Sponsored by Spectra Group
01 Oct 20. US Army wants help with radios that integrate with augmented reality. The U.S. Army wants to know if there are additional radio vendors that can compete on an integration effort involving the service’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS. According to a request for information posted last week, the Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical is seeking single-channel data radios that can “support and integrate” with IVAS. The IVAS program, led by the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team, provides soldiers with artificial intelligence-enhanced goggles that assist with navigation, targeting, and advanced night and thermal vision.
The current vendors are Silvus and Domo Tactical Communications. The RFI states that the Army will need about 100,000 radios, with procurement starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and delivered to soldiers beginning in June 2022. Paul Mehney, communications director for PEO C3T, said there will be multiple awards.
“We believe that the technology has matured in the commercial space and we believe that there’s additional vendors that can compete. We’ve also, through the soldier touchpoints, learned about how these radios are going to be potentially used and in what configuration they’ll be used,” Mehney told C4ISRNET.
“Initially these radios were intended only to be at the squad level to form a squad network. Now we believe that we can bring that up to the platoon level because the waveforms and the radios themselves have matured in the commercial sector to allow us to bring more nodes into the network, and we may even take a look at bringing them up to the company level as well.”
The single-channel data radios, working with IVAS, will provide a small form-factor solution to transport Tactical Assault Kit data between dismounted soldiers to increase situational awareness. Responses are due Oct. 7. (Source: Defense News)
30 Sep 20. Pentagon’s CIO shop teams with armed services to prep for move to JEDI cloud. The Pentagon’s top IT official said Wednesday that his office has spent the last few months preparing the armed services to migrate to the department’s long-delayed enterprise cloud as soon as it becomes available.
“We’re doing a lot of work with the services on getting them prepared to move their [software] development processes and cycles to DevOps so when the [Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure] cloud finally does get awarded, we’re not starting at Day One,” Dana Deasy, Pentagon chief information officer, said during a Defense Writers Group roundtable.
The JEDI cloud contract was originally awarded to Microsoft over Amazon Web Services 11 months ago, and then was halted by a federal judge in February. Though the court case remains unresolved, Deasy said the services must now identify tools, integration environments and directories that need set up to connect users into the cloud when it’s available.
Despite the judge’s decision, “that’s all work that we can do because it sits inside our ownership all ready,” Deasy said.
While the Department of Defense has faced criticism for its single-award structure, particularly as cloud technologies have advanced during the yearslong delay, Deasy insisted the JEDI cloud still fills a critical capability gap the department needs to deliver to the war fighter: data at the tactical edge and DevOps.
The JEDI cloud is the platform the department still envisions for those needs and is an important piece of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, an initiative through which the services want to connect sensors and shooters. Deasy said the DoD has solutions in place to form that connection, but still needs “that tactical cloud out at the tactical edge.”
“JADC2 is going to point out, time and time again, about the need of being able to swiftly bring data together. And guess what? That data is going to be of different classifications, and bringing that together in a cross-domain way in a very quick-to-need [way] is something that is still a need we have across the Department of Defense that JEDI was specifically designed to solve for,” Deasy said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
25 Sep 20. More EW Units for Japan’s Army. Japan plans to deploy a new EW unit to equip its Western Army to provide coverage in Okinawa Prefecture. Japanese media have reported that the country’s Ground Self-Defence Force will soon activate a new electronic warfare unit.
Reports stated that the JGSDF (Japan Ground Self-Defence Force) will activate the new unit to protest Okinawa Prefecture in the far south of Japan’s archipelago. This is expected to be deployed with the JGSDF’s Western Army. The Western Army includes the 4th, 8th and 15th Divisions. It is headquartered at Camp Kengun, Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu Island in the southwest of the archipelago. The EW unit maybe deployed as an independent formation to provide electronic warfare assistance to the constitute divisions of the Western Army as and when required.
News of the unit’s activation follows revelations in late June that the JGSDF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade has activated an organic EW unit. This was preceded by the ground self-defence force’s 1st EW Unit. The 1st EW Unit is an independent formation containing three EW companies headquartered at Higashi Chitose on the western side of the northern island of Hokkaido. It provides electronic warfare support to the JGSDF’s Northern Army.
