January 31, 2012

Airbus ProSky's solutions for Air Traffic Management


News Report

As illustrated in a recent press release, EADS is launching Airbus ProSky, i.e. Airbus' new subsidiary company which offers integrated airport surface management for air traffic controllers. Airbus ProSky will become the channel through which Airbus will interact and develop Air Traffic Management programmes such as the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) in Europe, as well as NextGen in the U.S. In particular, for these two ATM programmes, the new company will help accelerate and support the process of their implementation, and link them together by capitalising on the technological, operational and commercial synergies.

The Technology

Airports strive for eco-efficient ground operations including safe taxiway routing for pilots, all-weather guidance between the terminal gate and the runway, and control of aircraft and vehicles. Airbus ProSky is responding to this demand by complementing its ATM offerings with a powerful airport surface management system (SMAN) for Air Traffic Control centres worldwide.

SMAN was designed for environmental efficiency by the German company ATRiCS and is now offered through Airbus ProSky. A unique feature of this airport surface management system is that it automatically switches on the green taxiway lights in front of the aircraft as it moves forward, to illuminate the correct route ahead for the pilot to follow. Overall, the system reduces taxi time and maximises airport capacity and aircraft throughput, while its intelligent predictive guidance also prevents runway incursions and a ‘wrong-turn’. SMAN thus smoothes overall traffic flow and facilitates a continuous taxi speed. This results in less queuing, less ‘stop-and-go’, and of course, lower CO2 emissions.

SMAN integrates an airport's existing surveillance and lighting infrastructure with a truly coherent surface movement management system. For each mobile located in the movement area, SMAN proposes an individual taxi route to the controller. To save controllers from the tedious task of manually modifying route proposals, SMAN computes any route from scratch, taking into account the current traffic situation, preferences and constraints. At any time, the controller can change the mobile's destination or route. During taxi, SMAN automatically switches the taxiway centreline lights to unambiguously indicate the assigned taxi route to the pilots. At any time, the controller can manually control stop bars and illuminate taxi route sections to statically indicate admissible taxiways to pilots and drivers.

SMAN is operational at Incheon International Airport, Korea and has been tested successfully in field trials at Frankfurt Airport.

Comments

Airbus ProSky and ATRiCS share a common goal for improving the efficiency of our airport and aviation systems,” said Wolfgang Hatzack, Chief Executive Officer of ATRiCS. “Our deployments in Incheon, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Frankfurt, Zurich and Düsseldorf demonstrate the safety and cost benefits for the global aviation industry with Airbus ProSky.

Eric Stefanello, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus ProSky said: "Airbus ProSky is bringing together intelligent ATM components which offer the highest level of performance improvements.” He added: “ATRiCS is a proven leader and innovator in advanced artificial intelligence to assist controllers, and we are delighted to have them as part of our team.

With Airbus ProSky we are harnessing the competencies both within Airbus and also from the wider EADS group, to help transform ATM services across the European Union, the US and other countries globally,” says Eric Stefanello, President of Airbus ProSky. “We are complementing the existing skills and business of ATM manufacturers and ANSPs by partnering with key industry players to deliver a global ATM approach, and bring operational, commercial, and environmental benefits to the airline industry,” he added.

References: EADS (1), Airbus (2), Airport Technology (3)

Contract Award: AgustaWestland to provide its Mission Planning & Analysis System to Italian Navy's helicopters


News Report

As reported in a recent press release, AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced that the Italian Navy will receive a Mission Planning & Analysis System (MPAS) for its fleet of NH90 NFH medium twin naval helicopters. The MPAS contract, signed between AgustaWestland and NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency), fulfills the requirement for a multi-mission and multi-platform mission planning system that will be available in time for the early operations of the first batch of Italian Navy NH90 helicopters. The MPAS will also be compatible with similar planning systems in use by other European Armed Forces and capable of being expanded to support additional helicopter platforms and provide a secure interface.

The NH90 MPAS will support the Italian Navy in conducting mission tasks with the NH90 NFH and it will also include the capability to support multi-platform missions, therefore interfacing with the service’s AW101 helicopters. Moreover, it will provide the growth capability for supporting the future MTTH variant (Maritime Tactical Transport Helicopter) of the NH90 helicopter. The system will support the Italian Navy’s operations as well as training activities by providing the users with enhanced situational awareness, flight and mission planning functionality and a complete aircraft data upload/download capability. The system will achieve full operational readiness by the end of 2013 and it will be deployed across the main Italian Navy operating bases and vessels. AgustaWestland will assist the Italian Navy to deploy the system as part of a three year Initial In Service Support package that will guarantee the maximum availability of the MPAS stations during operations.

The Technology

The MPAS is based on the state of the art AgustaWestland-designed Planning System Skyflight, a multi-helicopter flight and mission planning solution that all AgustaWestland mission planning stations currently utilise.

AgustaWestland’s Skyflight mission planning system is designed to help helicopter crews and Operations Officers plan, execute and analyse their operational missions. Operators can acquire, manage, process and analyze the data needed to conduct a mission in a range of operational scenarios. Skyflight uses a comprehensive operational database to provide advanced situational awareness. This helps users identify mission tasks and objectives and evaluate mission risks and to develop action plans.

The Context

Skyflight is currently operated by the Royal Netherlands Navy for the mission planning of their NH90 NFH fleet and Skyflight technology is in use for the development of the UK Ministry of Defence’s AW159 Lynx Wildcat and Apache AH Mk1 Mission Planning Systems. It is also a core element in the Flight Planning System for AW101 VVIP helicopters. Skyflight has also been delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, supporting the mission planning of their AW109 LUH helicopters.

The Italian Navy’s NH90s will replace previous generation helicopters for a variety of roles including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and utility. The NH90 will give the Italian services a major increase in operational capability and mission effectiveness due to its outstanding technology and performance.

References: AgustaWestland (1,2)

Contract Award: MacAulay-Brown to enhance Intelligence Capabilities of U.S. Air Force Special Operations

News Report

As announced in a recent press release, MacAulay-Brown (MacB), has been awarded a three-year, $75 million contract by the United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to support intelligence units at Hurlburt Field, Fla. and Cannon Air Force Base (AFB), N.M.

