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26 Oct 04. ITT Industries launched its new SpearNet (TM pending) pocket-sized communications device at a press conference held during AUSA.

The SpearNet is being introduced to warfighters and others interested in obtaining network centric radio capability immediately. SpearNet now becomes the smallest available network centric radio offering secure voice, data and video operations for soldier support.

At 11 ounces, the 5 1/4 inch long SpearNet is optimized for ease of operations with no knobs or displays for a soldier to worry about. The pocket-sized device utilizes ad hoc networking to bring individuals full situational awareness without the need of creating or monitoring network operations. SpearNet automatically organizes, maintains and even heals itself so warfighters are left free to concentrate on the battlefield.

Because SpearNet can be programmed, warfighters can carry one device that offers them the ability to collaboratively plan their actions and network to a host of applications like intelligence reports and blue force tracking.

“SpearNet is unique”, said Rudy Lewis, vice president of ITT Industries Aerospace/Communications Division. “SpearNet is the only cost-effective network centric radio available today, and it offers a clear path forward for combined and joint operations.

The SpearNet system is based on work carried out by ITT Industries on the HMT, SUO SAS and SLICE projects. Utilising the self-forming, self-healing waveform with Multihop and Wideband spread spectrum with multipath mitigation the system can transmit through buildings. This capability was clearly demonstrated by the company by sending digital photographs and voice from seven stories below in the street up to the conference room. In addition to these features the system has situational awareness with inbuilt GPS, which updates automatically.

Performance is second to none with >2 Mbps user data throughput with a range of up to 1km in urban areas. Other features include hands-free operation, near real-time text messaging and digital imagery forwarding. The system weighs less than 10oz.

SpearNet has been launched at a critical time for the coalition forces in Iraq. With increasing requirements for urban operations, existing systems cannot function efficiently in built-up areas, SpearNet solves this problem. In addition to ground troops, SpearNet provides the answer to a maiden’s prayer for manufacturers of robotic equipment. Currently systems use line-of-sight or fibre optics for guiding robots in the urban environment. SpearNet will give the operator the clear advantage of being able to moderate the system in built-up areas where much-needed video assessing enemy positions can now be sent back to the operator in real-time and the vehicle guided without using vulnerable fibre optics.

Delays in the current JTRS Cluster 5 requirement in particular means that ITT has a product on the street now, rather than five years hence, that will fulfil an urgent need for the Current Force requirements.

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