While no specific details have been revealed, all three formations should be activated by 2025 at the latest. They are strongly expected to employ the Mitsubishi Electric NEWS Type-1 vehicle-mounted signals intelligence system. Believed to cover a 30 megahertz to 300 gigahertz waveband the NEWS Type-1 may collect both communications and electronic intelligence. This July, NEWS Type-1 units were delivered to the JGSDF’s Signal School outside Tokyo. (Source: Armada)
01 Oct 20. INVISIO launches the first headset that performs in all mission scenarios. INVISIO launches a new innovative over-the-ear headset – the INVISIO T7. The tactical communication headset sets new standards for submersibility, ruggedness, flexibility, and comfort while combining industry-leading hearing protection with situational awareness.
INVISIO has for many years led the market in advanced in-ear hearing protection headsets with situational awareness. The T7 headset extends that leadership to over-the-ear devices, combining the best of INVISIOs capabilities in tactical communication headsets.
Designed for military and public safety professionals on critical missions, the T7 headset is lightweight, submersible, robust and offers three interchangeable wearing styles. When used with INVISIO control units, the T7 provides market-leading hearing protection, state-of-the-art situational awareness and clear communication in all environments.
“We have developed the INVISIO T7 in close cooperation with several special forces units, which routinely operate in the most challenging conditions,” says Jeroen Berns, Senior Product Manager Headsets, INVISIO.
The INVISIO T7 headset brings several new, unique features to the over-the-ear headset market:
Submersible and rugged
- Operational at altitudes of 12,000+ meters down to 10 meters of submersion.
Next level flexibility
- Available in three different and interchangeable wearing styles with no tools needed when changing.
- Lightweight at less than 350 grams and with a choice of three different ear cushions, including a new, patent-pending ergonomically shaped 3D cushion.
- Industry-leading hearing protection with clear communication in extreme noise levels and unparalleled situational awareness.
“Safety, comfort and versatility has really improved with the INVISIO T7’s three patent-pending features,” says Jeroen Berns.
“We have developed a new speaker system with submersion capabilities to 10 meters, 3D ear cushions ergonomically shaped to fit the human head for improved comfort, and hear-thru microphone drainage to ensure immediate situational awareness after submersion.”
From inception, the INVISIO T7 headset was designed and optimized to meet or exceed the rigorous 810G military standard. It is thus able to operate during extreme temperature changes or in highly corrosive environments.
The new INVISIO T7 completes and significantly strengthens the INVISIO product portfolio of tactical headsets, encompassing a dive headset, dual in-ear headsets and over-the ear headsets. (Source: Armada)
30 Sep 20. PacStar 451 with Juniper vSRX Virtual Firewall Approved for U.S. Government Classified Use. Collaboration between PacStar and Juniper Networks marks the first tactical IPS to be included on the NSA CSfC Components list.
PacStar®, a leading developer and supplier of advanced communications solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), today announced that PacStar 451 integrated with the vSRX Virtual Firewall from Juniper Networks, a leader in secure, AI-driven networks, will be added to the National Security Agency (NSA) component list for use in NSA CSfC (Commercial Solutions for Classified) solutions. This combined solution delivers a complete virtual next generation firewall, including advanced security, robust networking and automated virtual machine lifecycle management capabilities for tactical applications, enabling security specialists to deploy and scale firewall protection in highly dynamic environments.
“PacStar 451 with Juniper vSRX Virtual Firewall will join the comprehensive suite of technologies available with PacStar 400-Series modules eligible for use in CSfC solutions,” said Peggy J. Miller, CEO of PacStar. “We are proud to be working with Juniper Networks to add another solution to our list of CSfC offerings and to deliver small form factor, rugged and high-performance security solutions for deployed, tactical and expeditionary use.”
The combined PacStar 451 with the Juniper vSRX boasts comprehensive security features, including:
- Virtual firewall with L4-L7 advanced security services
- UTM capabilities including antivirus, web filtering, content filtering and anti-spam
- Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) with zero-day protection, protocol decoding and packet capture
- Application visibility and control
- Advanced Threat Protection including cloud-based deep inspection, threat feeds and encrypted traffic analysis
- IPsec VPN Gateway and extensive networking and routing features
- Unified management and open APIs
“The joint PacStar/Juniper Networks solution extends the reach of our Juniper Connected Security solution to our DoD and IC customers. The joint solution provides a flexible, robust, certified and secure CSfC solution that integrates seamlessly within existing DoD and IC networks,” said Gregory Bourdelais, Juniper Networks DoD Director of Sales.