Under the terms of the task order, MacB intelligence and IT specialists will directly support the warfighter by providing planning, integration and the implementation of new and existing intelligence collection, exploitation, reporting, dissemination and evaluation capabilities. MacB was selected to support the AFSOC task order due to its management and technical approach that ensures mission continuity, improvements in efficiency and capability and a stable workforce dedicated to supporting 24x7 operations.

MacB has a long history partnering with AFSOC. The Company has provided AFSOC with Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) support since 1996 and Joint Terminal Attack Control and Small Unmanned Aerial System (JTAC/SUAS) support since 2010. MacB will provide on-site support through its Mission System Group’s Operations & Logistics Division located in Shalimar, Fla.

Comments

We are proud of the long-standing relationship we have built with AFSOC, especially with the intelligence units that provide the warfighter with critical information,” said Sid Fuchs, President and CEO of MacB. “The expert support and development our teams will deliver will directly impact the men and women who are risking their lives for the nation.

References: MacB (1)

Contract Award: Rockwell Collins to research on advanced Software Radio Technologies


News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Rockwell Collins has launched work on Phase 2 of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research contract valued at $5.3 million. The effort is expected to increase the capability of digital software defined radios by a factor of ten over existing technology.

The Remote Analog to Digital Converter with Deserialization and Reconstruction (RADER) program calls for Rockwell Collins to develop power-efficient high-speed photonic analog to digital (A/D) converters with capability for remote operation. Research is currently underway and will conclude at the end of 2012 under the terms of the agreement.

The Technology

Signal processing of an arbitrary analog signal is today performed in the digital domain which relies on Analog-to-Digital Conversion (ADC). The objective of the RADER program is to revolutionize ADC by developing a photonic front-end that bridges the high bandwidth and scalability of photonic processing and the high performance of low-speed commercial ADCs.

Performance of conventional electronic-based ADCs is mostly limited by the finite transition speed of semiconductor circuits. To circumvent the rate barrier, photonic technology has been employed as photonic-based ADC or photonic-sampled ADC in order to improve performance compared to conventional electronic-based ADCs.

Within the RADER program, Rockwell Collins researchers are trying to exploit the photonic technology to enable ADC to operate in continuous time over a 10 GHz input instantaneous bandwidth with a resolution of 10 effective number of bits, all within a dense input signal environment while limiting the amount of DC power consumption to less than 50 Watts.

Rockwell Collins experts also are trying to sense analog waveforms at a point remoted from the components or subsystems that require significant portions of the power budget.

The Context

Critical to all military missions and the ability to gain tactical advantage is the accurate collection and assessment of information contained in the electromagnetic (EM) environment. Present day radio frequency (RF) sensor systems must simultaneously cover many RF and microwave bands and must deliver accurately processed information on an always-decreasing time scale, in an ever more cluttered EM environment. Conventional ADC technology, however, limits the maximum resolvable information bandwidth and the minimum obtainable frequency resolution that can be achieved on each of the multiple input signals. Despite a significant military need, progress in advancing the state-of-art in very high resolution, high sampling rate ADC systems has been slow. This progress has been limited in large part by ADC circuit design and available underlying transistor technology, resulting in a key limitation on the achievable dynamic range, bandwidth coverage, reaction time and versatility of military systems.

Scanning superheterodyne or channelized RF systems partly compensates for present shortcomings in ADC resolution and bandwidth. However, these systems have large size, weight and power requirements, and have static and instantaneous frequency blindness leading to unacceptable probabilities of detection and/or mission failure.

The RADER program seeks to overcome conventional ADC limitations by employing advanced front-end techniques in conjunction with multiple, more conventional ADCs. RADER leverages novel front-end architectures to incorporate de-serialization and reconstruction functionality to reduce the information-processing burden placed on individual ADCs, effectively multiplying the performance of the ADC to overcome the current performance limitations. RADER techniques are expected to be scalable and future-proof with regards to advancements in base ADC technologies.

This is the second RADER contract awarded to Rockwell Collins. In Phase 1, Rockwell Collins was the only company, out of three selected, to successfully demonstrate an A/D Converter with a minimum of 8 Effective Number of Bits (ENOB) operating at 10GHz, an industry first. While the aim of Phase 2 is to significantly increase electronic countermeasure capabilities, the research could ultimately be applied across a broad spectrum of military and commercial communication devices.

Comments

 “In this stage of the RADER program, we’ll be working to shrink the A/D technology that we developed in Phase 1 onto a single silicon device,” explained John Borghese, vice president, Advanced Technology Center for Rockwell Collins. “The miniaturization of the technology we’ve already proven will enable integration into next generation radio devices.

References: Rockwell Collins (1), Photonic Systems Group (2), Military&Aerospace (3), DARPA (4)

Combined Endeavor 2012: let the planning begin


News Report

As reported by U.S. European Command's web-site, the week-long initial planning conference in Slovak Republic for the exercise Combined Endeavor 2012 (CE12) began yesterday with more than 250 participants attending to begin planning.

Combined Endeavor is the largest Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) interoperability event in the world: over than 1000 communications professionals from 40 NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP), and strategic security partners gather at a main operating base, a virtual forward site, and at multiple home stations supporting live troop movements and training via HF and/or a satellite backlink to conduct a series of operationally focused interoperability tests. Combined Endeavor prepares nations to collaborate, plan, and execute complex C4 systems in crisis response and combat operations. The exercise builds partnerships for regional and global operations between nations using communication and network systems, using both NATO and commercial standards to increase interoperability between nations.

Combined Endeavor is a U.S. European Command (EUCOM)-sponsored multinational initiative. The exercise has grown to be one of the main vehicles to demonstrate and propagate new interoperability concepts between NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations. Its primary focus is interoperability testing of C4 systems and identification and documentation of problems hindering interoperability. The secondary focus is to develop long-range action plans that result in the achievement of increased levels of interoperability among NATO and the PfP nations.

In 2011, the Italian Army deployed the core network for Combined Endeavor, supporting more than 35 countries participating in the exercise, that was held in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Comments

Lt. Col. Brian Heberlie, CE12’s exercise director, reiterated the importance of CE at the opening ceremony of the meeting in the Slovak Republic. “The planning is always the hardest part and, if we are successful here, we’ll have another challenging and successful exercise next fall. It’s important to remember as we start the work this week that Combined Endeavor is not only about conducting the technical planning and testing, but, just as importantly, the creation of new partnerships and friendships while strengthening those that already exist. It is the human interoperability piece that truly ensures the work will get done.”

