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Criticality of tactical communications for the dismounted soldier

Rob Garth, Products Director, Video & Broadcast at Domo Tactical Communications (DTC)

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DTC’s soldier backpack communication system provides data, video and real time situational awareness, Mesh Network in a Backpack.

DTC’s soldier backpack communication system provides data, video and real time situational awareness, Mesh Network in a Backpack.

Asymmetric warfare has redefined the tactical edge and created tremendous communications challenges for the Dismounted Soldier. Defensive postures and communication infrastructure of the past applied to a much more stationary battlefield with less sophisticated adversaries.

Today’s battlefield is much more dynamic and adversaries have adopted cyber and electronic warfare tactics. To stay ahead we need to ensure that warfighters have the same secure and robust communications experience that is ruggedized to adapt to mobility over any terrain, reliable in the face of unanticipated conditions and has smaller form factors. Wireless, secure, mobile, ad-hoc and enterprise communication networks deployed at the tactical edge are critical to the success of the mission and the safety of warfighters.

Situational Awareness - Identifying the Threat

Enhanced situational awareness means better decision-making. Enhanced soldier-to-soldier communication means safer and more efficient mission execution. The Domo Tactical Communications (DTC) SOL8SDR-H, powered by DTC’s unique mission-critical tactical COFDM Mesh waveforms, delivers high bandwidth Full Motion Video (FMV) from helmet and body worn cameras, low latency full-duplex voice throughout the team and supports the sharing of critical mission data on the ground where it is needed.

Operating as a standalone network or backhauling via DTC’s Mobile and Infrastructure Mesh radios such as the NETNode-5RM, the SOL8SDR-H leverages the self-forming, self-healing properties of the DTC Mesh to provide a robust, high-bandwidth tactical network in the most demanding environments.

Reliable, Secure and Fluid Networked Video on the move – DTC’s Special Role Radio (SRR).

Reliable, Secure and Fluid Networked Video on the move – DTC’s Special Role Radio (SRR).

Squad Data Radio - Secure Communications with LPI/LPD

With proven compatibility with ATAK, CIVTAK & WINTAK and other situational awareness applications, the DTC SOL8SDR-H has the ability to operate in channel bandwidths down to 1.25MHz for extreme range performance at very low power and low LPE/LPI/ LPD. This makes the DTC SOL8SDR-H the ideal choice for Squad Data Radios sharing PLI, mapping data, messaging and mission plans while operating without the need for external infrastructure. Equally, DTC’s Interference Avoidance System (lAS) provides a cognitive radio capability, protecting blue force communications from interference and jamming, while facilitating battlefield frequency coordination.

Battlefield Sensor Integration - Data Communication

The ability to quickly connect ad hoc sensor platforms across a battlefield environment is a key force multiplier as it enables units and formations to extend the reconnaissance gap and provides real-time information to both tactical commanders and HQ elements.

In this role, the DTC SOL8SDR-H can operate either in Mesh Mode or in unidirectional COFDM mode, to act as a data or video bearer for a wide range of sensors such as Chemical Threat Monitoring, EO (traditional and thermal), ground sensors, radar and SIGINT/EW platforms. The self-healing, self-forming network is ideal for rapidly deploying sensors to relay actionable data back to field commanders and onwards back to HQ using existing IP networks. The connectivity options available with the SOL8SDR-H offer versatility and adaptability for disparate systems and the MBITR-compatible battery packs provide long-endurance monitoring along with compatibility with a wide variety of chargers and other accessories.

Reducing the Warfighter’s Load - MUM-T

A reduced load leads to a more mobile and faster moving force. Manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) systems can do this by teaming the soldier with an unmanned or optionally manned vehicle, to deliver supplies and ammunition or even to act as mobile stretchers to aid in the evacuation of casualties.

With a DTC Mesh radio on the vehicle, the DTC SOL8SDR-H is the ideal choice for a soldier carried controller node. Interfacing to a rugged tablet, PC or a custom remote controller and powered from standard MBITR-style military batteries, the SOL8SDR-H facilitates vehicle control and brings back video and sensor data from the vehicle. With the DTC Mesh, repeater nodes can easily be dropped to build-out control range well beyond Line-of-Sight – all without any need for manual configuration.

The SOL8SDR-H is a single solution to meet the mission-critical requirements of tactical and special operation applications where robust, encrypted, tactical mobile communication links are needed to provide enhanced situational awareness.

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