and
control functionality. Magnifications of x1, x2 are achievable (via E-Zoom).
- Field of View: 16°
- Magnification: x1, x2 (E-Zoom)
- Range Performance: Detection of Man at 500m
- Weight: 375g (Excl. bracket, batteries, eyeguard)
- Power Source: 2XAA Lithium Batteries
- Features: Video Out, RS232 Comms
- Accessories: Eye Guard, Light Shield, Neckstrap, Weapon Bracket, Pouch, Transit Case, Cleaning Cloth, Instruction Card
DRAGON COMPACT is part of the DRAGON family of uncooled thermal products
from Qioptiq that utilize the latest in uncooled thermal camera, electronics and optical technologies to deliver world leading performance and reliability
DRAGON LONG RANGE is part of the DRAGON family of uncooled Thermal
Products from Qioptiq that utilize the latest in uncooled thermal camera, electronics and optical technologies to deliver world leading performance and reliability.
- Particularly suited for 12.7 (0.5”) / 40mm calibers
- Ruggedised Military Design
DRAGON LONG RANGE is fitted with Qioptiq LO GLINT™ Coating
Technology to reduce sunlight glint and reflection.
RIGIDITY – All Aluminium construction for structural rigidity and EMC
sealing properties ensures good integration and compatibility with
STABILITY – Boresight Stability guaranteed through state of the art optical design and lens mounting techniques.
SIMPLICITY – Controls have been designed and positioned for ease of access and MMI designed for ease of use across all 3 roles. No focus control is required
FUNCTIONALITY – Polarity, NUC, Auto / Manual settings, Zoom, Boresight,
Persistent Systems offers a secure and scalable mobile networking capability based on its cutting-edge Wave Relay MANET Technology. Persistent’s products provide a total solution consisting of voice, video, and situational awareness to mobile users with no reliance on fixed infrastructure. For more than a decade, Persistent has been a pioneer in developing advanced MANET technology and commercializing it in the Defense and Industrial sectors.
Steatite Rugged Systems
Steatite Rugged Systems specialises in value-added rugged mobile and handheld computing solutions, as as specialist communication products and services. Steatite Rugged Systems (a division of Steatite Ltd) is a part of the Solid State PLC group of companies, quoted on the UK AIM market. With a new 26,000ft² Redditch facility, Steatite is ideally located for national coverage in ISO 9001: 2015 certified design, production and service support. Steatite is broken into 4 trading areas underneath the PLC, while the Solid State Supplies division of the PLC offers specialist component distribution within the UK market place.
Viasat Shows Off Targeting Terminals
Viasat showed a number of targeting systems at their Booth, including the BATS-D AN/PRC-161 handheld radio which fuzes air and ground situational awareness with Link 16 capability. BATS-D which will enter full rate production in 2018. Initial orders placed for more than 250 production radios, expecting more than 1,500 from US Government in 2018, is an ideal tool for the forward air controller, giving him or her direct access to overhead fast jets and UAVs in instant time to allow for instant target location.
The Viasat BATS-D radio bridges the critical gap between air and ground forces by providing real-time fused air/ground Situational Awareness (SA) to coordinate and maneuver forces instantaneously. This handheld radio arms dismounted JTACs with a direct connection into the Link 16 network to digitally call for fire and provide all nodes with accurate SA in a joint integrated air/ground common operational picture.
The terminal offers edge users access to both air and ground (friendly and enemy) situational data and can provide secure, reliable target data and position location, identification, and status information to the network. The radio also features J-Voice capability for direct voice communications with other Link 16 users. This direct link between ground warfighters and Close Air Support aircraft dramatically shortens the kill chain and decreases the risk of fratricide. The Viasat BATS-D enables JTACs to Find, Fix, & Finish the target at an exponentially faster rate with greater accuracy than ever before.
BATS-D is currently being evaluated for a tethered UAV application. The system is not currently available for export but is going through the required ITAR approval process to enable interested parties such as the UK, Belgian, Dutch and French armed forces to evaluate the system. BATS-D has an NSA certified chip developed by Viasat.