References: U.S. European Command (1), GlobalSecurity.org (2), Combined Endeavor (3), dvids (4)

January 30, 2012

Contract Award: General Dynamics to provide additional Mission Planning Systems for U.S. Navy aircrafts


News Report

As announced by U.S. DoD, General Dynamics was recently awarded a $20,585,146 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise an option for the full-rate production of 80 Type 3 Advanced Mission Computers (AMC) for the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G aircraft.

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

The Technology

General Dynamics' Advanced Mission Computer is the nerve center of the Super Hornet, providing situational awareness and combat systems control to the flight crew. A ruggedized, high-performance/high-reliability integrated information processing and mission & display-processing system, the AMC relies on a Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS), open systems architecture. It performs general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing and is designed to operate reliably in the extreme environmental conditions of today’s high-performance fighter aircraft.  The AMC is also able to process the high-speed data flows from the latest in sensor technology, and it communicates with aircraft systems over several databuses, including MIL-STD-1553, fibre optic Fibre Channel, and Local PCI.

The Context

General Dynamics has been delivering AMCs for the F/A-18 since 2002.  Since then, the nature of the work on this program has expanded from production for newly produced aircraft to include supplying Navy efforts to retrofit operational aircraft.

A $30.6 million contract was awarded to General Dynamics on March 2010 for the production of 118 Type-3 AMS for the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircrafts.

In the meantime, on November 2011 the U.S. Navy selected Boeing to jointly develop a new Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC) system for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. The Type 4 AMC system will offer improved aircraft performance and image and mission-processing functions, and is scheduled to replace the existing Type 3 AMC. The new system will better position the war-fighters for future U.S. Navy Flightplan capability upgrades, i.e. technology insertion plan to ensure the modernisation of the aircraft ahead of future threats.

References: U.S. DoD (1), General Dynamics (2), Naval Technology (3), Avionics Intelligence (4)

U.S. and French Navy conduct interoperability tests in preparation of next Bold Alligator Exercise 2012


News Report

As illustrated in a recent news release, a naval interoperability exercise between the United States and France (which are NATO Allies) took place on January 25th and 26th on the beaches of Fort Story in Virginia Beach, U.S.A. The rehearsal exercise was conducted in preparations for the next multi-national amphibious exercise Bold Alligator Exercise 2012 that will take place in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, U.S.A., involving the navies of the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

During the exercise, Assault Craft Unit Four (ACU4) Sailors trained with the crew of French Projection and Command ship (BPC) FS Mistral (L9013).

U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Vehicle from Assault Craft Unit Four (ACU-4)

French Navy FS MISTRAL L9013
FS Mistral typically works with displacement crafts, and not American LCACs. There are many challenges to face in the adaptation of a new craft into the well deck including how the well deck accepts the new craft; the level of water required for the different crafts; how to handle lines; along with the loading and unloading, both on board and on the beach.

Exercise Bold Alligator 2012 (BA12) is expected revitalize U.S. Navy and Marine Corps amphibious expeditionary tactics, techniques and procedures, and reinvigorate its culture of conducting combined Navy and Marine Corps operations from the sea. BA12 will be a live and synthetic, scenario-driven, simulation-supported exercise designed to train Expeditionary Strike Group 2 (ESG 2), 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB) and Carrier Strike Group 12. Staffs will plan and execute a MEB-sized amphibious assault from a seabase in a medium land-and-maritime threat environment to improve naval amphibious core competencies.

The exercise will run Jan. 30 through Feb. 12, ashore and afloat, in and off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and Florida

The Context

The numerous opportunities created by the U.S. and French armed forces through exchange programs, permanent sharing and exercises like Bold Alligator 2012 represent the very foundation of the many bilateral partnerships between NATO Nations. The Bold Alligator Exercise, although not a NATO exercise, is an example of how NATO Nations like the U.S. and France can work together to enhance interoperability and to strengthen the Trans-Atlantic link.

A bilateral exercise of this nature serves as a major contributor to Lessons Learned for all Allied nations. It is an opportunity to observe how exercises and operations are conducted while determining best practices and what works well between two national forces. All exercises between NATO nations, whether in a NATO context or not, are valuable to enhancing interoperability skills and capabilities.

Old con-ops will be studied and validated or dismissed in favor of new lessons learned. Ships planes and weapon systems currently in the fleet will be employed. New advances in command and control will be looked at and vetted.

Comments

"We have worked with the French navy not only here, but also in Toulon, France, to ensure our landing craft and the Mistral's well deck are compatible," said Capt. Mike Ott, ACU4 commanding officer. "This exercise today is the culmination of that planning and work we did overseas."

"This provides the opportunity to ensure that both the French and U.S. sailors understand differences in the crafts and can adapt correctly to them, so we can execute any mission safely," said Ott. "It is critical that we are able to conduct these operations, so that at any time and place in the world we could join forces with our French allies for any operation, such as Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, with little warning and little preparation and be 100 percent combat ready in a very short time."

References: NATO (1), U.S. Navy (2,3), SLD (4)

January 27, 2012

Contract Award: SELEX Sistemi Integrati to support Italian Army's Out of Area Operations


News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Finmeccanica's SELEX Sistemi Integrati has been awarded new contracts worth a total of EUR 120 million.

The first contract, signed with the Italian Ministry of Defence, concerns the protection system upgrade for Italian Forward Operating Bases (FOB) and Fire Support Bases (FSB) operating in Afghanistan. SELEX Sistemi Integrati, as head of a temporary grouping of enterprises with two other Finmeccanica companies, SELEX Galileo and OTO Melara, will be responsible for the construction, installation and integration of the entire system.

The second contract, also signed with the Italian Ministry of Defence, relates to the upgrading of
various operational functions of the command and control system (SIACCON2) developed by SELEX Sistemi Integrati for the Italian Army and the connective infrastructure currently used by Italy’s Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
This contract was also awarded to SELEX Sistemi Integrati as prime contractor of a temporary grouping of enterprises with other Finmeccanica companies, including SELEX Elsag and Telespazio.

SELEX Sistemi Integrati has signed further contracts with the Italian Ministry of Defence to maintain the Italian Army Information Management System (SIGE) and to develop new system services and functions for all of Italy’s Armed Forces.

