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C2, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, AI, CYBER, EW, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

Sponsored by Spectra Group

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20 May 20. SOF Countercommunications Denial. As the operating environment for special operations forces (SOF) increasingly incorporates missions in anti-access/area denied (A2AD) and command and control denied or degraded environments (C2D2Es), assuring communications for forward deployed teams is essential.

Constrained operating environments continue to be witnessed in eastern Europe in particular where coalitions of special operations task groups working in Ukraine and Poland regularly suffer from disrupted satellite communications (SATCOM), defence sources informed Armada International.

These operating restrictions, enabled by Russian armed and proxy forces, have led to a rise in alternative communications types including mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) which do not rely upon fixed or large-scale infrastructure via space or on the ground. However, the SOF community looks set to continue to rely upon SATCOM as commanders implement redundancy across complex communications plans to overcome these operational requirements.

Similar sentiments were highlighted at the SOF Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida between 22-24 May where end users from the US and international SOF community shared ideas regarding the optimal employment of tactical communications in austere environments.

Speaking to AI, Lt Col Shelton Richards, programme manager for Tactical Communications, Program Executive Office C4, described a series of areas of interest currently facing the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as it considers operating in A2AD and C2D2E areas of operation.

According to Richards, current and future requirements call for reductions in the size, weight and power specifications of handheld and manpack software defined radios (SDRs) in particular, as well as hardware commonality and reduced complexity of operation and maintenance in order to lessen logistical burdens.

Additional areas of interest include reduction in the size of antenna profiles for ground, airborne and maritime platforms in order to evade physical detection by enemy forces; enhancements in cyber security to ensure secure communications; the identification of wireless and tethered personal area networks; and the proliferation of ‘cross-domain’ solutions allowing the same SDRs to be used in multiple mission roles and environments.

USSOCOM, Richards added, is also interested in managing signature reduction and jam resistant waveforms of SDRs across A2AD and C2D2Es in terms of Line-of-Sight (LoS) and Beyond Line of Sight (BLoS) communications as well as demand for high bandwidth RF communications including ISR transmissions and wideband high frequency solutions. This requirement also applies to satellite communication (SATCOM) high-throughput in C-, X-, Kuand Ka-bands.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated ahead of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels that NATO was ‘investing…in modern capabilities, which are able to deal with A2AD challenges.”

NGTC Suite

Of particular interest to the international SOF community is USSOCOM’s Next Generation Tactical Communications (NGTC) suite of SDR technologies which currently includes handheld and manpack form factors.

As Shelton explained, the NGTC family of solutions has been designed to provide SOF small unit teams with “real time, hostile and friendly force information, LoS and BLoS communications, and access to situation awareness in the form of intelligence inputs, broadcasts and networks”.

L3 Harris continues to deliver undisclosed amounts of the AN/PRC-163 NGTC to the US Special Operations Command. International SOF partner forces will be keen to maintain the highest levels in interoperability, potentially through the procurement of the same SDR type.

L3 Harris Technologies is contracted to deliver the NGTC capability to USSOCOM in both handheld and manpack form factors with the addition of an ISR mission module, initially manufactured by L3 Technologies ahead of its merger with Harris Corporation in 2019.

Speaking to AI, L3 Harris’s USSOCOM sales manager, Sandy Olejnicza explained: “The Harris NGTC handheld and manpack radios enable the insertion of additional capabilities into the tactical communications network via their common mission module interface.

“The first mission module is an ISR receiver that enables an ISR video feed to be received on the radio with the ISR MM and disseminated to other radio users, eliminating the need for multiple ISR receivers in a single formation,” he explained before confirming how the company was also in the process of designing additional mission modules to support as yet undisclosed mission profiles.

“The rapid integration of emerging technology into the ecosystem of NGTC devices ensures that the SOF community will be able to react to emerging threats and maintain dominance in the current and future operating environments,” Olejniczak suggested.

The AN/PRC-163 (formerly designated RF-335M-STC), comprises a two-channel SDR with ‘double-height’ screen to support ISR operations and the utility of the mission module.

Operating between 30 and 2,600MHz frequency ranges, the AN/PRC-163 is capable of supporting multiple waveforms including Trellisware. Technologies’ TSM-X Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) solution. The SDR can also support UHF SATCOM connectivity and wideband data rates up to 16MBPS, company officials confirmed to Armada.

