CISTECH Solutions is an Australian network and communications integrator and developer. They have significant experience providing solutions for Defence for integrated battlefield radio, voice, video and data networked solutions for dismounted and mobile requirements. This includes the design, delivery and support of numerous radio-over-IP systems and Wave Relay Mobile Adhoc Network (MANET) networks.
Wave Relay MANET radio networks currently in use within Defence allow any radio in the network to act as both the end-user device for delivery of voice, video and data as well as a relay point for the network. Information can therefore be distributed anywhere amongst the MANET network which means that the same information (voice, video and data) can be received by both forward and rear commanders simultaneously. By placing a MANET radio on the Flamingo UAV aircraft, video from a UAV can therefore be received by the local tactical commander using a MANET radio who is within direct range of the Flamingo UAV. Simultaneously, a long range tracking antenna can connect to the MANET network at ranges over 100KM and participate in the distribution of the video feed to a Command Post over a standard IT network from the Ground Control Station (GCS). The Wave Relay MANET system provides a conventional IP data stream, meaning it is directly compatible with existing deployed and fixed IT networks. Conventional applications can be used to send and receive information.
The integrated payload solution will utilise a Wave Relay MANET radio solution on the Flamingo UAV aircraft to connect to ground based Wave Relay MANET radios. The airborne MANET radio will act as a relay for the MANET network, just as other radios in the network act as relays. However, mounting onto an airborne platform will provide significant range advantages.
The payload will also include a UAV Vision camera which has features such as high zoom, thermal imaging and tracking capabilities. Video from the camera can be streamed across the ground based MANET network and, because it uses standards based IP, across existing fixed conventional IT networks to operations centres or headquarters locations.
Finally, a radio gateway will be mounted onto the payload pannier of the Flamingo® UAV. The gateway will allow the aircraft to have a conventional LMR radio mounted onto the snap on snap off Flamingo payload pannier and send and receive audio between the radio and voice channels on ground based MANET radios or from existing radio over IP applications in defence networks. Significant conventional radio range extension is possible by mounting a conventional radio in the Flamingo UAV and sending and receiving voice via the IP connection provided by the MANET radio.
The payload package as part of a larger MANET solution can provide an independent cloud which is not reliant on any infrastructure that may be affected in an emergency event (eg bushfire, floods etc).
The communications and ISR payload will provide the capability for the Flamingo® UAV platform to integrate seamlessly into existing ground based networks. The system will then provide distributed ISR across the battlefield to local and rear commanders as well as act as a radio rebroadcast node for conventional and MANET radio systems.
The mature solution will provide communications and ISR capabilities that will integrate seamlessly into existing networks. The radio equipment chosen for the platform and the voice, video and data information that will pass through the solution are in a format already used on these networks and very minimal integration effort will be required. Effectively, this communications’ and ISR technology simply extends those networks to the Flamingo UAV aircraft.
From a platform perspective, the Flamingo capability provides for a low cost, high performance solution that allows light, rapid deployment with modular payloads. From a communications’ and ISR perspective, there are currently no similar platforms that provide a very high bandwidth communications solution that integrate quickly into fixed and mobile/tactical communications networks using existing equipment.
Existing airborne solutions require one-to-one communications links to a Ground Control Station which will then redistribute sensors information. This solution will distribute information directly from the Flamingo UAV aircraft to any other user connected, via the Wave Relay MANET network, whilst simultaneously acting as a voice radio rebroadcast node for existing Combat Net Radios (CNR).
The flexibility of the Flamingo with its snap-on/snapoff payload panniers and payload capacity is the best option aircraft for the CISTECH payload especially when combined with the endurance and high flight capabilities of the aircraft. This provides the best ability for a scalable and modular mission solutions that can be quickly configured to meet the operational requirements.
Together Silvertone and Cistech will provide a very powerful Remotely Piloted Aircraft System delivering an information, communication and situational management solution unequalled for its cost and capability.