Finally, the company has signed a contract with NATO agency NAHEMA both to develop the new mission planning system for the A129 combat helicopter, and to update the technology used in the mission planning system of the NH90 tactical transport helicopter. Both aircraft are used by the Italian Army.

The Technology

SELEX Sistemi Integrati has developed in the recent years a family of products and solutions for providing surveillance and protection of critical sites, including military bases, vital national infrastructures, power plants and industrial sites. These solutions exploit state-of-the-art middleware technologies, such as the Data Distrubution Service, for supporting systems integration, network-centric interoperability, plug-and-play system configuration, and operational flexibility. Under the terms of the contract, the surveillance integrated systems that will be provided to Italian Army include the man-portable LYRA10 radar, designed and manufactured by the same company, and several electro-optical sensors by SELEX Galileo. The supply also includes the creation of command and surveillance posts for the systems management, surveillance systems for airport areas, camera integrated systems for the internal surveillance of entrances, robotic systems in “combat” version manufactured by OTO Melara for the protection of the bases, acoustic systems by SELEX Galileo able to locate the fire sources. SELEX Sistemi Integrati will also be responsible for the transport, installation in site and the integration and management of all the systems installed.

SELEX Sistemi Integrati is also Prime Contractor and Design Authority for the Italian Army's Automated Command and Control System, named SIACCON (Sistema Automatizzato di Commando e Controllo). The systems was introduced into the Italian Army in 2000 for supporting Division and Brigade level Command and Control operations, and was then upgraded by introduction of advanced interoperability mechanisms, additional Functional Areas, and for extending its functionalities at the lower echelons.

The system is now scalable both in hardware and software terms, enabling its use at all levels from Division to Platoon and squad level. The core system remains the same at all levels, but higher headquarters have a more comprehensive range of operational functions. A typical Command Post (CP) configuration consists of a fusion centre and one or more CP cells. The fusion centre contains database servers to store all the operational data, a family of servers to provide generic services such as Mail, Web, DHCP and DNS services, and telecommunication and encryption devices. The system uses standard common data models for database replication, enabling interoperability with other systems. SIACCON provides a common operational picture to all users, with live locational information provided via GPS. The system provides functional support across the full range of staff branches and also includes specific functionality to support Operations Other Than War (OOTW). General purpose capabilities include: digital mapping, vector and raster mapping, navigational functions, terrain analysis, and 3-D viewformal message.

The SIACCON system constitutes the Command and Control backbone of the Italian Army's Forza NEC network-enabled architecture for digitized units. SELEX Sistemi Integrati is the main supplier and system integrator, with other Finmeccanica companies and other indepentent firms providing specialized equipments and sub-systems.

Reference: Finmeccanica (1), SELEX Sistemi Integrati (2), Jane's (3)

January 26, 2012

The first networked air-launched & anti-ship weapon in the U.S. armoury


News Report

As reported by Naval Technology, the US Navy has successfully completed developmental testing (DT) of the Raytheon-built Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) C-1, the first networked air-launched, anti-ship weapon in the US armoury, at Point Mugu Sea Range, California, US.

During the DT, conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31, the JSOW C-1 hit the QST-35 Seaborne Powered Target (SEPTAR) vessel moving at 15 knots, validating its characteristics to meet design-performance requirements. The tests validated its ability to hand off control of the weapon to a third-party platform and receive in-flight commands.

The Technology

JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker, guiding the weapon to the target.

More than 400 JSOWs have been used in combat operations to date, including more than 300 in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The JSOW family uses a common and modular weapon body capable of carrying various payloads. Its long standoff range of approximately 70 nautical miles allows delivery from well outside the lethal range of most enemy air defenses.
JSOW C-1 adds moving maritime target capability and the two-way strike common weapon datalink. Specifically, the JSOW C-1 builds upon the combat-proven JSOW by adding a data link, enabling the system to receive in-flight target updates from the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The weapon also has new seeker algorithms to allow the missile to hit moving maritime targets.

Comments

"The warfighter asked for a Link-16 network-enabled standoff weapon that can engage moving maritime targets while maintaining the capability to attack stationary land targets," said Cmdr. Douglas Phelan, the U.S. Navy's JSOW Integrated Product Team leader after a series of three captive flight tests in 2010. "JSOW C-1 will meet this requirement."

References: Naval Technology (1), Raytheon (2), SpaceWar.com (3)

Israel Defense Forces are engaging hackers to protect their network-centric systems


News Report

As recently reported by The Jerusalem Post, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are assembling elite teams of computer hackers to lead the nation’s cyber-warfare efforts, in a move that responds to the increasing concern over the growing threat to Israel’s civilian and military networks from Iran.

The new soldiers will serve in Military Intelligence as well as in the C4I Directorate, i.e. the two military branches responsible for cyber-warfare in the IDF, with the first one more focused on cyber offense and the second one dedicated to cyber defense.

One of the IDF’s primary concerns is the possibility that an enemy will topple military networks during a war. In recent years, the military has invested heavily in digitizing its ground forces, for example with the Tzayad digital army program that allows units to share information on the location of friendly and hostile units.

The Context

Developed by Elbit Systems, the Tzayad – recently installed in several IDF units – connects all land assets together by enabling every tank to see where the artillery and infantry units are located and vice versa.

Built around a wireless backbone supported by software programmable radios, Tsayad architecture is basically composed of a SW layer called TIGER (Tactical Intranet Geographic dissEmination) that ties the system into legacy systems; a blue force tracker (the TORC2H system), a lightweight tactical operations center, plus a number of other command and communications applications.

Tzayad technologies are aimed to provide enhanced situational awareness and ad hoc networking for voice, data and video transmissions between the various branches of Israel’s Defense Forces. Basically, the goal is to reduce sensor-to-shooter cycles by streaming real-time data to commanders, and allowing direct re-transmission of the consolidated data picture back to the field. This enables force coordination at all levels, access to updated situational pictures, improved overall operational capabilities, survivability and accuracy, and more efficient utilization of personnel and other resources.

The program fits within the modernization strategy that was included since 2005 in the doctrine of Israel Armed Forces. Military confidence in fully-networked systems received a severe blow, however, during the the Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006, when Hezbollah commandos penetrated the high-tech barrier on the Lebanese border and "a semi-military organization of a few thousand men resisted, for a few weeks, the strongest army in the Middle East, which enjoyed full air superiority and size and technology advantages" (as illustrated by the Winograd Commission Report).

