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29 Jan 14. Army Radios Get Low Marks From DOTE. From handheld radios to high-tech headquarters, the Army’s top priority is what it calls the network. That’s not one project but a whole array of programs, each complex on its own. They all are supposed to interconnect so it’s no surprise that the Pentagon’s top tester has found plenty of problems. What is surprising in today’s report from the Director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) is that the Army is having the most trouble with the simplest systems, the portable radios. We’ve written before about the three-sided struggle between the Army, the incumbent contractors, and upstart firms over portable radios. It’s a saga that’s included secretive lobbying campaigns and a personal apology by a top General Dynamics executive. What DOT&E tells us is that the radios themselves still aren’t working as they should. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)

29 Jan 14. A ‘powerful antenna in a soldier’s pocket,’ thanks to origami. Researchers at Florida International University (FIU) and Georgia Institute of Technology have been utilizing principles from the Japanese art of origami to create compact and efficient antennas and electronics. The traditional Japanese art of paper folding, also known as origami, has provided new perspectives into the creation of complex structures that can rearrange themselves in response to electromagnetic signals. Mathematicians recently have focused on practical and theoretical questions posed by the art, according to FIU, and insights may maximize the number of shapes that can be achieved in a single folding structure. More shapes could result in different types of antennas per device and support antenna functionality. With a $2m grant from the National Science Foundation, the researchers envision possible applications of the technology for both military and commercial uses in communications equipment, portable medical equipment, health monitoring sensors and wireless sensors. One of the Army’s main development goals is to lighten, or unburden the load on soldiers. Today’s soldiers carry more weight than previous generations because of the development and use of body armor, night vision equipment and extensive communications equipment, the Army has said. (Source: Defense Systems)

03 Feb 14. Hills Limited’s satellite division – STEP Electronics is partnering with BAE Systems to develop a COTS terminal crucial to the satellite communication systems of Australian-USA and allied defence forces. This terminal is central to command post communications for the Wideband Global SATCOM system (WGS) – the high throughput satellite communications system now used in partnership by the United States Department of Defence, the Australian Department of Defence and several other countries. Once completed, the terminal will be submitted for Type Approval to the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation, prior to being offered to WGS partners globally. This new STEP work follows the four-year contract won a year ago by the Hills subsidiary for the design, supply and installation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) bandwidth efficient global satellite network for more than 60 Australian Embassies and other DFAT offices around the world and for the continuing support for DFATs high security satellite communication requirements. (Source: Open Source Information Report)

03 Feb 14. French Air Force receives additional SAMP/T air defence system. The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation’s (OCCAR) FSAF-PAAMS Programme Division has handed over an additional Aster sol-air moyenne portée terrestre (SAMP/T) air defence system to the French Air Force at the French Defence Procurement Agency’s (DGA) premises in Biscarrosse, France. Delivered following configuration surveys and functional trials, the system re

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