DataSoft Awarded SBIR Phase II Contract for Development of SideBridge-Iridium Module
Tempe, Arizona – May 3, 2016 – DataSoft is proud to announce that the US Army has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract under the topic number AF103-085. Project Manager Tactical Radios (PM TR) under PEO C3T initiated this research and development effort to build a SideBridge-Iridium module for the Rifleman Radio (PRC-154A). The proposed SideBridge-Iridium (SB-I) module ensures reliable transmission of the radio Position Location Information (PLI). SB-I will monitor the radio PLI and automatically transmit the PLI over the Iridium satellite network whenever the radio becomes disconnected from the radio network or if the radio is no longer able to generate PLI.
Army is currently fielding Rifleman Radio to link dismounted Soldiers into the Army’s mission command network. A crucial function of the link is the reporting of PLI for Blue Force Tracking (BFT) that provides situational awareness and prevents friendly fire casualties. However, this method has limitations as a, squad or platoon may lose radio network connectivity with the rest of the company so that the soldiers and company are no longer able to track all of the Blue Forces. As well, a battery or radio failure will not allow the soldier to send PLI data.
Certain circumstances with radio range or connectivity could be degraded, prohibiting the ability for leaders to have total situational awareness. By combining DataSoft’s proven SideBridge technology with an Iridium modem, the Soldier will 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 BFT.
The Phase II contract has a base period of 15 months during which DataSoft will design, build and deliver SB-I modules. An option period of 9 months may follow that would include extensive, formal field tests and demonstrations.
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 www.datasoft.com