Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced on 7 June 2016 the release of its compact Phased Array SATCOM for ground soldiers at EUROSATORY 2016. The ELK-1882A “On-the-Move” (OTM) Personal SATCOM micro-terminal provides personal bi-directional voice and data communication for lower echelon ground combatants.
Designed by IAI’s ELTA Group, the ELK-1882A micro-terminal comprises a phased array antenna, a Software Design Radio (SDR) module, and an energy module or battery-pack. Operating in the Ku frequency band via commercial geostationary communications satellites, it complies with ITU spectrum density regulations and commercial communication satellite operator standards. Optional applications include voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP), telemetry, short message services (SMS), narrowband communication and relay capabilities, such as combat voice network SATCOM backhaul.
In today’s dynamic battlefield enabling continuous OTM communication for lower echelon Special Forces and dismounted soldiers, as well as for platoon, company and battalion commanders is imperative. Operations of independent small forces frequently take place in locations that are Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS). At the present time, these fighting forces rely on either Line-of-Sight (LOS) systems that cannot provide continuous and reliable communications, or on mobile or static BLOS systems. The novel micro-terminal BLOS OTM system enables the existing gap between legacy LOS tactical radios to be closed, and allows for an extension of the current soldier communication network to OTM BLOS. The system is designed for BLOS operations of either mounted or dismounted ground forces. In addition, the same phased array antenna technology is adapted to combat vehicles and airborne systems, using a conformal antenna system.
“Reliable, ubiquitous and continuous lower echelon communication for the land soldier has always been a necessity”, Mr. Nissim Hadas, IAI Executive Vice President and ELTA President explained, “the lack of adequate technical solutions has up until now impaired effective real-time sharing of information. We believe that this solution and others of its type will propel land warrior networking capabilities into the 21st century.”