Defence ICT specialist Insitec has unveiled a new communication connectivity system that the company hopes will replace the need for operators to manually connect tactical radio networks on the battlefield.
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Insitec explained that the new software and communications platform was developed with research and testing input from the Australian Defence Force, with the objective of the software to connect the Battlefield of Things (BoT) and improve procedures for Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
The system, dubbed HIVE, was developed as part of the Australian Army’s C4 EDGE consortium, which was established to develop the next generation of communications and data network management systems within future Network Centric Warfare.
Michael Branch, founder and managing director of Insitec, explained that the company has been developing communications and ICT solutions with the Department of Defence for 20 years.
“The days of incompatible radio networks that are manually patched together to create inefficient, constrained networks are behind us. HIVE’s network architecture allows any node to interact with any other node on the network,” Branch said.
“HIVE’s operational interface, created with user-experience technology design experts fifty ZOO, is easy to use and ensures more effective and efficient command, control and communications (C3) by automatically optimising network management and performance.
“HIVE provides the ability to perform dynamic reconfiguration of interconnected networks to ensure that the commander’s intent is applied across the network’s communication systems.
“This means commanders can make quicker decisions thanks to reduced transmission latency and enhanced situational awareness. Furthermore, they can reliably and quickly communicate their orders to warfighters at the tactical edge.”
Adam Wilson, chief technology officer for Insitec’s Military, Intelligence and Space Division (MIS), explained that the product’s service-oriented architecture leverages the electromagnetic environment to enable the transfer of information.
“Our system is designed to constantly monitor and optimise its own performance by using all available network capacity,” Wilson said.
“For example, if a comms or data channel goes down or is overloaded by user demand, the user experiences no loss of service or data access due to the always on nature HIVE provides as an overlay network of networks, to ensure the information gets to the right person at the right time. This provides resilience, robustness and redundancy for operations.
“We were set a goal by C4 EDGE - to deliver an integrated network that provides dynamic routing and quality of services to ensure a constant and efficient information flow around the network.
“Our testing and demonstration to the Australian Army and C4 EDGE partners proves that is exactly what we have delivered.”
Branch explained that the HIVE capability was a uniquely Australian product to support Australia’s warfighting capabilities.
“Insitec has worked closely with Defence for 20 years, so we deeply understand Defence culture. We’ve now entered a period of rapid growth, which is necessary as Insitec matures and evolves to become an even more significant partner for Defence,” he said.
“We are proud to be part of Australia’s tactical advantage being 100 per cent Australian owned and operated and committed to building our country’s sovereign capability, while also contributing to export opportunities for our nation with systems like HIVE.
“HIVE is really what Insitec stands for - bold, progressive and genuinely innovative while also being a company focused on solving long standing problems with practical and effective thinking.”
The system was unveiled after successful field trials.