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NIDAR command and control system installed on a flotilla of special forces fast interceptor boats

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MARSS Group have announced an important new contract with the installation of NiDAR command and control system on a flotilla of Zodiac Hurricane RIB fast patrol vessels.

The contract with Zodiac Milpro, is valued at over USD 2million and was for the supply and installation of an expeditionary version of NIDAR command and control system and the complete sensors package. The NiDAR X (eXpeditionary) is to be fitted to a flotilla of 11m Hurricane RIB fast patrol and intercept vessels for an undisclosed special forces unit.

With NiDAR X installed, the RIB’s are transformed into a fully networked wide-area surveillance system, providing a shared situational awareness picture between each of the craft. NiDAR X is completely sensor agnostic so it integrates multiple sensors from each of the craft including; cameras, radar, sonar (optional) plus AIS, digital radio, tracker and transponder inputs to detect, identify and monitor unknown and known air, surface and underwater objects.

NiDAR X provides detailed threat and targeting information to the vessel helmsman and other operators, via innovative head up displays.

Any RIB can be designated as the command craft. The flotilla can either act independently as a high speed, high mobility surveillance/interdiction force, or via a dedicated high bandwidth digital radio system, share data with, or be controlled by, a command centre on land or a mothership.

Rob Balloch – VP Sales for MARSS said “As far as we are aware this is the first time a system of this capability has been fitted to any fleet of small tactical craft like RIB’s.”

Rob Balloch went on to say: “The latest generation of Zodiac Hurricane RIBs are incredibly fast, flexible and maneuverable platforms, able to respond at high speed to all sorts of threats. With the addition of these high-performance sensors and NiDAR, this flotilla of RIBs becomes a fully integrated tactical network able to monitor, detect and respond to threats over an area of some 200 nautical square miles.

NiDAR X is so flexible and can be installed on virtually any platform capable of carrying surveillance equipment, such as a tactical ground vehicles or small craft. It can integrate and share the data of all available surveillance assets including other patrol vehicles, craft, UAV’s, UGV’s, ruggedized tablets, body worn camera’s and even “smart” glasses.

MARSS see a whole range of other scenarios where this system can be deployed, such as; providing command and control for a fleet of vehicles to secure critical infrastructure, borders, an international event, sports meeting or conference. With NiDAR installed, these vehicles or fast water craft can even be temporarily deployed to protect a warship in a foreign port.

NiDAR X enables any operator to cost effectively upgrade any fleet of small vehicles, land, sea or air and all available sensors into a fully networked tactical surveillance or reconnaissance system. It is what the military call a force multiplier; giving small platforms big platform capability.

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U.S. Commandos Want This Technology for Special Forces Raids

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For Dungeons & Dragons roleplayers, part of the fun of make-believe adventure is searching for hidden chambers where the monsters keep their treasure. For that matter, it’s a familiar theme in horror movies to have villains and vampires pop out from behind walls and bookcases.

But for U.S. commandos, hidden compartments are not entertainment. They are obstacles to a successful mission to capture fugitives, or seize documents and weapons. And on a house raid in hostile territory, there isn’t a lot of time to go tapping on walls to find a stash.

That’s why U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) wants a detector that can quickly spot where the loot is hidden. The goal of the research project is to develop a handheld device that can detect hidden chambers in an average-sized room (168 square feet) and at a range of about 6.5 feet during sensitive site exploitation, or SSE, operations.

The sensor should be able to penetrate to a depth of 2 feet and have enough battery power to run for forty to fifty minutes. However, while it needs to detect hidden spaces, it doesn’t need to scan the contents inside. “It doesn’t have to ‘see’ thru a metal surface/container; the presence of a metal chamber in a wall would be a suspicious indication,” SOCOM says.

Sensors that detect the presence of humans, such as infrared, acoustic or radar, already exist or are being developed. But current technology is either too bulky or too complicated, says SOCOM. But developing a handy device poses technical challenges. SOCOM emphasizes that the sensor must be able to distinguish between normal spaces in a wall, such as the gap between studs, and hidden compartments. It also must be able to function with a variety of building materials, including brick, cinder block, concrete, wood and sheet rock. “The system should be able to distinguish suspicious hidden cinder block openings vs normal cinder block voids in normal wall construction,” SOCOM adds.

And the device has to be easy to use and reliable. “For the operator to be willing to carry/operate an additional system, along with all of his other equipment, the system performance needs to be high; a system with low detection rates or high false detection rates will be left behind,” SOCOM points out.

SOCOM suggests that cutting-edge technologies such as modern radio frequency transmit/receive modules, advanced computer vision algorithms and modern computer processors may enable a solution to be found. The research proposal did contain links to a Wikipedia entry on ground-penetrating radar, and a Florida company called Ground Hound Detection Services that detects the presence of underground utilities before construction begins in an area.

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Persistent Systems unveils new Dual Channel Push-to-Talk (PTT) device for the MPU5

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Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today that it is unveiling its new Dual Channel Push-to-Talk (“Dual PTT”) accessory for the MPU5. The Dual PTT, said company officials, will allow the MPU5’s audio capabilities to reach their full potential.

The Dual PTT allows the user to quickly and easily select between 16 talk groups as well as control volume levels for each talk group independently. When paired with a stereo headset, the two selected talk groups are heard in the left and right ears, and the volume level in each ear can be controlled independently.

Dual PTT will improve networked communications and eliminate extra legacy radios

With the MPU5 and Dual PTT, a single MPU5 can communicate on two talk groups either independently (by pressing a single PTT button) or simultaneously (by pressing both PTT buttons). In the past, when a user needed to communicate with two different groups (channels) of users, that user needed to carry two separate Land Mobile Radios (LMRs). Therefore, the MPU5 and Dual PTT significantly reduces size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) burdens on users.

This is possible because the MPU5 is an IP radio, where talk groups are multicast addresses, instead of an LMR radio, where channels are different RF frequencies.

Dual PTT will improve networked communications and eliminate extra legacy radios

“It used to be that a commander would have to carry a PRC-148 and a PRC-152,” said Brian Mcdonald, Field Operations Manager at Persistent. “Now the commander just carries the MPU5 and can use the Dual PTT to talk to both groups. Carrying one radio instead of two will both save money as well as reduce the load on the soldier, which is a major selling point with customers,” Mcdonald explained.

The Dual PTT also serves as the interface into the MPU5’s Radio over IP (RoIP) subsystem. Users can tether legacy LMR radio systems to the MPU5, and associate each of those radios with one of the 16 talk groups as a multicast address on the network. When an MPU5 user communicates on that talk group, the MPU5 “keys up” the LMR radio and transmits audio through it.

“For the warfighter, this means one can tether a TACSAT channel on a vehicle to the RoIP port on the MPU5 and talk on TACSAT from within a building or tunnel while carrying only an MPU5 and Dual PTT,” said Dr. Herbert Rubens, Founder and CEO of Persistent. “The MPU5’s RoIP capability is compatible with PRC-148s, PRC-152s, Tactical Satellite (TACSAT), Fires Net, Public Safety LMRs, or standard walkie-talkies, which means, for example, being able to talk to Command Net, Assault Net, Fires Net, etc. whenever it’s suddenly required by the mission.”

Persistent has begun accepting orders for the Dual PTT.

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