PacStar 451 with Juniper vSRX will be eligible to be used as Stateful Traffic Filter Firewall, VPN Gateway and IPS components in CSfC solutions. In addition, the solution also completed the NIST FIPS-140-2 Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP) and NIAP Common Criteria Validation. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
01 Oct 20. TechnologyOne elevates Australia’s cyber security status. The software company is set to enhance the federal government’s cyber security posture, after earning the IRAP ‘Protected’ security assessment.
TechnologyOne has become the first enterprise software provider to earn the ‘Protected’ status through the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP).
As a result, federal government agencies using TechnologyOne’s software as a service (SaaS) platform are set to be upgraded from ‘Official: Sensitive’ status to ‘Protected’.
The firm has claimed the transition would not incur additional cost or disrupt operational activity.
According to the former head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre and CyberCX strategy chief Alastair MacGibbon, the cyber security upgrade comes at a critical time for the nation.
“The more protected systems across government the better. In security, you’re only as strong as the weakest link,” he said.
“Smaller government agencies are exposed to the same risk and threats as their larger counterparts, but often have fewer resources to mitigate them.
“I applaud any company, particularly a sovereign Australian one, that is looking to raise security by design and default.”
Ed Chung, TechnologyOne CEO, said the IRAP assessment would strengthen the government’s defences against mounting cyber threats.
“Our federal government customers will get access to a more secure service at no additional cost to the taxpayer, and we are confident that this is what Australia needs, and expects, of its homegrown technology companies,” the CEO said.
“As an Australian citizen, as well as the CEO of an Australian company, it’s important to me that the data that the federal government holds in trust for us – such as personal financial data – will now be protected with an additional level of security.
“Many agencies operate in both ‘Official’ and ‘Protected’ – often requiring two environments. We are pleased to be able to meet the unique, and specific needs of our federal government customers by removing this friction.”
Chung said TechnologyOne’s IRAP ‘Protected’ status and its pending Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership, would provide federal government agencies on the company’s SaaS platform with a “comprehensive cyber security posture”, covering “people, process and technology”. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Sep 20. US Army to receive new CIDAS neurotoxin detection equipment. US Army units will soon begin receiving a chemical detection system designed to simplify and enhance neurotoxin detection, with plans to expand the technology’s use cases in the coming years.
The Contamination Indicator/Decontamination Assurance System (CIDAS) was developed with initial funding from the Army Research Office (ARO), part of the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory (ARL). CIDAS is the FLIR Agentase C2 Disclosure Spray, and the system initially stemmed from funded efforts between ARL and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, with the latter founding a company – Agentase, LLC – in 1999 to further pursue the work. This company was acquired by FLIR Systems in 2010.
The system is designed to catch particular classes of neurotoxins, such as nerve agents that are extremely toxic to humans. It can detect chemical weapons accurately at low concentration levels, according to ARO. The system uses enzymes – which ARO defines as “complex proteins naturally produced by living organisms that act as a catalyst for specific biochemical reactions” – to quickly produce colour-based reactions with chemical warfare agents. When they are applied to a surface in liquid form as a spray, a colour change identifies the precise location of contamination by a chemical warfare agent.
The rapid colour change can be used to expedite the decontamination process by enabling up-front triage of contaminated equipment, as well as post-decontamination assurance that the threat has been successfully detoxified, said Jeremy Walker, director of science and technology for detection systems at FLIR. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Sep 20. US Army Wants New Mega-Jammer In 2023: TLS-EAB. Mounted on a pair of heavy trucks, the Terrestrial Layer System – Echelons Above Brigade (TLS-EAB) will do long-range jamming for high-level HQs – and fry the circuits of incoming enemy missiles as well.
The Army officially asked industry today to help take a big step towards repairing the Army’s long-neglected EW corps and countering Russian and Chinese jamming – and it’ll have an unexpected missile defense dimension as well.