Reference: The Jerusalem Post (1,2), Defense Industry Daily (3), DefenceTech (4), DefenceNews.com (5)

January 25, 2012

Contract Award: Ultra Avionics to provide satellite-based navigation and flight management systems for Canadian Air Creebec


News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Canada’s Air Creebec has entered into an agreement with Authorized Dealer Mid-Canada Mod Center to fit its entire Bombardier Q-Series (Dash 8) fleet with Universal Avionic's Wide Area Augmentation System/Satellite-Based Augmentation System Flight Management Systems (WAAS/SBAS-FMS) and Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (TAWS). They are the latest Canadian regional to begin this conversion.

Air Creebec selected Universal Avionics’ UNS-1Lw WAAS/SBAS-FMS, with a 4-inch Flat Panel Control Display Unit and a remotely mounted navigation computer. The navigation computer is contained in a 2-MCU sized Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) which includes the integral GPS/SBAS receiver. Air Creebec will gain access to all Area Navigation (RNAV) approach types as well as the additional accuracy of WAAS correction for other on-board systems. Universal Class A TAWS will be installed concurrently, with its unique look-ahead function and three views of terrain, with man-made obstacles alerting.

The Technology

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) or Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) is an air navigational aid developed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to augment the Global Positioning System (GPS), with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity and availability. Essentially, WAAS/SBAS is intended to enable aircraft to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, including precision approaches, to any airport within its coverage area.

As part of the NextGen National Airspace System improvement plan, the FAA is focused on reducing the industry’s dependence on older ground based navaids such as ILS, and increasing the use of GPS navigation. Because of its ability to alleviate airspace congestion, save fuel and improve safety, SBAS technology is being applied worldwide.

Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (TAWS) were developed to provide a warning of a possible terrain conflict in case of poor visual conditions, cockpit distraction, malfunctioning equipment, ATC error or pilot/controller miscommunication. The purpose of a TAWS is to provide a warning with enough time for the flight crew to take appropriate action.


The TAWS computer receives position information from a GPS receiver, and compares that position with the internal terrain or obstacle database. The TAWS computer also receives aircraft configuration and air-data information to then create a 4-D position of latitude, longitude, altitude and time. It then compares this position with the on-board database of terrain, obstacles and runways to determine any conflicts. If the TAWS computer detects a possible conflict between the future flight path of the aircraft and terrain, visual and audible warnings are given to the pilot.

Comments

We’re cautiously optimistic that we will eventually have Universal’s WAAS/SBAS-FMS in every Q-Series/ Dash 8 operating in Canada,” said Norm Matheis, Universal’s Regional Manager for Canada. “There’s a compelling case that investments in these technologies can drive overall operational efficiencies over the life of the aircraft,” he added.

The flight operational demands into Canada’s remote regions are unique unto themselves and provide some interesting challenges” said Bill Arsenault, Vice President of Mid-Canada Mod Center. “We have worked with several of these service providers in conjunction with Universal Avionics to integrate modern nav aids into the current fleets – in particular the Dash 8 family of aircraft – that take full advantage of WAAS/SBAS capabilities. These systems bring enhanced safety and operations consistency to these operators who are providing an invaluable lifeline to the communities they service. Air Creebec has been a leader in developing and supporting such routes. We have had the pleasure of supporting their operations for many years through both Mid-Canada Mod Center and our other shop, Kitchener Aero. Their focus on safety and reliability in service sets them apart as leaders in Canada and we are pleased to have been asked to yet again lend them support in achieving their goals.

References: Universal Avionics (1,3), Gulfstream.com (2), AEA Pilot's Guide (3)

Raytheon gears up for next NIE 12.2


News Report

An interesting entry on Shepard's Digital Battlespace reports that Raytheon is focused on proceeding a step further in demonstrating the capabilities of its Mobile Ad hoc Interoperability Network Gateway (MAINGATE) radio system.

According to Jeff Miller, director of Raytheon Network Centric Systems' Tactical Communication Systems, the system ‘outperformed competitors’ during the last NIE 12.1 and the last U.S. Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE). During the testing, MAINGATE simultaneously provided multiple channels of real-time video, situational awareness, chat and other applications.
Soldiers at the squad level reliably received multiple unmanned aerial vehicle video feeds and other high-bandwidth data services from the battalion to the tactical edge. MAINGATE provided needed capacity for reliable connectivity among cellular networks, hand-held radios and the Warfighter Information Network - Tactical (WIN-T) system. It also allowed soldiers to integrate information across battle command systems and sensors.

"During the entire AEWE event, Raytheon's network provided the Experimental Force soldiers with a very reliable high-speed backbone that did not require any soldier or field representative intervention," said Harry Lubin, chief of the Experimentation Branch at Fort Benning's Maneuver Battle Lab. "It just worked the whole time, allowing us to focus on the soldier technologies," he added.

Raytheon is doing its own testing to demonstrate 30-50 nodes and in turn a more robust network, and ‘one of the objectives for us in NIE 12.2 is to demonstrate up to 50 nodes operating together, Miller said.

The Technology

U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contracted Raytheon in 2009 to build  the MAINGATE, i.e. a new mobile network that both military and civilian organizations could use to communicate using any radio or wireless device. Since its beginning, the technology development for the MAINGATE program was expected to permit tactical, real-time, high-fidelity video, data, and voice services to support tactical operations in either maneuver or dismounted operations.

DARPA has two goals with the Maingate program: to demonstrate new technology and capabilities to the military and to create a means to integrate legacy equipment easily in operations. Because the services take as long as two decades to cycle through equipment, it is imperative for older radios to communicate with the network and with new systems such the Joint Tactical Radio System and the Warfighter Information System-Tactical. MAINGATE serves as a gateway to translate different radios’ signals into Internet protocol (IP) message packets, which will permit linking different systems together.

Raytheon conceived the MAINGATE as a connection point that allows users employing a heterogeneous set of radio technologies (both proprietary and non-proprietary) to communicate through an IP network. The Wireless IP-capable Network provides the high bandwidth connectivity among air and ground mobility platforms. The network includes the integration of adaptive communications architecture, flexible routing architecture, and heterogeneous application services. A unique characteristic of the MAINGATE program is the integration of a “default” IP radio network as part of the gateway.