Weighing a total of 1.13kg (inclusive of battery), the SDR has also been designed to survive immersion in water down to a depth of 20m. The radio is also capable of accommodating Suite A and Suite B encryption services, allowing levels of interoperability with partner nation forces around the World.

L3 Harris continues to deliver an undisclosed number of NGTC Handheld SDRs to USSOCOM force components under a ‘high volume low rate of initial production’ contract.

Referring to the NGTC Manpack solution for USSOCOM, Olejniczak confirmed it is still under development and “progressing extremely well”.

“The Operational User Assessment will occur in 2019, and the SOF community is very excited to get their hands on the bigbrother of the AN/PRC-163 handheld radio,” he confirmed.

SATCOM

SATCOM remains a critical mission capability for SOF units operating at extended range and in austere environments, despite concerns regarding jamming and disruption in A2ADs and C2D2Es.

On 28 May 2019, USSOCOM awarded Leonardo DRS a $977 million contract to provide global SATCOM services to the Tampa-based headquarters as well as the organisation’s Theatre Special Operations Commands (TSOCs) and Component Commands which include US Army, Air Force and Marine Special Operations Commands as well as Naval Special Warfare.

The contract sees Leonardo DRS supporting an eight year programme centred around USSOCOM’s Global Access Network (GAN) system, which comprises an end-to-end commercial SATCOM solution.

According to a statement on the day of the contract award from Dave Fields, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Global Enterprise Solutions business unit, USSOCOM requires an “integrated satellite and terrestrial telecommunications system to support the dissemination of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence information between USSOCOM, its components, and their major subordinate units as well as selected US government agencies and activities directly associated with the special operations community”.

“Network connectivity includes satellite transmission and terrestrial services, which connect communication hubs to deployed communication nodes located in the continental US and outside the continental US in support of deployed Special Operations Forces,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, USSOCOM continues to be supported by Viasat in terms of research and development into next-generation ‘multi-mode, multi-mission and multifrequency satellite terminals’, available in Ka-band.

Speaking to AI, Viasat’s president for government systems, Ken Peterman, described how the company remains in the midst of delivering terminals to the Command which will be capable of supporting Ku-band communications in the future.

“We are demonstrating how to enhance mission effectiveness and enable new concepts of operation not possible before which allow end users to ‘hide in plain sight’ amongst commercial SATCOM traffic. This is a significant advantage when operating in A2ADs and C2D2Es,” said Peterman.

Viasat is also working with Tampa Microwave Systems and L3 Harris, both companies of which are already contracted to support USSOCOM’s Satellite Deployable Node (SDN) light, medium and heavy programmes.

“Viasat is working with those satellite terminal providers so they are able to operate across Viasat networks and other [satellite constelllations] in Geographic, Medium Earth and Low Earth Orbits in the future,” Peterman continued.

“We are carefully looking at emerging technology in the private sector which is very revealing,” Peterman concluded. “High capacity at Ka-band is effectively immune to ground based jamming, data collection and technologically game-changing. Many across government and defence communities don’t have an appreciation for the enormous technology investment and rapid pace at which technology is evolving in the private sector.”

End User Devices

According to Olejniczak, the SOF market continues to witness the utility of additional end user devices including smart phones tethered to SDRs. Examples include USSOCOM’s Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) which is also in operation with multiple SOF partner forces around the world.

Networked to Samsung or any technology agnostic end user device which is generally mounted on the chest, TAK software is designed to provide operators with ‘precision targeting, intelligence on surrounding land formations, navigation and general situation awareness’, according to the US Air Force Lab, Army Research Lab and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Also critical to the employment of any SDR are headsets and vehicle/platform intercommunication solutions, allowing SOF operators to benefit from seamless communications in both dismounted and mounted roles.

Seeking to overcome many of these operational requirements from the SOF community is Invisio which has designed an ‘easy to use, portable and battery operated’ intercom solution allowing end users to establish ‘intercom’ environments anywhere and instantly when needed.

Invisio’s senior vice president for research and development, Jan Larsen described how the design of the intercom had comprised a natural progression from the company’s series of communication and hearing protection systems initially aimed at supporting dismounted end users.

“These different systems have generated great interest and are now sold to a wide range of customers within the global defence and public safety communities. With the intercom system, Invisio is bridging the gap between the dismounted and mounted soldier. The new intercom system is developed for use together with Invisio’s personal communication equipment and it is small, lightweight, costeffective and highly mobile to establish Intercom anywhere,” Larsen explained.

