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17 Mar 14. L-3 Communications to Help DARPA Build UAS-Based Internet System. L-3 Communications won a $16.4m cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — DARPA. L-3 will be supporting Phases 2 and, if the appropriate contract option is exercised, also Phase 3 of the DARPA mobile hotspots programme. As DARPA explains, this project aims to provide “high-bandwidth communications for troops in remote forward operating locations” lacking access to traditional wired Internet. Providing high-bandwidth communications for troops in remote forward operating locations is not only critical but also challenging because a reliable infrastructure optimized for remote geographic areas does not exist. To overcome the challenge of data transmission in remote areas, the Agency’s Mobile Hotspots program intends to develop and demonstrate a scalable, mobile, millimeter-wave communications backbone with the capacity and range needed to connect dismounted warfighters with forward-operating bases (FOBs), tactical operations centers (TOCs), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, and fixed communications infrastructure. The backbone should also provide reliable end-to-end data delivery between hotspots, as well as from ISR sources and command centers. The program envisions air, mobile and fixed assets, most of which are organic to the deployed unit, that provide a gigabit-per-second tactical millimeter-wave backbone network extending to the lowest-echelon warfighters. To achieve this capability, the program seeks to develop advanced millimeter-wave pointing, acquisition and tracking (PAT) technologies that are needed to provide high connectivity to the forward-located mobile hotspots. Advanced PAT technology is key for connectivity to small UAVs, for example, enabling them to serve as flying nodes on the mobile high-speed backbone. Additionally, the program seeks novel technologies to increase the transmission power of millimeter-wave amplifiers to provide adequate ranges within the small size, weight, and power (SWAP) constraints required for company-level unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). (Source: Open Source Information Report/UAS VISION)

18 Mar 14. DIA Seeks Bids on $6bn IT Contract. The Defense Intelligence Agency on Tuesday released a final request to industry for its $6bn global IT services contract. The Enhanced Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise (E-SITE) contract will provide system design, development and sustainment of IT services for DIA, the combatant commands, military services and the wider intelligence community, according to the request for proposal. DIA expects to make multiple awards to large and small businesses under the potential $6bn contract. E-SITE will support classified and unclassified programs on multiple networks and security domains, the RFP noted. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)

19 Mar 14. The AN/PRC-154A Rifleman radios that connect soldiers to the Soldier’s Network in combat can also support non-combat Army missions that include advise-and-assist, peacekeeping and security operations. For dismounted soldiers on patrol, the PRC-154A Rifleman radio, when combined with a smartphone, keeps soldiers connected with squad members and their leaders to talk, text and share information like marking potential hazards, keeping track of one another and providing an unprecedented level of situational awareness for both soldiers and leaders. This agile and adaptive networking capability is essential when the Army is deployed to locations where there is no communications infrastructure or where the infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. The PRC-154A Rifleman radio and the two-channel AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio are ‘smart,’ secure networking radios that make it easier for soldiers to adapt quickly to task change

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