Small Tactical Terminal (STT) KOR-24A
Link 16 and Secure VHF/UHF Line-of-Sight Networking at the Tactical Edge
Viasat also showed Small Tactical Terminal (STT) KOR-24A which is in service with the USAF on Apache and AV8-B and Australian (RAAF) C-130 and RAF C-130 and C-17 fleets.
The system is currently being evaluated by the RAAF for its C-17 fleet
Edge operators gain real-time combat communications and interoperability to whichever networks suit the mission, with the two-channel, software–defined Small Tactical Terminal from Viasat and Harris. The low–SWaP STT enables helicopters, ground vehicles, and other platforms to switch waveforms and network connections on the fly, merging disparate networks and delivering situational awareness to edge operators as the mission unfolds.
The STT (KOR-24A) is a two-channel radio designed to meet the needs of users who have size, weight, and power constraints but need the information available on Link 16 networks and tactical VHF/UHF. Tactical warfighters, including ground vehicles, helicopters, UAVs, small boats, and light ISR aircraft can now have simultaneous access to Link 16 and either wideband UHF or legacy VHF/UHF. This terminal is packaged in an affordable, industry standard compact form factor and is ruggedized to meet demanding environmental requirements.
With this terminal, edge users have access to both air and ground (friendly and enemy) situation data and can provide secure and reliable target data to the network. With the UHF channel configured for S-TADIL J or JRE, users have a single terminal that provides both LOS and BLOS TADIL J connectivity.
*SRW and ANW2C waveforms available by U.S. government approval only, limited to nations approved for each waveform.
Microflown AVISA briefed BATTLESPACE on its Vehicle Mounted Sound Ranging Array (MSRA).
Microflown AVISA’s mission is to provide a complete 3D acoustic situational awareness by detecting, localising and classifying the full range of audible battlefield threats, such as:
* Small Arms Fire
* Engine driven platforms (helicopters, planes, UAVs, boats and ground vehicles)
Enabler is the Microflown, the world’s first and only acoustic sensor that measures acoustic particle velocity instead of the well-known sound pressure.
The core product is the Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor (AMMS), incorporating various directional Microflown sensors, a DSP and a wind cap.
There is a variety of options for geo referencing, powering and communication.
An AMMS is passive, cannot be jammed, requires no line of sight (darkness, fog, dust) and also works under adverse weather conditions (heavy rain).
As the AMMS is low Size, Weight and Power (low SWaP), it can be deployed on all sorts of carrying platforms, such as:
* Unattended Ground Sensors
* Vehicles ( wheeled and tracked)
* Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (quad copters and fixed wings)
AMMS was also shown mounted on a UAV.
Kent Modular Electronics (KME)
KME Ltd was another exhibitor at Future Soldier. The company showed a number of its display products including the Ajax turret display as supplied to Instro. The company supplied 1250 systems to Instro and is looking at new applications for this display and told BATTLESPACE that it is actively pursuing new UK MoD opportunities, particularly in Land Systems. KME also supplied the displays for the Royal Navy Crowsnest system.
Established in 1976, KME has been a leading manufacturer and designer of monitors for over 30 years, and continues to innovate new designs. KME today focus in manufacturing rugged LCD monitors and LCD rugged displays.
KME specialise in the design and manufacture of rugged LCD displays for use in applications in demanding environments. We offer an expanding series of rugged LCD-TFT modules with screen sizes ranging from 3.5″ to 57″.
With the ability to custom build rugged displays according to precise specifications, KME has the solution for any LCD display needs. If you are looking for LCD monitor displays in desktop, head, chassis, portable, rack and panel mount configurations, with other available enhancements including touch screen, deep dimming, colour and finish, they are all offered with KME’s rugged LCD monitors.
KME’s HelioviewTM technology has been created to eradicate glare from the sun, making our LCD monitor displays ideal for outdoor signage and public information displays.
KME can provide a full bespoke service offering a range of enhancement and features in their custom build rugged LCD designs.