Raytheon's MAINGATE is currently comprised of a high-throughput radio that uses the Next Generation Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Waveform and a gateway that enables seamless battlefield connectivity. The architecture of the MAINGATE system allows for many more users to join the network at the same time and it has been verified to enable more than 30 different military and civil radios to communicate with one another while concurrently providing a high-capacity, mobile network. The system has been successfully tested among a large number of low and high bandwidth users, including video, along with voice and data. MAINGATE was installed and tested in configurations using aerostats, unmanned aerial vehicles and Stryker vehicles, to provide networking among several tactical forces performing various simulated missions.

Today, MAINGATE is a mature, off-the-shelf system, with more than 100 units currently deployed in theater. As already discussed in this blog, SAIC was recently awarded a 8 M$ contract to further enhance the MAINGATE by providing the integration of content-based Mobile Edge Networking technology, that will result in the possibility to extend the MAINGATE functionalities to smart phones' ad-hoc networks.

The Context

Raytheon is defining, shaping and delivering battlefield networks through net-enabled combat, communications, and command and control systems. The company has demonstrated the power of the network at the tactical edge through cost-effective solutions at various Army exercises, most recently at the U.S. Army's Network Integration Evaluation.

The NIE process was born of the U.S. Army’s recognition that its requirements, testing and acquisition processes were too slow, expensive and complicated. Moreover, it did not include the operator’s perspective. The next event, known as NIE 12.2, will take place in the next spring and will further solidify the Capability Set 13 network.

Refences: Shepard (1), Raytheon (2,3), ReadWrite (4), DefenseIndustryDaily (5), SIGNAL (6)

Improved Information Fusion for enhancing Counter-Piracy Capabilities


News Report

As announced in a recent press release, an Anti-Piracy Exercise is being unveiled by an industry team led by geospatial capabilities specialist, Esri UK, during the Defence Geospatial Intelligence 2012 in London. It aims to demonstrate how, by joining up multiple sources of data and intelligence into a location-based common operational picture, faster and more informed decisions can be made.
The live demonstration will be provided by Esri UK in collaboration with exactEarth, Exelis VIS and i2, with open-source intelligence provided by IHS.

Piracy presents similar challenges to the counter insurgency operations encountered in Afghanistan. The aim is to identify, track, intercept and disrupt a highly mobile and increasingly organised network. The Anti-Piracy Exercise aims to show how data can be tasked, collected and collated, processed, exploited and disseminated between different parties to create improved situational understanding, enhance decision making and the effectiveness of joint operations.  Data sources currently used by naval task forces such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) feeds, imagery and meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) data, can be overlaid to create a common operational picture. As Esri’s ArcGIS software is an open standards-based commercial off the shelf platform a vast range of data in different formats, most of which are Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant, can be integrated, from aerial reconnaissance to signals intelligence and even social network analysis.

The Technology

The Anti-Piracy Exercise draws on Esri UK’s experience as the geospatial information system (GIS) provider for the UK MoD’s Dataman GIS capability, which was successfully deployed last year in Afghanistan. Dataman integrates over 300 layers of data from intelligence and reconnaissance assets to deliver shared situational understanding throughout the command chain.

Dataman is a Geospatial Inteligence system fielded in response to an Urgent Operational Requirement by the British military in Afghanistan. Dataman is based on COTS technologies, operated by the Defense Ministry's Joint Aeronautical and Geospatial Organization (JAGO), and relies on a software backbone supplied by Esri UK.

The system is integrated within a ruggedized stack of COTS servers manufactured by Dell, packaged in two cases and weighing a total of 300kg.


System operators access the system functionalities through the GeoViewer, a computer interface which taps into the Dataman server to deliver information in a series of layers which the user can choose to have visible or not, depending on the task in hand. GeoViewer can be run near to the servers but also on laptops carried by remote operators.

At its simplest level, Dataman supplies a detailed map to its connected users. The map is not moved around from computer to computer, but held on the server: connected users access information tagged to the map, thus minimizing bandwidth requirements. Dataman allows this rich intelligence picture to be shared laterally, permitting any operator to better understand the changing nature of the space around them. Information is added to the system from a variety of sources and it is tagged to a specific location, permitting the operational units to "drill down" into the layers of data and learn about what has happened there over a period of time.

Comments

Almost all data has a location and time so it can be plotted geographically. By bringing it together in a visual context, patterns and relationships can be seen, which might not be immediately apparent from analysing each intelligence source in isolation”, said Nick Rigby, Non-Executive Director, Esri UK. “It is this collaborative approach that can help joint forces focus their limited resources and counter the piracy threat far more effectively.

References: ESRI (1,3), Angus Batey (2)

January 24, 2012

Contract Award: Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems to support UK MoD Tactical Data Link Systems


News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Data Link Solutions (DLS), a joint venture between BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins, has been awarded a $29 million contract to provide Link 16 sustainment and engineering services to the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defense (MoD) Tactical Data Links Delivery Team.

The DLS Waddington Support Facility, located at Waddington, Royal Air Force Base (RAFB), will provide sustainment, engineering and design support services to the UK MoD, for a period of five years. The agreement includes DLS support for the application and integration of Link 16 Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) terminals, Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) terminals and the AN/URC-138(V)1(C) Information Distribution System.

The Technology

Tactical Data Links involve transmissions of bit-oriented digital information which are exchanged via message formats used in support of joint and combined operations. Link 16, in particular, provides real-time, jam-resistant secure transfer of combat data, voice and relative navigation information between widely dispersed battle elements. Participants gain situational awareness by exchanging digital data over a common communication link that is continuously and automatically updated in real time, reducing the chance of fratricide, duplicate assignments or missed targets. Each participant in the communication link is able to electronically see the battle space, including assigned targets or threats.

Link 16 has been developed and integrated in the United States of America, and the first units fitted with were in the Unites States Navy in 1994.

Link 16 operates on the principle of Time Division Multiple Acess (TDMA), wherein 128 time slots per second are allocated among all participating units for oroginating and receiving data. Link 16 temporal units, called time slots (TS) are organized into multiple functional Network Participation Group (NPGs). This functional groups permit to organize the Link 16 Network capacities by functions, like position and navigation, electronic warfare or command and control, and so to define the participants needs in TS with the functions needs.