Invisio has designed its Intercom System to connect dismounted special operations users with platforms including air, ground and maritime assets.

Developed in collaboration with undisclosed end users in the SOF community, the Invisio Intercom System allows end users to quickly ‘plug-into’ any platform communications suite without requirement to change equipment. Examples, highlighted by Larsen, include tactical ground vehicles including the HMMWV and M-ATV; C-130 Hercules aircraft; UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters; as well as maritime surface vessels.

Comprising a single box, each Intercom System is capable of accommodating up to ten plug-in devices. However, Larsen warned how Invisio’s solution is not a ‘traditional intercom’ system: “It’s a lightweight portable system that can be carried and operated from a bag. It can be installed in vehicles for normal intercom operation, but its full strength is utilised in environments with a need for a portable, easy-to-use, plug-and-play system that can easily be set-up anywhere the users may go.

“The intercom system was developed for stand-alone use or together with Invisio’s existing communication systems, permanently mounted in a vehicle or portably in a backpack,” Larsen added before explaining how the solution features the company’s own IntelliCable plug-nplay interface which operates with “most portable and installed radio systems”.

“The system makes it possible for multiple users and radios to be connected simultaneously while using their existing soldier system. Seamless plug and play integration between control units, intercoms, headsets and interface cables are key to the versatility of the Invisio system, as it allows for deployment of new equipment without the need for updating existing Invisio systems,” he continued.

According to Larsen, Invisio received its first Intercom System order at the end of 2018 although he was unable to confirm the customer with a ‘European defence force’.

Conclusion

No matter the future direction of the contemporary operating environment, assured tactical communications will remain a critical pre-requisite to special operations task groups operating in A2AD/ C2D2Es and other austere environments. However, particular attention must be given by industry and commanders in terms of ease of use in order to not only reduce the cognitive load on end users but also optimise operational effectiveness. (Source: Armada)

20 May 20. As in Other Domains, U.S. Use of Electromagnetic Spectrum is Contested. That the U.S. military is no longer the only — or even the dominant — user of air, land, sea, space and cyberspace is not disputed. In every domain where the U.S. military once went unchallenged, newcomers hope to usurp its long-held dominance. Less well-known are new challengers in the electromagnetic spectrum, the deputy director for the Defense Department’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team said.

“The joint force is critically dependent on [the electromagnetic spectrum] across our joint functions and our domains, yet often it is viewed as a commodity. It’s viewed as a utility, and it is assumed that it can be accessed at will,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Lance Landrum, who spoke as part of a forum today with the Association of Old Crows. Landrum also serves as the deputy director for requirements and capability development in the Joint Staff’s force structure, resource and assessment directorate.

The electromagnetic spectrum, or EMS, includes the array of frequencies used by communications equipment such as radios, GPS, cell phones and remotely controlled devices, for instance. While the United States has assumed in the past that it was alone or nearly alone while operating in this area, this is no longer the case. Both commercial interests and adversary militaries are now actively using the EMS for their own interests.

“For decades, the United States has enjoyed uncontested or dominant superiority in every operating domain,” Landrum said. “We generally could deploy our forces when we wanted, assemble them where we wanted and operate how we wanted. Today, every day, every domain is contested.”

American adversaries have been fielding systems and platforms to challenge U.S. traditional areas of advantage such as precision guidance, timing, low observable technology, space-based communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, the general said.

Additional advances in technology, he noted, have led to an increase in commercial and military EMS-enabled capabilities over the last few decades.

“The spectrum has become increasingly complex. More players are accessing and leveraging sections of bandwidth, making it congested,” he said. “And the spectrum is still constrained by the physics and the reality of that space.”

To deal with the complexities of new challenges in the EMS, Landrum said the Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team and the DOD chief information officer have been drafting a new EMS superiority strategy.

He said he believes that strategy can be signed by January and then work can start immediately to implement it. That implementation will be overseen by the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The vice chairman will address the changes necessary in governance, manpower, training, readiness and capabilities to achieve the strategies vision, which is freedom of action across the electromagnetic spectrum,” Landrum said.

To address capability gaps in the EMS, Landrum said the team is analyzing past and present investments in EMSO capabilities, and is also providing guidance to inform future DOD investment strategies in EMSO capabilities.

Landrum said that first priority is challenged, in part, by defining what constitutes an EMSO system.

