Solider communications systems evolve


In this week`s IT in defence World Wide Wrap: Solider communications systems evolve, Aegis demonstrates open architecture, and BAE systems flight control computer flies on Taiwan`s newest fighter.

Solider communications systems evolve

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) that invented the Internet and an industry team of engineers and scientists have developed a new generation of soldier communications called a Situational Awareness System for Small Unit Operations. Dubbed SUO-SAS for short.

Soldiers have to fight in places that are remote with high and low temperature extremes. Many of these places are not only inhospitable to soldiers but also to their communications systems. Creating a wireless end-to-end communications network of sensors and radios in these environments is even more daunting – but necessary in a world of changing threats.

Darpa envisioned creating a kind of bubble around each soldier that allows them to navigate in restrictive terrain, detect and categorise threats and then collaboratively plan their actions in real time.

Aegis demonstrates open architecture

Lockheed Martin conducted a successful demonstration of simulated missile engagement in which the integrated architecture behaviour model (IABM) was integrated into the Aegis Weapon System to provide a single integrated air picture (SIAP).

The IABM used in the simulation is developed by the Joint Single Integrated Air Picture System Engineering Organisation (JSSEO). The US defence department established the JSSEO to enhance the war fighting interoperability of the military services and other defence agencies.

To support this mission, the SIAP delivers incremental capability drops, called time boxes, to the services. Lockheed Martin used Time Box 30 – which built on capabilities demonstrated in previous time boxes – for the recent demonstration. Lockheed Martin integrated it with the latest Aegis open architecture (OA) products, in development for the Navy`s Cruiser Modernisation programme.

BAE systems flight control computer flies

BAE Systems` new 32-bit digital flight control computer recently completed its first flight aboard the Taiwanese Air Force Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF) C/D version, also known as the Shiang-Seng Fighter.

The new flight control computer represents a substantial advance in processing power and control capability over the obsolete 16-bit computer it replaces. "This design provides important performance improvements over its predecessor that will result in a safer, higher-performing aircraft," said Butch Hsu, senior VP of Taiwan`s Aerospace Industrial Development (AIDC).

BAE Systems has worked closely with AIDC, builder of the all-weather, multi-role IDF, since the programme`s inception in1985. The flight control system has been improved in several phases, with the latest development contract awarded in 2002.