Bridging audio, data and power for the modern warfighter

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Once upon a time, battlefield communications meant audio. But the modern warfighter is increasingly connected – both with fellow soldiers as well as with command stations and headquarters. That connectivity has seen an evolution in communication, with the addition of data as a vital element for soldiers on the ground. Communications systems for dismounted soldiers have become increasingly complex, offering modular capability, high quality audio and AI.

Market leader INVISIO has put innovation at the heart of the evolution of its dismounted comms systems. Its first generation of systems, V-Series Gen I, provided market-leading audio quality, hearing protection that still allowed optimal situational awareness, all within a modular, scalable and connected system. The V-Series Gen II built on the success of this system, offering increased customisation capabilities, including the use of AI to improve speech quality by 30% and to automatically adapt received audio volume. Now, the V60 Gen II ADP system takes battlefield communications to the next level, bridging audio, data and power to provide unparalleled capabilities to dismounted soldiers.

Bridging audio, data and power

Fast, accurate information is key in any battlefield setting, and technological developments have seen dismounted soldiers able to exchange increasingly complex information whilst on the ground. The ability to share data, from maps and images, quickly and efficiently, is a huge advantage, explains Jonas Burup Dahl, DSP & Acoustics Team Leader at INVISIO. “The soldier on the battlefield is getting more and more connected, to each other and back to headquarters,” he says. “And now communication is going beyond audio. Previously everything was communicated through voice but now we are seeing more and more communication being sent, via data. This communication means a lot of things that took a long time before can be done much faster now, thereby increasing situational awareness, making more efficient, faster decisions based on “live” data.”

In addition, using data – whether sending messages via a written ‘chat’ capability, or transmitting pictures, locations or maps – can make data communication superior to audio communication in some environments. “For instance, if you have to pinpoint an exact location, if you have to evacuate someone, then transmitting it via data can save time in repeating and verifying it via audio.”

The new INVISIO V60 II ADP provides more capabilities with less devices and reduces the burden for the modern warfighter.

The new INVISIO V60 II ADP provides more capabilities with less devices and reduces the burden for the modern warfighter.

Until now, data-focused communications operated separately from audio-focused systems and relied on a separate interface via an End User Device (EUD) adding to the number of devices, connections and, ultimately, amount of kit carried by dismounted soldiers. “There has been a completely separate architecture for power and data,” explains Dahl. “When people sell devices that can connect stuff together, the radios have two connectors - one for data, one for audio.”

The challenges of carrying extra devices with multiple connections are clear, adding to the weight soldiers are carrying and making their kit more cumbersome and awkward. For INVISIO, the answer was clear. “We saw a benefit in merging these together, and connecting them so that the audio world could interact with the data world and the data world could interact with the audio world.

Introducing INVISIO V60 II ADP

Enabling the modern warfighter to bridge audio, data and power

Enabling the modern warfighter to bridge audio, data and power

INVISIO’s answer is the V60 II ADP – what it has termed the “ultimate warfighter hub and PTT” that bridges audio, data and power. The latest system in INVISIO’s ever-evolving range enables audio cues from the EUD to the headset, but also distributes power to EUDs and other devices. This reduces cables, devices and complexity – helping ensure the equipment used by dismounted soldiers on the ground is lighter and more streamlined than ever. “Essentially, it provides a modern warfighter with more functionality but less devices by integrating systems and data,” explains Jakob Novrup Bengtson, product manager at INVISIO.

The V60 II ADP offers the market-leading double hearing protection of 42dB, while using INVISIO’s advanced technology to ensure hear-through. In addition to this, the automatic adjustment of volume from received audio to surrounding sound level, and the use of AI and digital signal processing to filter out noise and increase speech intelligibility by 30% means situational awareness remains high and unaffected by the headset.

INVISIO has also addressed the power issue, meaning in some cases extra power sources do not have to be carried by soldiers, again reducing their burden and weight. “You can go extremely light,” says Bengtson. “We can still add some of the capabilities back if needed, but as a soldier you have more options.” The system is MIL SPEC compliant, and proven to withstand some of the most extreme environments, from high altitudes and low temperatures to extreme heat environments, as well as being fully submersible to 20m for two hours.

Merging analogue and digital

A key stand-out benefit of the V60 II ADP system is its ability to interface the analogue audio world with the digital audio world. This means that in situations where dismounted soldiers may not be able to look at their EUD’s screen – including on covert missions or when operating at night – they can receive an audio prompt from the EUD through their headset. “For example, if you get a chat message or if you need a prompt to change direction, you would have to open it up and look at it,” says Bengtson. “This removes that need – what we’re trying to do is to reduce the amount of times they need to look at the EUD and get more into the headset, so soldiers only need to look at the EUD when it's necessary.

By merging analogue audio and digital audio, any need for multiple headsets is also reduced, again allowing for more effective communication for dismounted soldiers in a range of settings and environments.

Like all of INVISIO’s systems, the V60 II ADP can be configured according to the mission or application, with the capacity for additional radios and connections for command roles, as well as additional power and EUD charging for certain roles if required. The technology can be used with current INVISIO Gen II headsets, allowing them to be updated with its capabilities. “It means people who already have our headsets can make them even better because they can now add this digital audio to it,” explains Bengtson. “That was not possible before.”

The latest addition to the INVISIO range adds yet another layer of capability and ground-breaking functionality, bridging audio, data and power to provide tangible benefits for dismounted troops on the ground. For Bengtson, its benefits are many. “The V60 II ADP solves a very practical problem that will impact all of its uses for troops in a wide range of environments and situations, providing more capabilities with less devices, as well as our market-leading AI-powered and unparalleled audio and hearing protection.”


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