Lightweight antenna increases Army agility

Ground to Air Transmit and Receive Inflatable Satellite Antennas are increasing agility and expeditionary nature of U.S. forces. (U.S. Army photo)

Ground to Air Transmit and Receive Inflatable Satellite Antennas are increasing agility and expeditionary nature of U.S. forces. (U.S. Army photo)

By Amy Walker, PEO C3T

Inflatable ground satellite antennas are aiding in the expeditionary nature of U.S. and coalition forces, enabling them to achieve high-bandwidth network connectivity anywhere in the world from small deployable packages.

“Many of the conventional satellite terminals previously fielded aren’t suitable for some of the more agile transportation requirements of today’s deployed Joint Forces,” said Lt. Col. Leonard Newman, Army product manager for Satellite Communications, which is assigned to Project Manager Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, known as WIN-T. “The inflatable satellite antenna is transforming how Special Operations forces and now airborne and other conventional forces deploy high-bandwidth SATCOM around the world.”

Future Joint contingencies and support operations are expected to require rapid deployment of smaller sized elements to a wide variety of austere environments, with Soldiers needing to fight on arrival. The lightweight, easily transportable Ground to Air Transmit and Receive, or GATR, inflatable antenna reduces size, weight and power requirements over current capability, enabling smaller units to quickly deploy anywhere in the world and achieve network connectivity. The antenna can connect Soldiers in remote locations to the Army’s tactical communication WIN-T network backbone, as well as support other services and first responders.

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Unified Lab for Tactical Radios

(From left) Gary Martin, acting director, Communications Electronics Command (CECOM); Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes, program executive officer for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T); and Dr. Paul Zablocky, director, Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate (S&TCD), Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), cut the ribbon on the Unified Laboratory for Tactical Radios-Army Jan. 7, 2014. The new lab will combine research and development, sustainment and acquisition efforts for the Army’s radio portfolio in a single location.

(From left) Gary Martin, acting director, Communications Electronics Command; Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes, program executive officer for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical; and Dr. Paul Zablocky, director, Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, cut the ribbon on the Unified Laboratory for Tactical Radios-Army Jan. 7, 2014. The new lab will combine research and development, sustainment and acquisition efforts for the Army’s radio portfolio
in a single location.

Tactical radio research promises new advances

By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, PEO C3T

The Army formed the new Unified Lab for Tactical Radios – Army, known as ULTRA, to combine research, development, sustainment and acquisition efforts for the Army’s radio portfolio in a single location.

The new facility combines U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Program Executive Office C3T and Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center personnel and resources to provide economies of scale and better coordination of radio technologies throughout their lifecycle, officials said.

A Jan. 7, 2014, ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ULTRA facility, which is located on the C4ISR campus at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., officially inaugurated an effort to support the full lifecycle of Army radios, from research and development, to procurement and management, to sustainment.

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Field support training takes on a system-of-systems approach

CERDEC and PEO C3T engineers supporting the assessment were instrumental in identifying and helping to resolve issues with the CS 13 network architecture and providing recommendations on techniques and procedures for successful deployment and operation of CS 13 equipment and network.

CERDEC and PEO C3T engineers supporting the assessment were instrumental in identifying and helping to resolve issues with the CS 13 network architecture and providing recommendations on techniques and procedures for successful deployment and operation of CS 13 equipment and network. (U.S. Army photo)

Training and preparing for Capability Set 13

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T and Edric Thompson, CERDEC Public Affairs

As the first units recently prepared for deployment with an array of new communications technologies, the Army’s acquisition and research and development communities teamed up to train a new breed of “super” engineers to support these advanced capabilities.

The Program Executive Office Command Control and Communications-Tactical and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center used a combination of classroom instruction, research facility exercises and hands-on experience to prepare more than 30 engineers to support and troubleshoot an integrated package of tactical communications systems the Army fielded to select brigade combat teams known as Capability Set 13. The team also trained units on how to configure, employ and maintain it.

The brigade combat teams using CS 13 have deployed or are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. CS 13 spans from the tactical operations center to the dismounted Soldier, providing mobile satellite and robust radio capability so commanders and Soldiers can take the network with them anywhere on the battlefield. It allows deployed units to cover increased distance while expediting decision-making and information sharing across more echelons than was previously possible in today’s operational force.

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