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15 Jun 05. Raytheon Company’s Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) is introducing in 2005 the most advanced form of high-speed data link communications for the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) targeting pod. This state-of-the-art technology is linked to the Navy’s road map and vision of ensuring the F/A-18 operates as a critical node of the network in the battlespace of today and for the future. Currently the most common communications systems in targeting pods rely on the C-band frequency, which in computer terms is the equivalent speed of using a dial-up connection. ATFLIR’s new data link system will offer a Ku band capability, which provides DSL-like speed, and growth for full duplex (two way communications) functionality along with a sophisticated encryption system to protect the flow of information. ATFLIR’s high-speed “full duplex” two way secure communications will allow near instantaneous communications between the aircrews and ground forces as well as providing enhanced communications with shipboard command and control systems. Ku band is compliant with common data link, programmable for multiple data rates and is six to 20 times faster than C band frequencies currently in use. Ku band is also able to rapidly transmit and receive imagery, with the intention of increasing precision targeting and real time streaming video shared with supported ground units, faster than equivalent pods on the
14 Jun 05. Paradigm Services Ltd has developed a new portable satellite data communication package, TextLink, to enable deployed British soldiers to communicate directly with family and friends using the global Iridium satellite network. Paradigm developed the TextLink satellite communication system under contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to provide welfare communications for early-entry troops deployed in areas where other communication infrastructure is not available. Soldiers in the field can use the portable, lightweight TextLink terminals to send and receive e-mails, SMS short text messages, both Royal Mail and BFPO postal letters, as well as providing the very latest daily news in text format. Each TextLink package consists of one hardened flight case containing one Iridium 9505 satellite phone and two ruggedized laptop computers. As a minimum, two packages are deployed to create a wireless local-area network. One of the laptops serves as a local server and is connected to one of the Iridium 9505 satphones. The other laptops are deployed within the range of the wireless connection around the camp for troops to use. The second Iridium satphone provides backup and can be used for voice calls as needed. The system compresses and bundles emails, SMS messages and letters for transmission through the Iridium satellites at regular intervals.