Boeing and Lockheed are still building rival prototypes for the Army’s next-generation cyber/electronic warfare vehicle, the Terrestrial Layer System set to enter service in 2022. The new system, known as TLS-EAB — will be TLS’s much bigger brother. The service has set a pretty brisk schedule, talking of fielding something by the end of 2023.
The original-flavor TLS, aka TLS-BCT, will fit on an 8×8 Stryker armored vehicle and accompany frontline Brigade Combat Teams. TLS-Echelons Above Brigade will fill a pair of heavy trucks, probably Oshkosh FMTVs, Army officials unveiled today:
- One truck will carry sensors, transmitters, and a tethered drone or aerostat to detect enemy signals, triangulate their locations for artillery and airstrikes, and disrupt them electronically with a combination of jamming, wireless hacking, and deceptive signals. It’ll be crewed by seven soldiers, four specializing in cyber/electronic warfare and three in signals intelligence. There will likely be sub-variants, for example with a division-level system designed to frequently relocate, while a Multi-Domain Task Force might accept a less mobile version with more range and power. But overall, this long-range offensive cyber/EW/SIGINT capability is essentially a supersized version of what the TLS-BCT will do, albeit operating over much greater distances.
- The other truck, however, adds a dimension absent from the brigade-level TLS-BCT: a high-powered but relatively short-ranged defensive EW capability to protect key sites like division, corps, and theater command posts. It’ll be crewed by four electronic warfare soldiers, but there’s no SIGINT on this variant. Instead, it’ll have an “electronic countermeasure point defense suite” – again, using a mix of jamming, wireless hacking, and deceptive signals – to decoy or disable incoming enemy drones, missiles, rockets, and artillery rounds, many of which rely on radar for guidance and fusing.
Because it’s mounted on trucks, TLS-EAB can be a lot bigger and more powerful than the Stryker-mounted TLS-BCT or the drone-mounted jamming/sensing system known as MFEW-Air-Large. But it will share data with those systems, because they’ll be closer to the front line and/or able to fly over obstacles to see distant threats.
TLS-EAB will also link to other Army and interservice systems like the EWPMT command-and-control software and the TITAN satellite terminal. The defensive suite, in particular, will get warning of incoming threats from air & missile defense networks – which we can presume includes the Army’s forthcoming IBCS – to “national technical means,” such as spy satellites.
Now, the three Army colonels who briefed the AOC CEMAlite conference this afternoon didn’t provide any details on what kind of incoming missiles the TLS-EAB defensive suite is meant to stop. Actually jamming an inbound hypersonic or ballistic missile might be prohibitively hard since those weapons fly so fast – Mach 5 and up – and may only be in range for seconds. But if you deceive the enemy’s reconnaissance and targeting systems into shooting at a decoy instead of the real target, it doesn’t matter how fast their missiles are — they’ll still miss.
It’s also worth noting that the Army hasn’t locked down the formal requirements for this system – a draft Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document (ACDD) is in the works – and the service intends to leave plenty of leeway for industry to propose out-of-the-box ideas. “These are our initial concept ideas and not intended to constrain or limit the industrial solution space,” said Col. Jennifer McAfee. “Please think of this is a starting point in a long and mutually beneficial conversation.”
That said, all proposals need to rely on an Army-developed software framework known as Photon and a set of technical standards known as CMOSS. Both are intended to let the service plug and play components from different vendors instead of getting locked into one company’s proprietary solution that’s not compatible with other people’s innovations. There’s also an official Software Development Kit (SDK) to let companies integrate their sensors into the Army-standard systems.
What the Army rolled out today was a draft concept of operations (CONOP) for TLS-EAB, explained the Army project manager, Col. Kevin Finch. Looking ahead, he outlined an ambitious schedule:
- January 2021: The Army will hold an initial industry day for interested vendors (TBD whether it’ll be in-person or online).
- February-March 2021: Individual vendors will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Army officials. Meanwhile the service will put together a draft Request For Proposals (RFP) and circulate it for industry feedback.
- June 2021: a second industry day.
- July 2021: the release of the final RFP and the official launch of what’s known as a Middle-Tier Acquisition process.
- Fall 2023 (first quarter of federal fiscal year 2024): the First Unit Equipped (FUE) will receive prototype TLS-EAB vehicles.