Link 16 uses the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) which is the communications component of Link 16. JTIDS terminals are thus capable to constitute a pool of weapons, sensors and command information which is continuously updated by each participant. The participant simultaneously taps the pool for tactical data and is provided with information and commands for force management and co-ordination. Each member in the JTIDS network is assigned a sufficient number of time slots to accommodate the number of messages in accordance with mission requirements. During their assigned transmit time slots, each user broadcasts data into a commonly accessible communications datastream. All other elements can extract information of the type they require by continuously monitoring and sampling the database. Participants who have information will broadcast that information routinely into the net without needing to know who the recipients may be; tactical elements needing the data will extract it from the net without needing to know who furnished it.

The Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) is the NATO name for the communication component of Link 16. MIDS terminals are thus used by platforms to participate in a Link 16 communications network, and they can be also considered as the next generation terminals following JTIDS, designed to decrease size, weight, volume, and cost.

The Multi-functional Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminal (MIDS/LVT) is a five-nation cooperative program that provide a third generation Link 16 system that satisfies U.S. and Allied requirements. The MIDS program was inaugurated via a Memorandum of Understanding amongst the founding MIDS nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States). It is managed by the U.S. Navy MIDS International Program Office. MIDS Low-Volume Terminals (MIDS LVTs) are on most U.S. Air Force fighters, bombers and tankers, most U.S. Navy aircraft, ships, and U.S. bases and air defense systems. Other NATO countries, including UK, have generally been slower and less comprehensive in their implementations, but Link 16 is often installed on fighters, surveillance and patrol aircraft of all types, and air defense systems.

DLS's AN/URC-138(V)1(C) Information Distribution System provides anti-jam protected, encrypted, high throughput data distribution that is compatible with existing Link 16 systems and thus provides Link 16 interoperability between the U.S. tri-services and NATO forces. The terminal provides full stacked net capacity, up to 128, and full Link 16 data throughput. The system can automatically exchange information from a variety of platform sensors. This can include functions such as IR and optics scan, target identification and steering commands. Real-time data updates can also be used to provide landing cues. In addition to robust data communication, the AN/URC-138(V)1(C) terminal also provides two voice ports to enable secure voice communication in a jamming environment. Terminals have been in production since December 1999.

References: Rockwell Collins (1,6), FAS.org (2), Defense-Update (3), Jane's (4), Defense Industry Daily (5)

Brazilian Army's incremental steps for the development of a National Cyber Defence Capability


News Report

An interesting entry in Forcas Terrestres provides some insight into the activities undergoing in Brazil for creating a national Cyber Defense capability.

As illustrated by the blog, and confirmed by other sources, the Brazilian Army awarded two contracts in 2011 for acquiring a new antivirus system and a cyber-warfare simulator. The contracts were assigned to two different brazilian companies, i.e. BluePex and HP's brazilian partner Decatron. Both the two contracts have been managed by the Brazilian Army's Centre for Communications and Electronic Warfare (CCOMGEX, Centro de Comunicações e Guerra Eletrônica do Exército), which is the same military organization that is leading and coordinating the activities for the two transformation programs that will re-shape brazilian land armed forces, namely the SISFRON (Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento de Fronteiras) and the Projeto Brigada Braço Forte.

Under the terms of the first contract, which has an approximate value of 450 k$, BluePex will install its antivirus into the Brazilian Army's network (EBnet), which comprises more the 60000 computers, and will provide training and services to the Army. The BluePex antivirus will replace the one already provided by the spanish company Panda Securitywhich signed in 2010 an agreement with the CCOMGEX to support the professionalization of its operational agents involved in the fight against cyber-terrorism, digital crime and strategic intervention in the event of cyber-warfare.

Under the terms of the second contract, which has an approximate value of 1,2 M$, Decatron will develop a SW environment aimed at training army personnel in the surveillance and defence of network and systems against cyber attacks and cyber incidents. The contract was awarded on last November through an electronic auction in which only Brazilian companies were admitted to bid, according to a strategy of nationalization that puzzled all those international companies that during 2011 had been called by CCOMGEX to present their solutions in the field of cyber warfare simulation.

The Context

The two awards assigned by CCOMGEX are part of a bigger plan undertaken by the Brazilian Government to allow the country’s military, law enforcement agencies and private sector to start performing a collaborative and preventive work against cyber threats. In this framework, the Presidential Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI) published in 2010 its so-called Green Book of Brazil’s Cyber Security, intended as a starter to define the parameters of a collaborative national policy which includes symmetric cryptography, asymmetric techniques, security protocols, techniques for secure implementation, high-performance data processing, computation and quantum cryptography, project management and collaborative infrastructure, and human resources development.

Brazilian Armed Forces are a key component of this plan. Last year, Brazilian Army launched the Center for Cyber Defense (CDCiber) in Brasília. As military-led enterprise, "the Center is a step in the development of doctrines for the coordination of cyber security among all the branches of the Armed Forces and with other sectors of society,” said Army Lt. Gen. José Carlos dos Santos, commander of CDCiber. All the branches of Brazil’s Armed Forces have programs of cyber defense, but the new center will integrate leadership of those programs.

References: Forte.Jor.br (1), Panda Security (2), Diàlogo (3)

General Dynamics' JTRS Rifleman Radio and GD300 Wearable Computer in support of U.S. Special Operations Units in Afghanistan


News Report

As reported in a recent press release, the General Dynamics C4 Systems' JTRS HMS Rifleman Radio and the General Dynamics' Itronix GD300 wearable computer deployed this month to Afghanistan with elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment. The 75th Ranger Regiment is a rapidly deployable strike force, the largest special operations combat element in the U.S. Army. The 75th Ranger Regiment has been continuously deployed in support of the War on Terror since October 2001.

The Rangers are equipped with the Rifleman Radio for intra-squad communications and with the GD300, running the Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) tactical ‘app,’ to send text messages, situation reports and other information to individual solders. Feedback from planned operational assessments will be used to inform the future fielding of the Rifleman Radio to the U.S. Army as a whole.

The JTRS HMS program office and the Ranger Regiment decided to conduct the operational assessment following three separate successful evaluations in 2011. The Rifleman Radio is part of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) radio family.

