SideBridge-Iridium Maintains Soldier Connectivity at Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE 2018)

Fort Benning, Georgia – March 20, 2018 – The DataSoft SideBridge-Iridium (SB-I) module was a selected technology for the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE 2018) that completed today. During the experiment, SB-I maintained Position Location Information (PLI) for all platoon members when the radio connection was out of network.

At AEWE, SB-I was connected to the side connector of the PRC-154A Rifleman radio. SB-I monitored the radio PLI and automatically started transmitting the PLI over the Iridium satellite network whenever the radio lost network connection or when the radio was no longer able to generate PLI. Maintaining PLI within the platoon and company provides critical situational awareness and helps to prevent friendly fire casualties.

Certain circumstances with radio range can degrade the network connection, prohibiting the ability for leaders to have total situational awareness. By combining DataSoft’s proven SideBridge technology with an Iridium modem, the Soldier can have Iridium satellite service for sending the PLI data to other Soldiers which can be used by mission command systems to develop a common operational picture for situational awareness at higher echelons. The Department of Defense has an existing contract with Iridium Communications Inc. for airtime so adding the Iridium link provides an alternative, cost-effective and reliable solution for maintaining PLI.

The following two figures show how SB-I was used to keep the platoon and company connected at AEWE 2018.

Figure 1: Two Disconnected Networks Figure 2: Three Disconnected Networks

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DataSoft specializes in low-power, small form-factor wireless solutions involving SDRs, IoT devices, Situation Awareness apps, MANET management software, and IP-based networking. Our technology portfolio includes programmable RF designs, tactical radio accessories, software libraries, Information Security expertise, and rapid prototyping capability. We design, manufacture, integrate, and support real-time embedded solutions for defense, commercial, and industrial communications. For additional information, visit


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John Bohlke