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Security and Defense
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Integrated System Delivers Tactical Video from Drones to Battlefield
The system combines Harris wideband tactical communications with Cubic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Jun 09, 2011

A new system enables autonomous aircraft to relay surveillance video from UAVs directly to friendly forces on the battlefield below. Here, an unmanned aerial systems technician with Insitu, Inc., prepares a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle for flight at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., May 20, 2011. (Credit: U.S. Air Force)

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Harris Corporation, a communications and information technology company, and Cubic Corporation, a provider of defense electronics and data links, have conducted technology demonstrations that significantly enhance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) situational awareness by distributing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) video and targeting data across wideband ground tactical communication networks.

The Harris/Cubic solution integrates Cubic’s Common Data Link (CDL) transceiver technology for receiving video from UAS platforms with the Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G open-standard wideband tactical radio. The system is geared to deliver UAS video to military forces operating at the tactical edge with the greatest need for immediate intelligence.

Currently, ISR data and ground tactical communications are handled using separate and often non-interoperable technologies. Combining the two in a single system creates a versatile solution that links high-bandwidth video into wideband voice and data radio networks — leading to greater situational awareness, faster decision-making and improved operational planning, all while lightening the soldier’s load.

The Harris AN/PRC-117G radio is the first wideband manpack radio system with a JTRS-certified Software Communications Architecture and NSA Type-1 certified information security. The radio’s wideband architecture enables applications such as streaming video, simultaneous voice and data feeds, collaborative chat, and connectivity to secure networks. This provides warfighters and field commanders with critical real-time information through a smaller, lighter and more capable man-portable radio.

Cubic offers a comprehensive family of data link products that provide ISR capabilities for land, air, and sea military operations. The data links allow military commanders to obtain near real-time images and data to precisely locate and identify enemy targets — anywhere, at any time — in a network-centric environment.


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