The Technology

General Dynamics' AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio delivers networking connectivity to the frontline soldier in a low-cost, lightweight, ruggedized, body worn device. Designed to bring secure inter-squad communications to any warfighter on the tactical edge of the battlefield, this radio also enables Team and Squad Leaders to track individual soldier GPS locations.

General Dynamics' AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio
The AN/PRC-154 is a software programmable radio, which can use encryption to safeguard information, and is built to send Internet Protocol packets of data, voice, video and images via multiple waveforms between static command centers, vehicles on the move, and dismounted individual soldiers on patrol. The JTRS waveforms, SRW and the Wideband Networking Waveform, known as WNW, are integrated with the satellite communications backbone of the Army network, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, to transmit that information on the upper tactical internet.
The Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW), in particular, represents a networking waveform capable to perform in a complex military environment, in the presence of adversarial threats, and providing a secure high-bandwidth communications link specifically designed for equipments that are small, light, don’t consume much power and use low-profile antennas.

By employing a National Security Agency Type 2 certification, the Rifleman Radio can offer controlled but unclassified communications a Soldier can employ without requiring security clearances. This solves one radio problem for infantry units, which are comprised mostly of troops who are not cleared. The NSA Type 2 encryption bars classified information from being passed during transmissions and makes secure information more difficult for enemies to intercept.

The AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio is part of the JTRS Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit, or simply JTRS HMS, family of radios. JTRS HMS is a materiel solution meeting the requirements to support U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy communication needs. In June 2011, the JTRS HMS program achieved a Milestone C decision, enabling the Low Rate Initial Production of 6,250 AN/PRC-154 Rifleman and 100 AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios.

General Dynamics Itronix’s Android-based GD300 Rugged Wearable Computer operates like an ultra-sensitive commercial GPS unit or, with the click of a cable, interfaces with tactical radios like the Rifleman Radio (AN/PRC-154) for secure access to the tactical network.

General Dynamics Itronix’s GD300 Rugged Wearable Computer
The GD300 hosts the open architecture, Android-based operating system to easily accommodate current and emerging applications for warfighters at all command levels. Operating in two distinct modes, the GD300 serves as a stand-alone GPS device or, when connected to a tactical radio, performs as a tactical mission computer. The GD300 supports commercially available standalone applications or military “apps” like the Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) System.

TIGR is an information-centric application that provides data collection and reporting capabilities to army users, enabling company and platoon-level knowledge sharing. TIGR provides a map-based user interface enhanced for military application and supports multi-media and GPS input as well as distributed search and caching capability. Designed to provide high availability, TIGR is resilient to network disconnects and operates seamlessly through periods of network outage. The highly intuitive visualizations allow soldiers to quickly review all available intelligence including places, events, people, and objects for efficient and timely battlefield awareness and increased combat effectiveness.

Comments

This capability provides unprecedented communication and situational awareness that changes how soldiers fight,” said Chris Brady, vice president of Assured Communications for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “The JTRS HMS Rifleman Radio is ready for combat and could reduce the military’s dependence on interim radio solutions that are unable to deliver anything like this.

References: General Dynamics (1,2,3), C4I Technology News (4)

Sylinx's H2OPs modular heandset for maritme, urban and covert missions


News Report

As reported in a recent press release, Sylinx announced the launch of its new, state-of-the-art 20m immersible hearing protection/enhancement headset system, the H2Ops. Derived from Silynx's combat proven C4OPS, the H2Ops is a modular headset designed for maritme, urban and covert missions. This dynamic product includes a new 20m immersible low profile micro wireless Push To Talk (PTT) designed to fit on a Picatinny rail or MOLLE vest.

The combat-proven Sylinx's C4OPS and Micro C4OPS have been widely used in the past 3 years and adopted by US Special Operations Forces (US SOF), NATO Special Forces, FBI SWAT, and the Land 200 Australian Modernisation Program. The C4OPS is a recent addition to the U.S. Army's FY12 Rapid Fielding Initiative Equipment List.

Comments

"Silynx is proud to introduce the H2Ops. This is our most innovative tactical headset yet and it caps off a development process that incorporates our unique expertise, as well as lessons learned from past fielding of 20m immersible tactical products," said Gil Limonchik, CEO, Silynx. "We use feedback from Operators to develop each fielded headset and continuously improve our products. By going straight to the end user, we ensure that warfighters have access to the most technologically advanced micro soldier communications system available. We know that situational awareness and effective communications are critical to mission success. The H2Ops headset will set the standard in its field because it guarantees both."

References: Sylinx (1), ASDNews (2)

January 23, 2012

The largest transition to Google’s cloud services by a federal agency to date


News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Unisys, acting as subcontractor to Earth Resources Technology, completed its $11.5 million project to transition 25,000 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) employees and other users to the Google Apps for Government e-mail and collaboration platform.

NOAA expects the new tools to help increase user productivity within the agency and to reduce operations costs by about 50 percent compared to in-house solutions.

Within the project, Unisys provided engineering and transition services to NOAA, including communications management and training. The team, which also included Google and Tempus Nova, completed all work on schedule, and NOAA transitioned to the new system in December 2011.

This news follows an announcement last year that Unisys had worked with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to successfully transition all of its users to Google Apps for Government for email and collaboration services. Unisys also recently announced a contract with Battelle Energy Alliance to provide the Google Apps for Government email and collaboration solution for the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory.

The Technology

Remote workforces, government-industry teams and the increasing interaction among government workers, contractors and citizens lead to a heightened need for enterprise collaboration -- anytime, anywhere and without bounds.

To help agencies meet those challenges, Unisys has teamed with Google, the leading provider of cloud email and collaboration applications, to offer a full suite of enterprise integration services to ensure a successful transition to the cloud. Through Google Apps for Government, Unisys provides agencies with the ability to operate in a collaborative office environment without boundaries. This concept is feasible today and offers proven security, improved productivity and substantial cost savings.

Unisys implements the infrastructure necessary to integrate U.S. agencies' current environment with Google Apps for Government including Single Sign On, account provisioning and Exchange or Notes email. Unisys Enterprise Application Integration Services provides support services to integrate existing enterprise applications with Google Apps. The service provides integration with other cloud services such as Salesforce.com, COTS products such as Business Objects, and customer-developed applications such as those developed in Lotus Notes. Client-based applications can be web enabled without any interruption in workforce productivity.


References: Unisys (1,3), Washington Technology (2)