If EAB-TLS can stick to that 2023-2024 timeline, it’ll enter service along with a host of new long-range Army systems, from howitzers and hypersonics to intermediate-range missiles and missile defense lasers. But between the budgetary hit from COVID and the upcoming election, it’s far from certain the Army can afford it all. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
29 Sep 20. How new network tools can help find US paratroopers faster and improve situational awareness. When paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s First Brigade Combat Team landed in the drop zone during a night jump last week, it took leaders 45 minutes after hitting the ground to locate about 90 percent of their formation.
For contrast, at an exercise early last year, the commander of that brigade didn’t achieve 75 percent accountability of formation until the second day of the exercise.
That’s one of the major improvements that’s coming to three more Army brigades as part of Capability Set ’21, a new set of network tools that will be fully fielded to the First Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd in December.
The exercise at Ft. Bragg provided a soldier touch point opportunity for the Army’s integrated tactical network (ITN) team, made up of Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical and the Network Cross-Functional Team, to hear what soldiers thought about Capability Set ’21.
And leaders from the Army’s tactical network modernization team received some important feedback: the technology works, but the training needs improvement.
“It does what we thought it would do, which is increase situational awareness up and down,” Col. Andrew Saslav, commander of the 82nd Airborne’s First Brigade Combat Team, said in an interview with C4ISRNET. “That’s the critical thing … we don’t know where people are on the battlefield unless we can talk with them. Now, I can see them and that just speeds up processing.”
That’s good news for the Army as it’s set to deploy Capability Set ’21 to three more infantry brigades in fiscal 2021. The exercise, originally scheduled for January, was delayed after the deployment of the brigade to Kuwait in January and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Army’s tactical network modernization effort is working to provide a resilient tactical network to enable faster communications and data transfer to enable multi-domain operations (MDO) or Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
“Our obligation is very simple: we have to make this work,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said at a meeting Sept. 24. “And if it doesn’t, MDO, all-domain and everything else, is a pipe dream.”
While a high-profile Army experiment in the Yuma, Ariz. desert tested various future networking capabilities, this lesser known event in North Carolina found that the network tools fielded to brigades significantly improve communications, but that soldiers need improved training with the batteries and additional cables.
A major difference maker is Capability Set ’21′s End User Device, a Samsung Galaxy smartphone that works in tandem with the soldier’s radio to broadcast their location to all other users across the formation, as well as provides mapping capabilities. On average, the new “revolutionary” capability allows Saslav to see his formation 45 minutes to two hours, he said, a far cry from last year and a “game changer” when it comes to fighting battles.
“My job is to resource those companies, troops and batteries in the fight and I do that mainly through fires, whether that’s Army indirect fires, or its joint aircraft. If I can’t see them, if I don’t have a real-time data on where they are, then I can’t support them. And so now I can support them faster more quickly, I can bring everything in closer to get that into the fight,” Saslav told C4ISRNET.
The devices also allow soldiers to mark enemy positions and broadcast that information back through the rest of the formation. Shared understanding and increased situational awareness across the formation will save lives, and the EUDs increase both by an “untold variable,” Saslav said, because the capability eliminates the game of “telephone” played between the brigade commander and soldiers spread throughout the field.
Another Capability Set ’21 technology, known as the Variable Height Antenna, a tethered drone flying a TSM radio, successfully extended communications by several kilometers further than a standard, ground-based antenna would reach, the exercise found. These capabilities are a critical component of the Army’s work evolving its network into a mesh network that gets away from line-of-sight communications and uses individual radios as nodes that extend the range of the network to allow soldiers to talk to each other beyond line-of-sight, across the battlespace.
“I can always talk to the lowest radio to the highest radio because we have this mesh network and in ITN terms, that’s game changing for us,” Saslav said. “It is moving us beyond line of sight, so for the first time, and that beyond line of sight is movable and fixable.”
While the devices provide greater situational awareness, Saslav said during the exercise the location data wasn’t coming in with specific identifiers for what dots representing locations meant. But, in a way that highlighted the DevOps approach that the Army is taking to the modernization of its tactical network, the software was updated during the exercise because the vendor was in the field, Saslav said.
In addition, the Army discovered some linkage challenges between the radio and device, finding that the radio and device would lose the link between them if they were switched off. Leaders in the field want the devices to connect automatically so soldiers don’t have to connect them together themselves.