“A lot of EMS-related capabilities are integrated into other items,” he said. “And while some are very clear — things like jammers, electronic countermeasure systems and things like that —  others are more nuanced. For instance, is investment in a new tactical radio an EMSO investment, or is it a sub-element of the radio, such as software that encrypts the communications or allows for dynamic spectrum maneuver?”

In terms of informing future investment in EMSO capabilities, the strategy is a comprehensive approach to acquire EMS capabilities suitable for great power competition, Landrum said.

“The DOD EMSO investment strategy seeks to achieve this objective by providing specific top-down recommendations related to concept-driven, threat-informed, EMSO capability development, addressing and prioritizing gaps across the requirements, acquisition, budgeting and operations processes in the department,” he explained. (Source: US DoD)

20 May 20. This platform will help train AI algorithms for the military. After landing a contract with the U.S. Air Force in April, California-based company Labelbox announced May 20 it is making its artificial intelligence training data platform available more widely to the federal government and intelligence community.

Labelbox offers a software platform by the same name that allows development teams to manage the data used to train machine learning algorithms. For instance, in order for a machine learning tool to successfully begin identifying missile launchers in satellite imagery, it needs to be fed hundreds — or even millions — of pre-labeled pictures identifying the objects it needs to identify. The more accurate training data is fed to the algorithm, the better it works. Some government machine learning projects need to process petabytes of data per day, the company says, a flow of data that can be overwhelming.

“Labelbox is an integrated solution for data science teams to not only create the training data but also to manage it in one place,” said CEO Manu Sharma in a statement. “It’s the foundational infrastructure for customers to build their machine learning pipeline.”

The platform can be used in the cloud or on-premises, allowing data science teams to work together across agencies or locations, the company claims.

In April, the company announced it had won an Air Force Innovation Hub Network (AFWERX) Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research contract to conduct feasibility studies on how their platform could integrate with ongoing Air Force efforts.

Now, the company is partnering with Carahsoft Technology Corp. to make their platform more widely available to the federal government and the intelligence community. Carahsoft will be able to provide the platform to interested agencies through its NASA Solutions for enterprise-wide procurement contracts and reseller partners, the company announced May 20. (Source: Defense News)

20 May 20. Pentagon orders $2bn worth of jam-resistant radios. The US Navy has issued two contracts totaling as much as $2bn for Joint Tactical Radio Systems over the next five years. Viasat and the joint venture Data Link Solutions LLC (comprised of BAE Systems and Collins Aerospace) were each awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts worth as much as $1bn for the production, retrofitting, development and sustainment of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems, or MIDS JTRS, terminals.

There were two proposals submitted for the contracts.

The MIDS JTRS terminal is a software-defined radio that provides secure, line-of-sight voice and data communications for a variety of air, sea and ground platforms. The jam-resistant radio can transmit and receive data over Link 16 and Tactical Air Navigation systems like existing technology. It can also use new communications protocals and advanced networking waveforms, including the multifunction advanced data link and the intra-flight data link.

According to the contract announcement, there are three terminal variants covered by this award: the Concurrent Multi-Netting-4, the Tactical Targeting Network Technology and the F-22 variant.

The combined contracts will provide terminals for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and NATO nations.

The award is a followup to five-year contracts issued to both companies in 2015, which are set to expire May 27. Work under the new contracts is expected to be complete by May 2025. (Source: Defense News)

19 May 20. US Navy commences final DET tests for NGJ-LB capability. The US Navy has started the final Demonstration of Existing Technologies (DET) test period for the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) capability, which is part of a larger NGJ weapon system, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

NGJ-LB tests are being conducted at the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility and the Facility for Antenna and RCS Measurement (FARM).

Under the 20-month DET contract, the US Navy collaborated with multiple industry partners to conduct the test.

NGJ-LB Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) Programme Manager Captain Michael Orr said: “This is an exciting time for the team. It’s the culmination of almost two years in the making.

“I’m very proud, despite the current Covid-19 environment, that our collective government and industry teams continue to focus on delivering fleet capability while also maintaining health and safety protocol.”

In October 2018, Northrup Grumman and L-3Harris Technologies won two DET contracts. Under the contracts, both companies have completed eight significant test events.

NGJ-LB is part of a larger NGJ weapon system, which will replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) currently used for Airborne Electronic Attack on the EA-18G Growler aircraft. (Source: naval-technology.com)

18 May 20. Booz Allen Hamilton wins massive Pentagon artificial intelligence contract. Booz Allen Hamilton won a five-year, $800m task order to provide artificial intelligence services to the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC).

