Providing clear and concise communications in the multi domain battlefield environment

Soldier Modernisation speaks to Morten Rishoj, FalCom

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As every soldier knows, no plan survives first contact, but if you can’t hear the new plan after first contact, then there is no surviving. In his book Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command, S.L.A. Marshall speaks to this fact. He exhorts the importance of ensuring that men communicate on the battlefield when he states, “Information is the soul of morale in combat and the balancing force in successful tactics.” This statement, and many others in his work, drives home the point that soldiers must communicate on the battlefield to ensure unit cohesion, assist the small unit leader in tactical decision making, and ultimately enable the soldier’s senior commander to apply the right type and mix of combat power that will ensure overmatch against our adversaries. These lessons were true of warfare in the 1940s when Marshall wrote this book, and they remain true today, especially as we start to transition back to large-scale combat operations in a multi-domain environment.

Q: With access to more data and communications, basically more information being pushed at the modern warfighter, the ability to still be aware of your own situation and safety is critical. How are FalCom helping?

A: FalCom designs and manufactures products that provide the modern warfighter with clear communications in high noise and critical environments. The FalCom system allows the soldier to be hearing-protected in operations, while maintaining full situational awareness.

FalCom products are designed with an end-user focus. A modern warfighter operates in dangerous situations where the ability to hear and communicate is crucial. Our knowledge of hearing aids and the negative effects of hearing loss impact everything we develop. FalCom in-ear and over-ear headsets allow users to operate in these environments, communicate with a team, and listen to their surroundings — while providing protection from hearing-damaging sounds. We know that the best way to protect someone’s hearing is to provide them with hearing protection that they actually want to use. That is why we have designed our system to be lightweight and provide all-day comfort.

Our headsets are also engineered with medical grade transducers that enable clear voice communication and sound quality in noisy operational environments. This means the wearer does not need to remove the headset — and risk exposing themselves to hearing damage — to have a conversation or to detect potential threats around them.

Q: One of the phrases being used by FalCom is 3D audio, with the FalCom 3D engine, could you explain the concept and how it works for the operator?

A: One main differentiator is our 3D Channel Separation feature. This feature allows the user to handle multiple audio channels simultaneously, improving an operator’s ability to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. 3D Channel Separation places the sound from up to four audio sources around the user’s head in positions that provide maximum differentiation. This makes it easier for the user to separate incoming audio feeds and to different between channels.

Q: FalCom is part of GN Group, could you provide a history of how the division came about and the benefit this gives you in research and development?

A: FalCom as a separate entity began in 2017 by the GN Group. GN is a global leader in intelligent audio solutions with more than 7,000 employees and a 150 year history, including global brands such as GN Resound and Jabra. Our goal was to create the ultimate soldier hub by combining military industry experts with GN capabilities, such as Jabra high tech headsets and ReSound medical device size and accuracy.

Today FalCom offers a range of products designed for the modern warfighter with industry leading hearing protection, and best in class audio including 3D audio capability and natural hear-through. The range includes multiple control units, in-ear and over-the-ear headsets to fit all user requirements, and COM cables to interface to soldier radios, intercom systems, mobile phones and other audio accessories.

Because of GN’s in-depth knowledge of hearing aid design we are able to design our headsets to be smaller and consume less power than competing products. We are also able to develop products with sleek designs that easily integrate directly with radios and end user devices because of our knowledge sharing with Jabra.

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