A new approach to training
But one major challenge Army tactical network officials learned from talking to soldiers using the equipment on the ground was that the training process for teaching soldiers how to use the equipment needed to improve. The radio and EUD are connected together to broadcast location information, but soldiers were trained to use the devices separately. But since the devices need to be used as a system, leaders learned that the soldiers needed to be trained on how the system works.
“What needs to happen is soldiers need to be trained with the equipment as they are worn and functions as an overall network because everything affects everything else,” said Capt. Brian Delgado, S6 of the 82nd Airborne Division’s first Brigade Combat Team.
And that network can be affected differently depending on the terrain. So while classroom training on the devices is important for the soldiers to learn the technology, they also need to learn how to use the technology in the field and how the terrain can affect it. Capt. Matthew Kane, S6 of the first brigade’s 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, told C4ISRNET that his big takeaway was adjustments to training.
“It needs to be as hands on as possible,” Kane said. “You need to get in the terrain and actually test the radio. The classroom won’t cut it just because it’s no longer programming the radio and walking away.”
These new capabilities also mean soldiers must carry more batteries and more cables with them. Col. Garth Winterle, project manager for tactical radios at PEO C3T, said that the team identified a couple issues with battery life, one that requires training soldiers different configurations to optimize battery life. The other battery life problem was addressed through a firmware update by the vendor.
Several Army personnel in the field also noted that soldiers needed to be taught best practices for cable management.
Soldiers “weren’t experts on how it’s powered or how to manage cables and that’s not a fault of the paratroopers,” Delgado said. “That’s a fault with the way that we were addressing training.”
As the Army perfects Capability Set ’21 and moves forward with Capability Set ’23, its next iteration of network tools, it will continue to rely on the feedback of soldiers to ensure that technology works, while being simple and intuitive enough for the user.
“The beauty of it is that feedback we’re going to get because [which] soldier right now has a really good idea that’s going to make this better? And that’s the feedback we’re really looking for,” said Col. Rob Ryan, deputy director of the Network-CFT. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
29 Sep 20. Keysight Delivers First 256 GSa/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator With 65 GHz Analog Bandwidth. Enables research engineers to develop advanced components for terabit transmission systems.
Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced the first 256 GSa/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) – Keysight’s M8199A – with 65 GHz analog bandwidth in a compact 2-slot AXIe module.
The growing demand for higher data transmission rates in telecom and data centers is driving transmission speeds to levels that are impossible to reach with the physical limitations of current test instruments. A creative approach was needed to extend rates towards theoretical limits and meet the needs of next generation transmission.
Keysight addressed this challenge by targeting the specific needs of engineers working on the fastest, most complex signals the industry has ever seen. As a result, Keysight Labs developed a new digital to analog converter application specific integrated circuit (DAC-ASIC) that translates the memory data into an analog signal. In addition, the company created a new package that avoids soldering sensitive radio frequency (RF signals), by placing an RF connector at the DAC-ASIC, thus avoiding signal degradation, plus a new breakthrough amplifier technology to deliver high speed and quality output signals with a smooth frequency roll-off.
These new components resulted in the industry’s first AWG that allows 256 GSa/s with a useable signal bandwidth beyond the nominal 65 GHz even up to 80 GHz.
Keysight’s new M8199A 256 GSa/s AWG provides research engineers a high performing signal source for arbitrary signals, enabling development of designs that push beyond the current limitations. Whether testing the discrete components of an optical coherent transmission system or experimenting with terabit transmission for data centers, research engineers need high sample rate, bandwidth, precision and flexibility to meet the challenges of these industry-leading applications.
Keysight’s M8199A 256 GSa/s AWG delivers twice the sampling rate of any AWG on the market today, coupled with at least 50 percent more analog bandwidth. As a result, research engineers can quickly develop advanced components for terabit transmission systems.
“Keysight continues to invest in core test and measurement technologies, and we are happy to introduce the world’s first 256 GSa/s AWG,” said Brad Doerr, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s Digital and Photonics Center of Excellence. “We are confident that the new M8199A will enable our customers to take the next step in the race for higher data transmission rates.”