Under the contract award, announced by the General Services Administration and the JAIC on May 18, Booz Allen Hamilton will provide a “wide mix of technical services and products” to support the JAIC, a DoD entity dedicated to advancing the use of artificial intelligence across the department.

The contracting giant will provide the JAIC with “data labeling, data management, data conditioning, AI product development, and the transition of AI products into new and existing fielded programs,” according to the GSA news release.

“The delivered AI products will leverage the power of DoD data to enable a transformational shift across the Department that will give the U.S. a definitive information advantage to prepare for future warfare operations,” the release said.

The contract will support the JAIC’s new joint warfighting mission initiative, launched earlier this year. The initiative includes “Joint All-Domain Command and Control; autonomous ground reconnaissance and surveillance; accelerated sensor-to-shooter timelines; operations center workflows; and deliberate and dynamic targeting solutions,” said JAIC spokesperson Arlo Abrahamson told C4ISRNET in January.

The joint warfighting initiative is looking for “AI solutions that help manage information so humans can make decisions safely and quickly in battle,” Abrahamson said. The award to Booz Allen Hamilton will push that effort forward, Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, the center’s director, said in a statement.

“The Joint Warfighting mission initiative will provide the Joint Force with AI-enabled solutions vital to improving operational effectiveness in all domains. This contract will be an important element as the JAIC increasingly focuses on fielding AI-enabled capabilities that meet the needs of the warfighter and decision-makers at every level,” Shanahan said.

DoD CIO Dana Deasy told Defense News in December that the JAIC would embark on its first lethality project in 2020, which Abrahamson said would be part of the joint warfighting initiative. According to an April blog post from the JAIC, the initiative’s first RFP released in March included the ethical principles DoD adopted this year, an effort to quell concern about how the Pentagon uses artificial intelligence.

The award to Booz Allen Hamilton was made by the GSA through its Alliant 2 Government-wide Acquisition Contract, a vehicle designed to provide artificial intelligence services to the federal government. The GSA and JAIC have been partners since last September, when the pair announced that they were teaming up as part of the GSA’s Centers of Excellence initiative, a program meant to accelerate modernization with agencies across government.

“The CoE and the JAIC continue to learn from each other and identify lessons that can be shared broadly across the federal space,” said Anil Cheriyan, director of the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services office, which administers the Centers of Excellence program. “It is important to work closely with our customers to acquire the best in digital adoption to meet their needs.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

17 May 20. Militaries need a more flexible, scalable approach to electronic warfare. The U.S. Air Force recently retired its first Compass Call aircraft. Made in 1982, it featured special modifications such as locating, listening, and jamming enemy communications. As a result, this aircraft’s systems could severely inhibit force communications and coordination. These advanced capabilities ensured its operation for almost four decades.

In that time, however, the use of the electromagnetic spectrum operations in conflicts began to evolve at a much faster pace, leading to more complex EW applications. Varied technology and market trends merged to enable the ongoing emergence of new threats, challenging modern military units to identify these quickly evolving threats in a timely manner.

In any EW conflict, the winner is the one that can maneuver most quickly through the EM spectrum by leveraging technology advances. Yet threats have grown increasingly in number and sophistication, with one reason being the availability of technology.

A decade ago, very few players dominated this battlefield. The technological capabilities and investments required to dominate in EW prohibited others from developing competing EW capabilities. As commercial electronics became cheaper and more available, however, adversaries of all sizes entered the EW fray. Even smaller adversaries now potentially have a competitive threat arsenal, making the threat environment more dangerous and unpredictable.

Threats take varied forms

As a result of these technology leaps, threats also grow increasingly sophisticated. Threats of the past were static in nature – always appearing and behaving the same. Today’s threats are responsive, changing their behavior based on the scenario. If an adversary is jamming a reactive threat, for example, it will switch frequencies or take another action to elude that jamming. Adversaries must now assume that a threat might change and prepare to react accordingly.

Often, such threats are described as cognitive or adaptive. Although people use these terms interchangeably, many levels of adaptability exist. Most of them do not come near the capabilities of cognitive EW. Using machine learning, cognitive EW systems can enter an environment with no knowledge of the adversary’s capabilities and rapidly understand the scenario. By doing something that makes the adversary’s system react, they can evaluate its response. They can then develop an effective response that is suited for that particular adversary’s system.

