Army to deploy satellite communications for Iraq warfighters
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Nov 14, 2008
The Army will deploy a satellite communications-on-the-move (COTM) device for its Iraq forces to provide greater situational awareness, speed and flexibility to small, quickly moving units of warfighters.
The device includes a satellite communications hub and two satellite COTM systems that will be installed on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. The COTM device includes a low-profile antenna that can enable satellite communications connectivity at vehicle speeds of 80 miles per hour or faster.
The solution will additionally include a compact device that integrates land mobile radio and satellite communications with a push-to-talk interface, enabling cross-band capability so users may take advantage of both communication links.
The vehicles with satellite and land mobile radio communications will act as communications hubs, providing an everything-over-IP network link that establishes a robust line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight network anywhere. With this communications hub moving on the battlefield, many other users and vehicles can use the network connectivity to establish mobile, high-bandwidth capability to send and receive video, data and voice communications.
Duluth, Ga.-based DataPath, provider of worldwide satellite and wireless communications networks, will manufacture and deploy the DataPath COTM solution, the satellite communications terminal and satellite COTM systems, and MobiLink system, the interface with land mobile radio and satellite communications, for the Army. The agreement is worth as much as $3.9 million, including the initial COTM systems, the hub earth terminal and options for additional systems. The Army Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J., awarded the contract to DataPath.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.