Built with new Keysight-custom technology, the M8199A AWG enables early research users to load waveforms, test pre-distortion algorithms, create stimuli for physics experiments and generate radar pulses of high modulation bandwidth.
Cost and Availability
Keysight’s M8199A AWG starts at USD $331,000 for the 2 channel 128 GSa/s version. It will be available in December 2020. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
28 Sep 20. Kromek launches the D3 PRD high-accuracy personal radiation detector. All-in-one gamma device helps security forces detect radioactive sources at twice the speed, from twice as far and with greater sensitivity to protect against nuclear threats
Kromek Group plc (“Kromek” or the “Group”) (AIM: KMK), a worldwide supplier of detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets, is pleased to announce the launch of the D3 PRD, the new all-in-one, high-accuracy personal radiation detector (“PRD”) for first responders, armed forces, border security and CBRNE experts.
The D3 PRD continuously monitors gamma radiation levels, equipping security forces to protect against the threat of nuclear terrorism and the illicit movement of nuclear materials. Built to meet the requirements of the PRD market, it expands Kromek’s existing range of wearable radiation detectors. The D3 PRD is an all-in-one device, with replaceable batteries and which fits into a conventional use model of PRDs. It measures and notifies users of gamma dose while also storing spectral information that can be downloaded and analysed offline by a trained user if required.
The new product combines a small form factor (pocket-sized) with a detector substantially larger than that of competitors. It allows users to detect radiation at twice the speed, from twice the distance and with greater sensitivity (detecting material at half the strength) than the current state-of-the-art detectors. The built-in screen notifies users of radiation with a high dose accuracy of ±10% and it has an industry-leading ultra-low false alarm rate that is more than six times better than the ANSI standard determined by the US government.
In addition, Kromek’s CIRIS configuration software allows users to tailor the device settings for specific applications, including adjusting the threshold for alarms. The E-Learning platform allows users to benefit from on-the-go interactive training to ensure all frontline workers can be easily equipped with the device.
Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek, said: “We are very pleased to be deepening our footprint in the personal radiation detection market and expanding our wearable range. The new D3 PRD meets a growing market demand for a standalone gamma-only device, while offering market-leading dose accuracy, speed to alarm and an ultra-low false positive number. Built with ease-of-use in mind, the device can be tailored to specific applications and worn by all frontline workers, helping to ensure our towns and cities are protected against nuclear threats.”
28 Sep 20. Accenture establishes Adelaide hub to support defence, cyber and space capabilities. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has officially welcomed one of the world’s largest technology and professional services firms to Adelaide, with Accenture launching the ‘Accenture Adelaide Hub’, which is expected to create up to 2000 new jobs over the next five years.
The investment will include the development of National Security Operations and Cyber Defence capabilities, new Advanced Technology Centres of Excellence in areas such as Oracle, SAP, Splunk and Salesforce and Intelligent Operations capabilities to develop and deploy advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.
Premier Steven Marshall said the scale of Accenture’s investment in South Australia cannot be underestimated, with over $1bn expected to be injected into the state’s economy.
“Accenture’s Adelaide Hub will serve as a magnet for talented young people who will help drive our state’s economic growth and bolster our defence, space and cyber sectors,” Premier Marshall said.
“The decision by Accenture to invest here is proof that South Australia is a major drawcard to international companies across high-tech and high-growth sectors.
“Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen precinct is already home to an impressive line-up, including the Australian Space Agency, the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, MIT Living Lab, the Australian Institute of Machine Learning and the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre.”
Bob Easton, chairman of Accenture Australia and New Zealand, said Adelaide is home to a high-quality labour force, committed business community and a government that embraces new opportunities.
“Accenture is committed to serve as a key member of the local community, investing and working together with other businesses and educational institutions to assist the South Australian government in meeting its economic growth targets,” Easton added.
“The Accenture Adelaide Hub will collaborate with Accenture hubs in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra. These locations are connected to more than 100 Accenture innovation hubs and centres around the globe, bringing the best of Accenture’s capabilities, in advanced technologies, intelligent operations and cybersecurity to clients in Australia.”