In contrast, adaptive solutions cannot rapidly grasp and respond to a new scenario in an original manner. For example, an adaptive radar can sense the environment and alter transmission characteristics accordingly, providing a new waveform for each transmission or adjusting pulse processing. This flexibility may allow it to enhance its target resolution, for instance.

Many adversary systems require only a simple software change to alter waveforms, which adds to the unpredictability of waveform appearance and behavior. Military forces struggle to isolate adaptive radar pulses from other signals, friend or foe. As these threats grow increasingly adaptive, their opponents must respond to them in a much shorter time.

Impact of machine learning

With AI, intelligent machines work and respond much like humans. Machines can therefore perform smarter tasks using capabilities like signals recognition. Machine learning takes AI one step further, allowing machines to continuously learn from data and adapt as a result. These computers learn over time at a very rapid rate. Threats using machine learning continue to learn from every conflict, determining ways to be more effective so that they prevail against future countermeasures.

This evolution occurs without the need for human interaction, as the computer decides how to alter behaviors. When tested or engaged, these threat systems learn from that experience. They modify their future behavior as a result, which means the computer decides the next steps. Due to the system’s unpredictable behavior, even the people who implemented it cannot foretell its exact behavior.

In the theater of the future, the adversary will have a more complete picture of operations. Building on the past decade’s transformation, the next 10 to 20 years promise to deliver faster, more evolved technology developments. Many predict that machine learning and artificial intelligence developments will drive powerful, continuous evolution in EW. The EW threat environment will leverage drastic processing improvements, for example, using multiple devices to provide more information in less time. Sensing technologies also will play a larger role, gathering information about the conflict zone. New coding techniques already result in increasingly complex, interconnected, and correlated sensors.

These technology innovations will spawn knowledgeable, newly responsive threats that find novel ways to gain power in the EM spectrum. While the technologies will continue evolving and new threats constantly emerge, one constant remains: the military force that achieves and maintains spectrum dominance also will dominate the EW theater. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

18 May 20. U.S. Defense Innovation Unit Awards Antenna Development Project with Isotropic Systems to Trial Optical Beamforming Technology for Naval Communications. Isotropic Systems’ multi-beam terminals to be prototyped for challenging environments at sea. Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, today announced an antenna evaluation and development contract with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to test the ability of its patented multi-beam antennas to unlock high-powered bandwidth aboard next-gen Naval vessels at sea.  Isotropic Systems’ unique optical antenna, unleashing the power of next-gen connectivity for defense and government worldwide. Isotropic Systems’ multi-beam antennas to unlock high-powered bandwidth aboard next-gen navy vessels at sea. As the U.S. Navy expands the size and communications capabilities of its global fleet, the DIU is reviewing Isotropic Systems’ patented beamforming antenna technologies and circuits as an enabler to fuse multi-band, multi-orbit commercial and military capacity to deliver intelligence data at the tactical edge over a single platform. The collaboration contract is focused on the delivery of a low-profile, high performance, affordable and customizable antenna to support multiple links over multiple bands of satellite capacity, including S-, C-, Ka-, Ku-, X-, and Q-band connectivity, to open up a new world of real-time government communications and connectivity.

DIU will prototype and analyze the performance of Isotropic Systems’ resilient optical beamforming terminals during an extensive series of environmental and interference chamber tests throughout 2020. Teams will measure the impact of harsh elements, such as intense winds, salt water, and electromagnetic interference (EMI), in preparation for installations aboard new-age Navy ships. Isotropic Systems’ high-performance terminal features optical lens modules that are conformal to the limited real estate aboard Navy ships, providing an antenna design that delivers seamless make-before-break switching between satellites in multiple orbits, and continuous connectivity during turbulent pitch-and-roll conditions facing vessels traversing rough seas.” Isotropic Systems has cracked the code for a new age of seamless and secure connectivity and communications in some of the most challenging conditions facing government agencies and military operations around the globe,” said John Finney, CEO and Founder of Isotropic Systems. “This important effort is potentially a major milestone that will ultimately lead to ultra-high-speed data delivery and real-time national security advantages that come with integrated government networks. We will enable the Navy, and other government forces and agencies, to arbitrage all the capacity it needs from across low-Earth, geosynchronous- equatorial and medium-earth orbit constellations over a single multi-beam platform.. DIU collaborative terminal reviews with Isotropic Systems will begin in the lab and may ultimately lead to milestone evaluations aboard U.S. Navy ships.  (Source: PR Newswire)

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Spectra Group Plc

Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.

Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.

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In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.

Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.

Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.

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