The seven-hectare redevelopment site aims to drive jobs growth in these fast growing industries as well as blockchain, robotics and related technologies, with around 1,000 people expected to be working at Lot Fourteen by late 2019, with more than 40 businesses, including aerospace, technology and innovation giant Lockheed Martin, recently announcing tenancy in at the site. (Source: Defence Connect)
25 Sep 20. Lessons learned: Project Convergence hiccups prompt US Army to examine network tweaks. US Army officials gathered at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, on 23 September to watch an experimental sensor-to-shooter demonstration that included multiple misfires along the way. Ironing out such hiccups, however, will be one key for the service to succeed, fielding a future fleet of weapons linked and guided by artificial intelligence (AI). Janes accompanied senior service leaders out to Project Convergence 2020, which is billed as an inaugural event to bring together 34 technologies including prised modernisation priorities such as Long-Range Precision Fires and Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) technologies, as well as the network. During the course of several hours, the army ran through various land invasion scenarios broken up into three phases to simulate penetration, disintegration and exploitation operations with the objective of demonstrating specific “threads” within an “artificial intelligence-enabled kill web” with multiple sensors, shooters and targets.
One of the ultimate goals of the effort was to reduce the decision-making cycle from 20 minutes down to 20 seconds, in part by netting together space-based assets, the existing network, and a variety of sensors and shooters. At times, it was challenging to track the rapid chain of events, but this objective was seemingly achieved. However, tensions began to rise inside Forward Operating Base Laguna after a series of misfires and questions began surfacing about the single point of failure: Was it the network? (Source: Jane’s)
25 Sep 20. Pentagon seeks ‘dynamic’ solutions for 5G mid-band spectrum operations. The US Department of Defense is soliciting industry input on how Pentagon leaders can further exploit the range of contiguous-spectrum bandwidth, set aside by department and White House officials solely for the development of 5G mobile networked communications.
Specifically, top leaders with the department’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) want to glean industry insights on “innovative solutions and alternative approaches” to enable so-called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) strategies and applications, according to a 18 September request for information (RFI).
“The intent is to ensure the greatest effective and efficient use of the Department of Defense’s spectrum for training, readiness, and lethality” in development and fielding of advanced 5G capabilities, agency officials wrote in the solicitation.
At its core, the RFI is driven by the department’s requirement “to best develop and deploy DSS across a broad range of capabilities and for future understanding of how spectrum may be utilized in both 5G and innovative technologies”, the solicitation added.
DISA officials have also opted to expand the pool of possible DSS solutions outside the realm of the traditional defence industrial base, instead adopting a strategy of seeking “the art of the possible”, the RFI stated.
That strategy will seek out “the best methods for sharing spectrum with both military and civilian users”, including network communication companies that cater exclusively to commercial markets, it added. Industry responses are due to DISA by 19 October, the RFI stated.
DSS essentially enables multiple types of mobile networks to operate in a single section of bandwidth. In civilian applications, 4G LTE and 5G networks would be able to receive and transmit data across the same range of spectrum bandwidth, aided by DSS solutions. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Sep 20. TCI International, Inc. is leveraging its 50+ years of radio frequency (RF) spectrum expertise implementing RF machine learning (RFML) into its Blackbird COMINT / SIGINT solutions when it releases its new hardware platform in 2021. TCI is developing RF signal processing that will apply machine learning to time-series I/Q radio samples and channel measurements, enabling it to learn from data.
RFML employs a form of artificial intelligence (AI) to learn the characteristics of RF signals in order to detect and identify them. The process includes training an RFML engine using real-world RF signals to enable their detection and classification in near real time. By training the system to learn signals from the I/Q representation, systems can achieve better performance than traditional decision-tree approaches. TCI will utilize real-world signals to train the RFML engine, ensuring the neural network is able to rapidly learn new signals and quickly adapt to changing RF environments.
TCI’s RFML implementation, dubbed Blackbird EDGETM, moves signal processing, identification and geolocation to the sensor at the edge of the network – a process known as edge computing. In tactical military deployments, TCI’s innovative solution enables faster RF situational awareness, threat assessment and countermeasures engagement. Blackbird EDGE can move decision-making down the chain of command to the front lines during rapidly evolving engagements, and then supply actionable intelligence up the command structure and populating a common operational picture.
Thus, military forces can derive both strategic and tactical benefits from COMINT / SIGINT without having to choose between the two.
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.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
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.